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Why Unconventional Strength Training?

Why Unconventional Strength Training?

by: Brandon Richey

Why Unconventional Strength Training?

Unconventional Strength Training

Unconventional Strength Training: Training that doesn’t adhere to convention by utilizing tools and equipment that integrate athletic specific movement for the purpose of physical preparation. 

Today’s blogisode is all about the value of utilizing unconventional strength training methods. The value of creativity is that it can be harnessed to foster the development of new methods and new ways of doing things. It’s been my experience that the most creative methods generally come from very simple ideas. Unconventional strength training is just another example of that very thing.

Why, Who, And What? 

Why would anyone implement unconventional strength training? Well this may seem like an obvious question to some, but unconventional strength training methods carry a lot of value that many may just not recognize. First of all, I’m a huge fan of movement based training and within the model of unconventional strength training there are some tremendous movements involved in swinging sledgehammers, throwing tires, gripping cinder blocks, and utilizing sandbags.

The point is that many folks just don’t recognize the value of “unconventional tools” generally because they see them as something else…Like tools they use out of their garage or basement for construction and yard work! I guess one man’s chore is another man’s gym, right?

Get yourself some unconventional strength tools right here!

RCK Authentic Kettlebells

The point is that there are many reasons why one might adopt unconventional strength training practices and those reasons may either come from a direct need, or from just plain old curiosity. For instance, if I’m short on time, patience, and just want to save a few extra bucks every month then utilizing unconventional strength training methods right out of my garage, home gym, or basement may serve me better. Aside from being financially rewarding it is also rewarding from the standpoint of saving and managing time. I mean after all time is all that we have and carries the most value; right?

Who would utilize unconventional strength training? Well pretty much anybody could adopt unconventional strength training methods, but to be specific populations such as tactical athletes (firefighter, military, police) tend to utilize these methods to a large degree. Now that being said this type of strength training is also tremendous for other athletes and especially the serious fitness community as well!

Here’s some unconventional bodyweight strength training for your Christmas stocking!

Convict Conditioning, Volume 4: Advanced Bridging, Forging an Iron Spine

Once again the “who” could be someone just looking to save a buck or two by minimizing the purchase of more expensive conventional equipment and gym dues. In addition to this the movements that can be carried out can be advanced to suit the highest level of training.

From this standpoint the “who” is also a person that is serious about getting results and is for certain a ball busting individual that understands the value of creative strength development! So that would be the Who! You know the type.  Usually it’s someone that likes to top everyone and demonstrates the power of the mind and body to the fullest extent. You know…like Chuck Norris!

What would be considered unconventional strength training? The fact is that there are many tools and methods that could be labeled as unconventional. Kettlebells, sledgehammers, ropes, sandbags, and even bodyweight movements would all qualify as methods that may fall under the category of unconventional. Now having said that it’s not always about the “equipment” alone, but rather the methods and manner that one might employ to achieve a desired training result from those different tools.

Some of the simplest and most effective movements can be implemented with unconventional tools such as turkish get ups, throws, and variations of totes. The difference is that when under the umbrella of unconventional training instead of performing a get up with a dumbbell you can perform it with a sandbag. Likewise, instead of performing rotational throws with medicine balls you can throw some Michelin tires around the yard instead. By interchanging these tools and implementing those similar movements you will get a varied training effect.

Unconventional strength training enables you to implement movements with tools and methods that best suit the needs of your physical development. Whatever the direction of your training involves the benefits of this type of training are almost limitless. Here’s a fun little movie trailer I did a while back for my Brandon Richey’s Unconventional Conventional Method Of Strength ebook that demonstrates some of these movements in practice and will give you a peek into how some unconventional movements can be done with minimal resources.

Check out this complete program of unconventional strength training!

As you can see a lot can be done with a little and aside from that when tremendous movement can be acquired for maximal results then what difference does it make with the types of tools that are being used? This is why one would adopt unconventional strength training my friend.

The bottom line is that you should NEVER allow a so-called limit on resources to hinder you from getting in some serious strength building so that you can HULKIFY your body! Ok, there’s that word again…HULKIFY!  Please feel free to leave your questions and comments in the comment box below this article. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Start your smart training today.

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Why Unconventional Strength Training?



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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