1) Safety First (2) Strength has a greater Purpose (3) Tension is Strength (4) Relaxation is Strength
5) Perfect Technique (6) Long Rest (7) Simple (8) Sinister
If you follow these principles you will ALWAYS progress.
Because you will always have in the back of your head the reason you are training – making motivation a non-issue.
These principles should help construct your notions of how you workout (i.e. hardstyle, long rest),
and also guide you to a more holistic way of training and care taking of your self (relaxation/recovery).
1) Safety First
- This includes personal space, choosing the appropriate weight, location and equipment.
- It also means not training yourself to a point were the risk of injury becomes greater than the benefit received from the exercise.
- Pain = NO gain (usually) – I am always reminded at this point of some Paul Chek says : “Train, don’t Drain”
2) Strength has a greater purpose
“Sparta, Rome, the knights of Europe, the samurai… worshiped strength.
Because it is strength that makes all other values possible.”
(Enter the Dragon)
- Strength is a SKILL; that means it can be TAUGHT, and that you are either GOOD at it or BAD at it – you are either strong, or weak. Being GOOD at something is valuable, but aspiring to be better is even greater.
- Train strength because it carries over into everything else you do in the world : be it physical or mental.
3) Tension is Strength
- This means HARD STYLE : you must learn how to utilize your bodies tension in order to improve your performance. This is achieved through certain tension techniques.
- including: 1) make a white knuckle fist
2) drive heels into floor
3) crush a walnut between your Glutes
4) squeeze the Abdominals
5) utilize power breathing
- the next step is knowing when to use them, that involves some strategy on your part.
- including: 1) make a white knuckle fist
- Without proper abdominal bracing (tension) your risk of injury increases.
- With proper abdominal bracing you can literally do anything you want (except fly).
4) Relaxation is strength
- The other side of the coin of tension is relaxation and thus also the other side of Strength.
- This includes proper rest between sets and appropriate recovery between workouts.
- If you CANNOT relax (if you CANNOT exhale with an audible sigh of relief) you need to figure it out… Without Relaxation you will always have elevated cortisol and low testosterone levels (which is harmful over long periods of time).
- Relaxation is also a Mobility Principle: along with breathing and patience; if you lack either of these it is now wonder why your strength and mobility goals seem so unattainable no matter how hard you try. You are trying too hard!
5) Perfect Technique
- Every Rep. Every Set. Every Time…. technique, technique, technique : when you start a new training program or learn a new skill the first few weeks of improvements is predominantly NEUROLOGICAL. Only then will muscular adaption starts to occur.
- Similarly once you train yourself past the stage of muscular adaption, almost ALL progress becomes neurological and technique based again.
- Attention to technique while training (and having a coach provide correction/feedback) will fast track your road to strength – all the while SAVING YOU FROM INJURY.
- INJURY PROOF YOURSELF by training with good form. The human body CANNOT perform perfect reps while under a high amount of metabolic fatigue – which brings us nicely to our next point….
6) Long Rest
- Proper rest intervals are critical : serious strength training requires 3-5 minutes and even up to 15 minutes rest between near maximal lifts.
- I go deeper into this subject in a previous post entitled : ‘Training Considerations: Rest, Set Type and Mental Management’
- Pavel confirms everything I mention in his article ‘Long Rests: Russian Science to the Rescue’
- A final reason to rest long and to keep the sets short (20-40sec max), is what Al Ciampa says in the above article, namely :
“If you let the “burn” in the muscle rise too high, you literally destroy the mitochondria, the very thing you tried to build”
- the last tip I have for you comes from a source I cannot remember but it goes: “Don’t confuse Strength and Conditioning with Conditioning and more Conditioning”
- For building impressive strength use the KISS principle.
Check out StrongFirst Simple and Sinister: a strength and endurance program that will prepare you for literally ANYTHING
- Simple because the exercises themselves are easy to learn
- Simple because you use only a hand full of exercises and you get really good at them. Furthermore, as your technique improves, the greater the training effect becomes.
- Sinister because training for strength is HARD WORK!
- The individual movements themselves may be ‘simple’ – but the combination of maintaining technique and speed while fatigued (and still using heavy weights) demands that your body adapt.
check out Simple and Sinister at the StrongFirst website:
If you follow these principles you will ensure progress.
Have fun with this information and explore what works best for you.
If you get confused or just don’t know where to start / what to do – that is when you need to get a coach.
These principles are useless unless there is a goal or end product in mind.
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“The Better Movement Specialist”