Worry about this instead. Part two – strength

Strength is the foundation of every physical activity. Strength is a prerequisite for speed, body control and the ability to move the body (and other bodies with it) through space. Also getting stronger strengthens bones and ligaments and will make you live longer (Lascek/Kilgore/Hartmen “Fit” – there’s actually a real reference to some science, but who cares? Rip once said “stronger people are harder to kill and more useful in general” that works for me).

Here are nine strength related things to worry about:

  1. Get your lifts up. Unless you’re totaling around 5x BW in the squat, deadlift and press on a bad day – I’d really just focus on adding weight to the bar.
  2. Simple linear progression will get you there so stick to that.
  3. Failing lifts in the 1-3 repetition range. Just don’t. Particularly not deadlifts.
  4. Executing all reps (except warmups) as explosively as possible. Trying to accelerate a weight will increase fast twitch muscle fiber activation even if it doesn’t change bar speed.
  5. Performing identical reps through all of your sets. If you squat a triple and all three reps look different – you need to practice more.
  6. Patience. Patience to let strength develop. It doesn’t come overnight. Keep at it!
  7. Getting your back as strong as possible. Especially the upper back. Having to have your shirts tailormade to fit your traps/neck is great but vanity aside – a strong upper back will help pretty much all your lifts progress. Recently Ive found my benchpress has increased without being trained seriously just from better upper back activation.
  8. Improving grip strength. Big forearms look great and a crushing handshake is the best way to welcome your daughters new boyfriend to the family. It’ll help pretty much any pulling exercise. Just don’t be the guy who refuses to use straps when you train your back. I’ll touch more on this subject later.
  9. Jump, sprint and throw – preferably once a week. This will keep you somewhat athletic and should translate nicely to your lifts.

I’d actually go as far as saying I wouldn’t recommend doing any kind of isolation exercise until you’ve got this list nailed. Except for re-/prehab obviously. If you really have to – do 5×10 reverse curls with a fatbar twice a week – that’ll double as grip and biceps training.

By the way thanks for all the views – I was expecting somewhere in the 50-100 range but we broke 500 yesterday. That’s just great.
I’ve had a couple of requests for future posts but I’d love to have more, so let me know if you have anything.

Don’t forget the love people.

15 thoughts on “Worry about this instead. Part two – strength

  1. Pingback: Worry about this instead. Part five – hypertrophy. | Blog of Fame

  2. Pingback: Worry about this instead. Part five – hypertrophy. | Blog of Fame

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  4. Thanks for a great blog, I learn a lot, but being rather new in many strength training aspects there’s a few things I don’t really get.
    “Unless you’re totaling around 5x BW…”
    What do you mean, totalling 5x BW? The total weight through all reps? So if I squat body weight I should be able to do 5 reps?

    Point no 3 I don’t understand at all.

    Do you have any plans on posts about basic exercises that focus on the basic points outlined in this post? I’m especially thinking about upper back, grip and jump/throw (patience exercises could probably be useful as way, but that’s probably out of scope 🙂

    • Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment Jesper.
      Totaling around 5xBW=your 1-rep max in the three lifts combined is somewhere around 5 times your bodyweight.
      3) Don’t fail when you’re going really heavy. That simple. If you’re only doing 1-3 repetitions per set, do not fail any of the repetitions. Ever. 🙂

      Thanks for the suggestions, I’m working on pretty much all of the above right now. That includes patience. 🙂
      Once again, thanks for following and let me know if the answer helped.

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  6. Super informativt, tak Christoffer :-). Nu klikkede jeg mig tilfældigvis ind på bloggen, og har snust lidt rundt, og det er virkelig noget godt stof du smider ud. Jeg håber du vil fortsætte bloggen, jeg synes der er meget god inspiration at hente!

    Håber du har det godt!

    Med venlig hilsen,


    • Tak for de pæne ord, Niels.

      Bloggen har været død i snart to år – der kom lige noget liv, nogle børn og noget arbejde i vejen. 🙂
      Og så er jeg ikke længere på samme måde en del af træningsmiljøet – jeg hyggeløfter lidt -12 gange om ugen max, så det er begrænset hvor meget jeg tænker på det.

      God vind

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