Yes, that Werewolf looking fellow pictured above (that in my brother’s words looks like some crazy character in a Quentin Tarantino film) is yours truly! For over a decade I’ve been clean shaving and beard free and for the past several weeks I decided “what the hell?” I’ll just go all Wolverine on you (in the words of my good friend Jeff Perry)!
That’s right, I told everyone that if they stepped out of line in their training that I would bite them and then they would end up looking like this whenever a full moon decided to light up the dark night sky! No worries, besides the long hair and beard I’ve got some other strength training tips to throw at you so keep on reading!
1. Searching For Variety In Your Strength Training Program:
A big part of making progress is being brave and creative enough to search for different ways to challenge yourself during your strength training journey once you have mastered the basics. I mean most of the time folks are surprised at how dynamic and how much they end up doing once I get them through the basics and on to the more advanced stages of their training program.
It’s kind of like the big surprise Daniel LaRusso got after waxing a ton cars for Mr. Miyagi. The whole “wax on, wax off” approach was monotonous, but was necessary at the time in order to ingrain the foundation of a certain Karate technique into Daniel son. Once this was established then other more advanced techniques could be learned by building on to what Daniel son had already come to learn. The funny thing was that he had no idea he had learned a very basic and very valuable skill during what appeared to him as being nothing more than a bunch of busy work given to him by Mr. Miyagi.
This is what I’m talking about with your strength training program. Once you hammer out the basics you should then attempt new things. For instance, if you are really good at doing push ups then you should try to experiment on how to vary them so that you can challenge yourself further which in turn will allow you to accomplish more. How about putting a thrusting push up on menu?
This is exactly what I’m talking about. Just by making the push up more dynamic by kicking the legs you make the drill itself increasingly more difficult. The same could be said for redistributing weight by learning a one arm drill or by elevating your legs to distribute more bodyweight to your upper body. Strength training is both an art and science my friend.
2. Master Hip Flexion/Extension:
Whenever I get a newbie to evaluate on day one I immediately work on teaching them how to master hinging at the hips through the squat, the deadlift, and the kettlebell swing motions. For the most part I can get it all done on day one. This is the foundational center of my strength training philosophy. Other strength coaches may have a different approach, but this particular one has served myself and my students well.
I always look at where they may have imbalances and adjust to correct them accordingly. For instance a female athlete (which is more prone to ACL tears) may be very quad dependent in her squat. This is very common for female athletes and is a possible reason as to why they are tearing those ACL’s without ever even experiencing contact on the field of play. I used to have a friend of mine that called this the “magical pop,” because a female player could just plant and turn and then POP, magically the ACL would just disappear. I know that’s kind of gruesome, but you get the point.
Well the truth is that it isn’t magic. It is largely due to the hip to knee angle in women in addition to possible joint laxity, and muscular imbalance generally due to them being very “quad dependent” when aggressively planting weight onto the more grounded leg during a cut or lateral movement. This is why the evaluation is so important. If they squat well by hinging their hips (sitting their rear back) and not allowing the knee to angle to buckle inward then great. If not then the deadlift and kettlebell swings are a great beginning and are going to serve them well moving forward. Tip #2 make sure you learn how to hinge those hips!
3. From Time To Time Get Some R & R:
Yep, if you’ve been grinding for a while and haven’t taken any time off from training then take a few days or even a week. True strength training mastery is about having the mental drive to reach new heights. If you are mentally blown from either life stress or lack of focus then you may need a few days to just step away and find new inspiration. It works. Once you take few days you may find that when you step back into the gym that you’ll be able to go HULK SMASH on everything, thus giving you new energy to go out and blast new PR’s!
If you are interested in learning more on how to get yourself into a position to carry out these tips then go ahead and invest in a copy of my Brandon Richey’s Better Than Steroids ebook! Remember it’s available both directly through my site and from Amazon for your Kindle reader or Kindle App.
Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. If you liked this and are interested in getting more of my crazy updates such as the new Werewolf look and more then make sure you LIKE my Facebook page right here! 😉