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:
- 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.
- Simple linear progression will get you there so stick to that.
- Failing lifts in the 1-3 repetition range. Just don’t. Particularly not deadlifts.
- 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.
- Performing identical reps through all of your sets. If you squat a triple and all three reps look different – you need to practice more.
- Patience. Patience to let strength develop. It doesn’t come overnight. Keep at it!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.