1. Lose the shoes: Lift barefoot, if possible, or in minimalist footwear like Vibram Five Fingers shoes, wrestling shoes, or converse chucks. Having your feet flat on the floor lessens the distance you have to pull the bar on a deadlift, increasing your leverage and helping you lift heavier weights. Training barefoot also strengthens your feet, which in turn adds stability and traction to all your lifts.
2. Be a tightass: Squeeze your glutes at all times during a set, especially on lifts like the bench press and overhead press. It stabilizes your entire torso.
3. Use the 25-rep method: If the total number of reps you perform for an exercise adds up to 25, you’re more likely to maximize muscle and strength gains. Just keep the reps relatively low and the sets moderate. Configurations like 5x5, 6x4, and 8x3 work well.
4. Go heavy, then light: Train with heavy loads one month, using sets of four to six reps. The next month, go lighter and stay in the 10–12 rep range. The heavy training allows your body to make even faster gains during the lighter weeks.