Stop Lifting and Get Stronger!
Yes, you read it right and no it wasn’t a typo. You want to get stronger? You want to hit those PR’s and get on the gainz train? Then it is time to take a different approach to what you may think strength really is. Take a look at the pyramid below…
What is the first thing that you notice? Does your fitness focus on all of these factors, and if so what would your pyramid look like? For most of us it would probably look like this…
Do you see the problem that we have here? A pyramid that sits upside down is bound to fall over. What does that mean to us? Chronic pain, inflammation, injury and a lack of potential strength and power. See ya later gainz train, your ticket to PRsville cannot be validated!
Now before you throw out your nano’s and commit to a life of downward dog, lets break down the difference between all four factors of fitness.
“Flexibility is the absolute range of motion in a joint or system of joints, and the length of muscle that crosses the joint involved. It directly correlates with range of motion and mobility, but does not directly correlate with strength, balance, and coordination.”- Fix.com
In Welded Language – Flexibility is vital to being able to get into the proper positions for all functional movements including Olympic lifts and power lifts. But being flexible doesn’t mean that you’re are strong or stable in those positions. This is where mobility plays its part…
“Though flexibility and mobility sound similar, they are not interchangeable. Mobility within a joint is the degree to which the area where two bones meet (known as an articulation) is allowed to move before restricted by the surrounding tissue such as tendons, muscle, and ligaments.”- Fix.com
In Welded Language – To be able to hit that squat snatch or even that deadlift PR, you first must be able to move without restriction. Can’t pull a heavy deadlift without rounding your back? Shoulders always rotate in when you snatch? You are restricted in your movement AKA, your mobility sucks.
“Mobility relates to movement while stability relates to control. Stability is defined as the ability to maintain control of joint movement or position by coordinating actions of surrounding tissues and the neuromuscular system.” – Fix.com
In Welded Language – Without stability we sacrifice control which usually puts us into those ugly positions like knees collapsing in on squats, elbows flaring out on presses and backs blowing out on deadlifts during the movement itself. Want solid looking lifts? Stability is a must!
“Muscular strength is the highest amount of effort exerted by the muscles of the body in order to overcome the most resistance in a single effort. A large part of muscle strength is endurance, which is the muscles’ ability to repeat the contraction for a longer period of time before it becomes exhausted.” – Reference.com
In Welded Language – To be strong we not only have to be able to lift heavy weights once, we have to be able to lift it repeatedly so that we can smoke the time of the day or set a new PR.
So what does this all mean? It means that if you are only focused on getting strong by lifting heavy weights in poor positions then not only will you keep your self from hitting any new PR’s, you will open the door to pain and injury.
Don’t worry though there is a solution! Flip your pyramid upside down by following this 4 step process.
Flexibility – Commit to 2 days of yoga a week. My suggestion is using your Saturday as a recovery and flexibility day and then finding another time in the week when you are feeling sore or beat down to skip the WOD and get you some NAMASTE.
Mobility – Commit to 2 mobility’s from the Supple leopard book or from the posters hanging from the wall a day. Take 10 minutes to work on one smashing mobility and one stretching mobility
Stability – Start with trying to do a 5 minute plank test on your hands. See how far you get and then contact me [email protected]. I have plenty of stability exercises from backs to knees to shoulders and more. Want to get rid of that aching pain, let me know!
Strength – Slow down your movements! Focus on staying as tight as possible throughout your entire movement. Take the weight down and look to have perfect form on every rep.
If you truly are looking for pain free PR’s and a ticket to ride the gainz train then it starts by changing the way you think. Will it take time? Yes, will you thank me and buy me cookies when it works? I sure wouldn’t mind it!
By: Joel Cochran
Group Class Workout
Warm Up: 200m Run with Medball, 20 Medball Slams
20 leg swings, 15 PVC PT, GM
Finish with: 1 Minute Banded Hip Capsule
Strength:Front Squat Every 90 Seconds
1×2 @75%, 1×4 @75%, 1×6 @75%, 1×4 @75%
Lean: No Strength
800 Meter Run
20 DB/KB Thrusters 25/15
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
50 Cal Machine
50 Reverse Lunges w/ MedBall 20/15
50 MedBall Slams
50 Step Ups with MedBall
50 MedBall Slams
50 Cal Machine
Mobility Of the Day: Couch Stretch (pg.331) 2-3 Minutes each side. DO it! Your body will thank you.
Improves: Squat Position, Hip Pain, Low back Pain