Making progress in the gym requires consistency and patience, but there are hacks that you can use to instantly boost strength in the gym to increase your performance.

Whether you want to add more muscle or get stronger, use these 5 hacks to unlock instant performance benefits:

READ MORE | 10 Ways To Get Stronger Now

1. Ditch the static stretching

While every workout needs a warm-up, ditch the static stretching. Research1 suggests it negatively influences muscle strength and power output during the subsequent training session.

A comprehensive warm-up that includes some light cardiovascular activity and movement-specific dynamic stretches and mobility drills offers the best approach to boost blood flow to your muscles, raise body temperature, and activate the neuromuscular system, which has a direct effect on your strength.

2. Keep your skin warm

Keep that sweater on during your warm-up and the workout if the gym is cold to lift heavier loads during your session.

According to research2 “lowered skin temperature can impair isokinetic force production independent of core temperature”.

During the study, the researchers found that skin cooling, even with a warm core of 39.5°C, immediately decreased peak torque.

3. Harness the force

Your mind is a powerful tool that can boost strength when you use it properly. Visualisation and mental imagery are powerful yet often underutilised tools by most lifters in the gym.

In a study3 conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, simply visualising a lifting session was enough to increase strength.

Researchers compared the strength of participants who trained in the gym against those who worked out in the minds with a virtual workout.

The gym-goers experienced a 30% increase in strength, while those who flexed their mind muscle increased bicep strength by 13.4% and maintained those gains for three months following the mental training.

4. Connect to the floor

Modern cushioned training shoes place a thick slab of artificial material between the ground and your feet – two of the most complex sensory structures in your body, each with 200,000 sensory receptors (located in muscle, tendons and connective tissue).

By breaking the natural feedback loop, these receptors send less sensory feedback from our feet to our brain via our nervous system, which reduces movement efficiency, coordination and proprioception. This negatively impacts movement efficiency and can result in a number of issues.

Minimalist footwear enhances proprioception – the awareness of our limbs in space and our movement patterns. This helps to improve our stability4, control our movements, and improves our balance, coordination and our posture for better joint alignment.

These are all important elements for efficient and powerful movement because it enables us to generate more force through our planted feet and helps maintain the correct, natural position of our body during complex compound movements.

Moreover, researchers from Liverpool University found that wearing minimalist footwear for six months can increase foot strength by 60%5.

5. Grip it to rip it

Much like your feet, your hands are also important for proprioception. All the mechanoreceptors in our hands help to guide and control the movement of our arms and proximal muscles, and they also engage the nervous system.

Grip strength is also a rate-limiting factor on any lift that requires holding the bar. Accordingly, developing your grip strength, learning different grip techniques for heavier lifts and using lifting aids like gloves or wraps when necessary can help you lift more.


  1. Page P. Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Feb;7(1):109-19. PMID: 22319684; PMCID: PMC3273886.
  2. Cheung SS, Sleivert GG. Lowering of skin temperature decreases isokinetic maximal force production independent of core temperature. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004 May;91(5-6):723-8. doi: 10.1007/s00421-004-1062-0. Epub 2004 Mar 11. PMID: 15015000.
  3. Ranganathan VK, Siemionow V, Liu JZ, Sahgal V, Yue GH. From mental power to muscle power–gaining strength by using the mind. Neuropsychologia. 2004;42(7):944-56. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2003.11.018. PMID: 14998709.
  4. Tomasz Cudejko, James Gardiner, Asangaedem Akpan, Kristiaan D’Août, Minimal footwear improves stability and physical function in middle-aged and older people compared to conventional shoes, Clinical Biomechanics, Volume 71, 2020, Pages 139-145, ISSN 0268-0033,
  5. Rory Curtis & Kristiaan D’Août. Daily activity in minimal footwear increases foot strength, Footwear Science, 2019, 11:sup1, S151-S152, DOI: 10.1080/19424280.2019.1606299