by: Brandon Richey–Get Free Updates And Training Guides Here
3 Reasons You’re Failing Your Lifts And Not Growing Stronger…
So today I wanted to talk about addressing the little things in your strength program so that you can hit the new PR and continue to make progress every time you step foot in the weight room. Often times in life it is the “little things” that make the biggest difference and some of the explanations I’m about to expose to you here fall right into that category.
So Why Are You Not Growing As Strong As You Would Like?
First and foremost let’s not forget about how true strength is obtained. I know we all would like to be able to lift a gazillion pounds while looking like the Ultimate Warrior, or the SHE Hulk if you happen to be a lady, but the fact is that there are various differences that separate us all in the realm of strength.
True strength only comes with a progressive overloading of the body, but the level at which we may grow our strength includes other differences such as genetics, availability of resources, will/desire, time, and just good ‘ole fashioned knowledge concerning training progression. It is this last reason that I want to touch on in today’s post for helping you to improve your strength gains despite those other variables I just mentioned.
Here are 3 possible reasons explaining why you may not be gaining optimal strength.
1. Correction Of Movement: This particular reason is a big one. Several folks may regularly train or workout, but they may generally never do anything to improve flexibility and mobility. A specific example of this problem in today’s world relates directly to the explosion of “sitting jobs.” I once heard a quote that said “sitting is the new smoking,” and this is very true in today’s society.
Many people spend a great deal of time sitting at work, sitting watching TV, sitting on the drive to and from work, and even more sitting in between all the time they spend sitting. Because of this many people have tight hip flexors, tight hip adductors, tight hamstrings, and may experience knee, hip, and low back pain as a result stiffness and having a limited ROM. Folks are literally training their bodies for the act of sitting.
When you are restricted to the point of dysfunction you can never expect to optimally perform a big lift for big gains. Right out of the gate you are limiting yourself before even attempting the lift. Not only should you work on specifically improving a specific movement, but you should also work on optimizing your mobility and flexibility at the same time. Make sure you take the time to stretch and foam roll most days of the week. Remember you don’t have to engage in near as much mobility to counter all the damage of sitting, but a regular consistent devotion to this must be a part of your routine.
2. The Set Up: Before performing any strength lift the set up is crucial for helping the lift to go smoothly during its execution. Technique is everything and setting up properly before you stomp the gas pedal is crucial if you expect to get the most out of any lift or drill. Proper set up often involves minor adjustments prior to hitting a lift, yet many fail to pay attention to the minor details which usually results in a failed attempt.
To use a specific example take a quick look at the photo that I included at the beginning of this article. In this photo I wanted to point out a minor adjustment for setting up prior to most any single arm kettlebell lift. If we are talking about the single arm swing, clean, or snatch lift with the kettlebell I always emphasize the importance of hand positioning during the grip.
If you look at the photo closely you’ll notice that when gripping the bell handle with my right hand I’m positioning my hand towards the left side of the handle. This is on purpose because as I swing, clean, or snatch the bell overhead it will help to automatically place the bell at the end of the movement in the most correct position. The same goes for any other lift.
3. Proper Progression: This is another element that is crucial for helping you to get better strength gains. One thing that I touched on in the last blogisode was the importance of developing a sound baseline of strength before trying to build on more athletic performance and other elements of dynamic strength. There have been too many times over the years where I’ve witnessed young lifters trying to perform more dynamic strength lifts such as barbell cleans and even medicine ball work while being completely unstable and out of control with the lift or drill.
Remember that proper strength allows you to control the load, as much as possible, not the other way around! The key to getting more out of your cleans or snatches is first allowing yourself time to develop a solid baseline of strength with major movements such as pressing, squatting, pulling, and working to master your own bodyweight.
Once you have this baseline established it makes moving into other more dynamic and athletic performance related exercises a lot easier. I promise if you have a 400 or 500 lb deadlift you’ll be able to swing the hell out some kettlebells guaranteed!
If you can fine tune your approach by correcting the 3 points I’ve listed here you WILL see drastic improvement in your strength gains! Please give these a try and and just remember to be patient. If you have anything else you’d like to add please leave your questions or comments in the comment box below this article. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.