Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting a lot of questions in regards to getting stronger.
In addition to this, I’ve had to re-assure a few things about strength training to help people understand a bit better of just how important being strong truly is.
In this blog post I’ve laid out some things that you need to know about strength and getting stronger. I kind of jump around a bit, but you’ll get my message.
First things first, one of the main questions I get about strength is if you need to do Bodyweight Training to get strong?
Short answer: Hell Yes!
Why is bodyweight training so important for when it comes to building up more strength?
Well, bodyweight training serves as your base structure to everything else. Think of it as your “original blueprint” for your body’s ability to perform.
The #1 reason I feel bodyweight strength is so important and should be a HUGE focal for you especially if you want to get stronger is due to it helping you move properly (that is if you train it correctly).
For example, if you have great form with your bodyweight movements, this will directly transfer over to your weighted movements and thus you’ll typically be a ton stronger within your weighted movements.
A general rule of thumb for me when I’m training and coaching is that you must be able to properly do bodyweight movements first before you’re able to move onto anything else weighted.
Take the Bodyweight Gauntlet for example. There’s a bunch of minimum requirements I talk about within that blog post HERE.
Bottom Line – If you can’t do a proper bodyweight squat then you have NO business doing a weighted back squat.
Get more efficient with your bodyweight movements and you’ll have a ton more potential at getting stronger overall.
Let’s talk about some of the Biggest Mistakes I see being made in regards to Strength Training:
The number one most commonly seen strength training flaw is that of avoiding strength training all together.
Right off the bat, I see a lot of runners do this.
I get questions from runners quite often in regards to their training and I tell them to cut back on their running overall so that they can focus on lifting more weights. For what ever reason, 90% of the time they never listen. They continue to run and run and run and in return, they stay weak and their running times cease to improve.
However, I have a few clients within my gym who have run a handful of marathons each and one of them just qualified for this years Boston again.
When she started she ran a TON and she hated to lift heavy.
Well, she soon discovered that when in my gym, you’re going to lift heavy…
I told her to stop running so much and to focus on getting STRONGER.
She got stronger and guess what… In her last race she dropped her marathon time by over 15 mins!
This was all while she had actually cut back on her overall running and increased the amount of lifting she did.
In fact, I can remember her lifting heavy just a week or so before her last race.
Do you think being able to pull your bodyweight x at least 2 reps on a deadlift will help you run faster or jump higher?
Do you think that being able to press your bodyweight and squat 1.5 x’s your bodyweight will help you out?
Not saying you have to be able to do this in order to be a better athlete, but it sure helps being strong!
If you play basketball baseball, or are a straight up track athlete – don’t ever think that lifting heavy weights and getting stronger will “make you slower”.
Same thing goes for golf…
Just because you play these sports where the athletes aren’t typically all huge and jacked out of their mind doesn’t mean that strength doesn’t play a role.
I’ve gotten questions from guys and gals who play basketball, baseball, and run track in regards to this in the past which is why I bring it up.
Strength is NOT solely about being HUGE (although it’s nice to be all ripped and jacked up).
I know plenty of guys who are strong as hell who only weight a buck 60 or so that look skinny.
Strength is NOT just about size…
If you train for strength right, the bottom line is you’ll get faster, quicker, and more explosive.
The thing is, if you’re an athlete, do you think you could some more explosiveness? How about some more agility?
Just NEVER be the one to think you’re too good for strength training. NO ONE IS.
Now, with talk about Training for Strength, let me hit up on a few more ways guys ad gals are training for strength WRONG
#1 Strength Training Flaw – Terrible Form
When it comes to strength training, form and technique play a HUGE role. One of the things that often gets in our way that can do more harm then good is by having too BIG of an EGO. In turn, I see people using way too much weight on the bar and as a result, they have sh*tty form on their lifts.
This will NOT get your any better or get your any stronger. It will only get your weaker and have the potential to hurt you more.
What will get you stronger is by doing sh*t right. It may be a little bit lighter, but in the end it will get you stronger.
This is where bodyweight training comes back into play and is why it’s so damn important.
If you can perfect your form without weight, you’ll be a ton more likely to do it right with weight.
Strength Training Flaw #2 – Fast Progress
This goes back to bodyweight training, having a BIG ego and mastering lighter weights first.
I for one used to let my ego destroy my progress. I was always putting way too much weight on the bar way too fast. In return, my overall results suffered.
Slow and steady will win the race within the strength game.
In these days, I’ve seen the best results by training with sub-maximal loads and mastering those loads first.
What I focus on is getting very FAST and EFFICIENT with lighter, sub-maxiamal loads first and then when it comes time to lift HEAVY, I see more gains.
It’s all about recovery, progress, and being patient.
Strength Training Flaw #3 -Skip strength training to do the “fun stuff”.
I know a lot of people that like to skip over their strength work. Heck, I’ve been guilty of doing this as well!
Everyone wants to do all the fancy sh*t…
Things like playing with lighter sandbags and kettlebells within cool circuits mixed with tons of other “fun” movements.
Or how about those fun 300-500+ rep workouts?
Doing circuits and high intensity intervals are great and doing them definitely have their purpose for sure, but NEVER skip over your strength training in order to get in your conditioning work.
For example, if all you had was 20 mins and your goal was to increase your overall performance, gain a little bit of muscle while also getting lean, the last thing you would want to do is skip over your main strength work.
Instead of doing a 20 min conditioning circuit with tons of different movements in it (like most people like to do), I would much rather have you squat, press, deadlift, or Olympic Lift during that 20 mins.
Pick just two or even just one strength movement and get in as many high quality sets as possible.
You’d get a ton more work done plus gain some major progress on your overall goal by doing that then if you were to destroy yourself with a metabolic conditioning session.
Only got 20 mins? Load up a barbell and do some “man childs”.
Use a weight that you know you could get 2 maybe 3 reps with in one unbroken set.
Now, for 20 mins, do a rep every 90 secs or so. That would make for a solid 20 min training session right there.
Bottom Line – What’s “fun” is being able to lift heavy ass weights and then using heavier weights within your “fun” circuit type workouts. That’s what I think is fun…
The STRONGER you get, the more athletic you’ll get, the better you’ll be at everything across the board.
When it comes to strength training, it needs to hold #1 Priority over everything else.
You want to get BETTER, FITTER, more ATHLETIC – Strength is the KEY.
STRENGTH is EVERYTHING.
I’ll leave you with a few more simple, but very IMPORTANT truths about strength…
Truth #1 – The STRONGER you are, the less weapons you’ll need in life (because you are one).
Truth #2 – Stronger People are just harder to kill…
Now, that’s just the straight up #truth right there…
If you agree with me on this one, go ahead and CLICK the LIKE button and SHARE this little post with your friends. Drop a comment below and let me know about your thoughts as well. What will YOU be doing to get yourself STRONGER?
Live and Train Aggressive!