Ok Ok, so I know I’ve been out for a week or so and slacking on the ole blogging scene. Well no worries because I’m still alive and kicking. I wished I had some reasonable explanation as to why I slowed down on getting some posts out last week like I was out roaming the streets of Atlanta dressed up like a bat taking out bad guys with the usual super hero ass kicking justice that you would like to believe.
Yep, that’s exactly what was happening! Ok, I’ll let you believe that if you want to. Anyways, I just took the last few days off to recharge the batteries, but now I’m ready to hit the ground running. So let’s talk about turning your strength training program up to awesomeness level. I think I might have a few tips to help you out in that department.
Get Your Strength Training Program Upgraded To Awesomeness Level…
1. Get A Kettlebell: Look, in terms of strength and physical activity you know that kettlebells offer a broad spectrum of benefits. The reason I put kettlebells at number 1 is because in addition to the instrument I’m speaking in terms of the proper application of the tool. Kettlebell training is very versatile. As you know the movement based structure involved in lifting kettlebells keeps us all in a state of motion. Mobility is the key to any smart strength training program and kettlebells offer nothing but the best in movement based resistance training.
Getting used to moving while handling a resistance is one of the most optimal and natural ways to build strength in the human body. Pushing, pulling, dragging, toting, and throwing have always been at the center of the human dynamic (along with bar fights and backyard brawls) and kettlebells reproduce these needs better than most anything in this strength coach’s opinion. Get yourself a kettlebell and apply it properly.
2. Master The Squat: Squatting is a fundamental movement that has been lost or altered in many of us over time due to the lack of practicing it mainly because of lifestyle factors. Squatting is absolutely essential if you want to get the most out of your strength and fitness gains along with maintaining the basic physical function of your body. If you’re not squatting you’re not training as far as I’m concerned.
Now I’m not necessarily talking about loading up the barbell with 400 lbs. and going butt to ankles depth. I’m talking about simply practicing the movement for the sake of getting better at it. If you have mastered the pattern then a 400 lb. butt to ankles is great, but until then you won’t be doing yourself any favors. Until then give the goblet squat a try.
3. Include Iso/Unilateral Work Into Your Training: Yep, iso- and unilateral work is crucial for creating stable joints, a stable core, and overall balance and coordination. When performing a unilateral move such as the single arm single leg deadlift I like to help trainees envision what I call the “X” factor. Cool name, right? 😉
What this means is that our bodies move and function to balance. For instance, when you are walking and take a step with your left foot your right hand swings forward. Likewise when you step forward with the right foot the left hand swings forward. The body is offset like an “X.” So when performing the single arm single leg deadlift (in this case with a kettlebell) which ever foot is grounded I am loading the weight in the opposite hand. Of course, you can load both hands with a weight too if you choose.
4. Rotational Movement Is Crucial: Whenever I’m training my students they all understand the importance of rotational movement. The transverse plane is the one plane of motion that can’t be ignored. Being able to twist at the trunk is absolutely crucial to not only being able to be competitive in sport, but also for living a functional and healthy lifestyle.
Like squatting this is something that has a tendency to be lost due to people’s lifestyles. Just remember that a loss of mobility is a crippler to your health. Make sure your strength training program doesn’t neglect this factor. If you want to make sure you are including some rotational movement into your strength training program and are wanting to try something new then give these oblique twists a try:
By the way I describe these in greater detail here!
5. Just Refuse To Be Weak: Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous right? I mean who would just want to be weak? Well, believe it or not I see folks all the time that specifically get involved with some form of physical activity such as running, martial arts, or frisbee golf.
Granted all of this is wonderful if it gets you out and moving around, but more often than not the one guy complains about this or that nagging him after martial arts practice, or the runner just does nothing more than running and their physique resembles nothing more than a skeleton covered by skin. Ok, the frisbee golfer just needs to do more than frisbee golf.
The point is that all of these examples involve people that need to also add a structured and specific goal of strength to their daily lives. Strength is at the center of everything we do. A strong martial arts practitioner is a lot less susceptible to injury and performs 10 times better. A strong runner doesn’t have a frail body that would make you nervous to sneeze around them for fear it would blow them across the room. And yes, a strong frisbee golfer is going to be better too, period!
So there you have it. You have now got 5 ways to turn your strength training program up to awesomeness level! If you want to take your strength training program beyond awesomeness level then please make sure you get a copy of my Brandon Richey’s Better Than Steroids ebook here as well!
By the way you can also get a copy of this right here on Amazon for your Kindle reader as well! Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.