So today’s blogisode is getting back to the roots of strength. You see when examining strength I like to think that there are many traits that make up its characteristics. Yes, I’m getting deep in the philosophical side on you in this post so just buckle your chin strap and don’t get busted thinking too hard on this one especially if you are sitting at your desk at work. We wouldn’t want to get you in trouble while you’re on the job, right? Keep on reading my friend.
A Little Eye Of The Tiger…
Yep, I just blasted out a Rocky III reference on you! The Eye Of The Tiger is exactly what I’m talking about when looking at building strength and strength that lasts. Look, without the right mindset forged from mental toughness you can’t obtain a respectable amount of strength. You’ve got to be willing to put in the work. The principles of strength start from your willingness to not hesitate to roll up your sleeves and to tote your lunch pail in for the big challenges that lie ahead. Oh yeah, and I pity the fool that experiences the pain of NOT training with some mental toughness! Someone who doesn’t might regret it after walking into competition with the likes of a competitor such as this:
Yeah, the last thing you want is to walk into a situation like this without having put in the effort. So the EYE OF THE TIGER is a real thing after all. My friend you’ve got to look at obtaining strength as a fight in and of itself. This is the most important principle characteristic of strength!
And The Nuts And Bolts Of Strength…
In this world we happen to have one unique phenomenon that is always something we can count on in terms of building strength in the most unique and effective ways and that is gravity. I may be wrong on this, but no one understood this phenomenon better than our friend Newton. Look, in the most simple terms gravity can just flat out be a b*tch at times! All free weights and other training equipment do for us is give us other means of building strength under the weight of those objects in gravity. This may sound simple enough, but there is a bit of an art and science to it based on each and every individual situation my friend.
Progressive Overload: The gradual increase of stress placed on the body during exercise training for the purpose of building more strength.
So the principle of progressive overload is something that every strength coach and athlete lives and dies by these days. At least they should be! I mean the concept itself is easy to understand in principle, but actually executing it effectively is an entirely different ball game! I mean if you are serious about carrying it out to a high level it can be a real ball buster. This principle of training is one that definitely utilizes gravity to get the job done if you know what I mean.
Like I said understanding progressive overload is rather simple. Basically it just boils down to you doing more tomorrow than you did today. I know that’s a rather simple way of putting it, but it’s true. Let’s take this and apply it to a real life comparable scenario. For instance, let’s look at student A and student B. If student A can do 10 push ups and student B can do a 100 push ups which student is stronger at doing push ups? If you guessed student B you are obviously correct. Now the key to this though is understanding that probably at one point in time student B could only do 10 push ups and had to progressively work up to doing 10 times that amount which is demonstrated in this little scenario. Hence, he did have to apply the progressive overload principle to his push up training in order to elevate his number from 10 to 100; right?
Essentially the thought process behind this is that strength can be obtained under this crazy law we recognize as gravity by manipulating 2 variables; volume and intensity (or load). So what do I mean by manipulating volume and intensity? Well let’s take a look at a Facebook post that I put out on one of my Tips Of The Day last Friday night that explains this in another way:
Tip Of The Day:
When trying to get stronger you generally determine how many reps of a strength exercise you can do based on the weight. Essentially you can get stronger by manipulating 2 variables; load and volume.
For example let’s say that you can bench press 200 lbs. for 3 sets of 5 repetitions for a total of 15 reps. For the sake of argument let’s say that at the 3rd set of 5 reps you barely squeak out the last repetition. Now if you added say 10 more lbs. in an attempt to get stronger you wouldn’t be able to hit 3 sets of 5 reps since you struggled on the 3rd set to hit the 5th rep with 10 less pounds at 200, right?
So in this example you can make a simple adjustment in how you manipulate the load and volume. Go ahead and add the extra 5 or 10 pounds bringing the weight to 205 or 210. From here instead of trying to do 3 sets of 5 reps, rather try 5 sets of 3 reps with the now heavier load. You are still hitting a total volume of 15 reps, but hopefully with the adjustment in volume you now aren’t failing out before each set is complete! And there you go! I was joking about the singing. I don’t have time for that! Keep training smart my friend.
Ah, yeah I’m not going to worry about explaining that singing remark at the end of that last paragraph today. I did explain it later on in another Facebook post, but to find out more about stuff like that just make sure you come on over and join my page here so you don’t miss out on all of the fun!
The bottom line is that in order to obtain strength you’ve got to be willing to put in the work and once you make up your gritty mind to do that then you can get into the nuts and bolts of it all. Yes, I did just explain the entire universe of strength to you in a matter of just over a 1000 words! Booyah! 😉
If you want to learn more on how you can manipulate your own progressive overload plan then make sure you get a copy of my Brandon Richey’s Better Than Steroids ebook right here today:
If you happen to be a big fan of the digital Kindle readers and Kindle Apps then you can also get a copy for your reader right here! Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Don’t forget the Eye Of The Tiger!