Tag Archives: strength

A Sinister 6 Sessions of Strength.

This nifty little protocol will help get many people strong.
There is no other prerequisites for doing it than to follow it to the letter.
Choose two lifts you wish to focus on (I suggest 1x Upper/Lower).
Before starting test your 5RM on your chosen lifts.
You’ll alternate which one you focus on session to session, so sweet up as an A-B alternating split, training every 5 days.
You will do 6 sessions of each (12 in total), this means 60 days of training.
^ On the days you’re not in the gym feel free to focus on mobility, going for long walks or if you practice a sport then do that.
Let us say it’s Close Grip Bench Press & Trap Bar Deadlift because my bias likes those.
For the Focus Lift this is the rep/set protocol:
Cluster Set:
– 5x 2-1-2 (rest 10-20 seconds between each)
– 3min rest after complete set
– Change loading each set by 20% Increase or Decrease
– DOn’t repeat the same load twice
For the Secondary Lift this is the rep/set protocol:
3×10 – 50%, 75%, 100% – 10RM (you should only just get 10 on the last set)
For your Accessory Lift, this is optional*.
In the suggestion below my suggestion is based on a PHA style to working on lagging areas for maintenance purposes, so quads, triceps, lats, etc.
Example for context:
15min time limit, if you can get out 4-5 rounds in the time increase the loading where needed or tweak the movements, you can change the movements each session.
C1 – Pull Up x3-6
C2 – Walking Lunge x10-12 (per leg)
C3 – Dumbbell Press OH x3-6
C4 – Hollow Body Hold x30sec
Set & rep wise you’ll be
Here is what a session will look like:
Session A –
A1 – CGBP – Focus Lift
B1 – TBDL – Secondary Lift
C1 – Accessory Lift (your choice)*
C2 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
C3 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
C4 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
Session B –
A1 – TBDL – Focus Lift
B1 – CGBP – Secondary Lift
C1 – Accessory Lift (your choice)*
C2 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
C3 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
C4 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
The idea of this is to focus on getting stronger each session, its not about conditioning.
By the end of the 6th test yourself with a 5RM once again.

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A Training Protocol too simple to hurt as much as it does.

Morning Y’all,
Being a little bit of a nerd I personally enjoy the principles behind things not everyone wants that, so why not just get straight to the good stuff 💪
Protocol 1 – 6-12-25
A classic from Charles Poliquin.
Choose three movements.
Do a set of 6 for the first, 12 for the second & 25 for the third to fully decimate a muscle group/area.
Examples for each movement pattern:
Do 2-3 sets of the following with 2-4min rest after A3.
Push –
A1 – Weighted Dip x6
A2 – Close Grip Canadian Press x12
A3 – TRX Tiger-Bend x25
Pull –
A1 – Weighted Ring Chin Up x6
A2 – T-bar Row x12
A3 – Face Pull x25
Squat –
A1 – Front Squat x6
A2 – Squat (close stance, heels raised – cyclist squat) x12
A3 – Duck Stance Leg Press x25
Hinge –
A1 – Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlift x6
A2 – RDL x12
A3 – Prone Hamstring Curl (neutral feet) x25
If you do this correctly you will find a drop of in loading % of each set after 2, this usually because at our top weights we’ve got 1-2 good sets in us, then things start to fatigue so a reduction in load of 5-10% is sensible.

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The 1 Superpower Y’all Really Want

In my experience if there is one superpower that most women would want it’d be this:
To eat /drink as much as they like and never get fat.
Which to be fair could be a something most people want.
Did you know though that this could be a reality, oh yes, you could have this superpower.
Chances are you’ve heard of it in its alias.
This is it – Strength & Conditioning.
Believe it or not when you train properly and give it a truly worthy effort good things tend to happen.
Moving starts to become easier, aches/pains begin to reside and your mentality improves too.
Your nutrition improves due to your body demanding higher qualities of nutrient sources.
Muscle mass increases as your strength does, this then in tern leads to high force/power outputs and when combined with legitimate aerobic work that build a formidable work capacity you’ve got a near perfect storm for longevity.
The price you’d need to pay for this would merely be effort and consistency.
You see when you get some solid years of training under your belt that takes you physically to decent levels of physical strength & work capacity, you will have created a massive reserve in your body for the consumption of calories.
While it’s true your body will send you after higher quality ones first and foremost, you will find that when you do suddenly fancy a cake or few cheeky beverages of an alcoholic nature they don’t even make a dent anymore, in fact they’d barely register.
Yet the biggest things you’d notice is that the cravings for the poorer quality food/drink would diminish.
Habits would change as your health improves,both physical and mental.
Remember though, effort and consistency would be required.
Now you’ve had this knowledge exposed what will you do with it?
Do you want to be what many would consider to be a physical superhero, or do you perhaps want something else?
You should investigate this thoroughly.
While you do that here are two simple sessions that you can rotate in a 3 day per week training system.

You can rotate these for added spice, be warned though, it can be brutal.
Session 1 – Swings x300, Hill Sprints x200 seconds, Dips x100

Session 2 – Squat x300, Loaded Carries x200 seconds, Pull Ups x100

Session 3 – Swings x200, Hill Sprints x100 seconds, Dips x300
Session 4- Squat x200, Loaded Carries x100 seconds, Pull Ups x300

Session 5 – Swings x100, Hill Sprints x300 seconds, Dips x200

Session 6- Squat x100, Loaded Carries x300 seconds, Pull Ups x200

*Higher rep targets (200-300) can have substitutes.
Try and do 50 of these sessions in total if you need somewhere to start (feel free to change up the movement variations as you see fit). .
Now this would be very basic S&C, literally scratching the surface however training more productive than what the majority of people are currently doing.

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Arbitrary Goals for 2020

Lacking direction for gym related targets?
Here are some to consider hitting if you’d like the fleeting respect of people you’ll never see again mias social media.
Barbell Curl 0.50xBW x20reps
Press – 0.75xBW x20reps
Pull Up – Bw x20reps
Bench Press – BW x20reps
Squat – 1.5xBW x20reps
Deadlift – 2xBW x20reps
Why 20?
Why are barbell curls in there, surely there are better movements to do?
My answer is as follows:
Because why not 😂
These are simply arbitrary goals that will yield a decent benefit to many people.
The loads are not astronomical, in fact all of the above are pretty reasonable unless you’re very weak.
If you are very weak then they’re the ideal goals for you because they will rid you of said weakness.
How you program to achieve these is up to you.
My suggestion is to train 3 days per week with a different focus lift on each day.
Monday – Day 1 – Deadlift & Curl
Wednesday – Day 2 – Bench Press & Pull Up
Saturday – Day 3 – Press & Squat
Being able to hit all the above for 1 solid set of 20 will be quite satisfying, if you wish to extend this goal for a little more bang for your buck try to achieve 2 working sets of 20 at the target weights.
When you can do that you’ll have built a good foundation of strength and potentially muscle as well (provided your nutrition supports it).
For accessory work pick 2-3 movements for your posterior chain, things like Loaded Carries, Reverse Hypers, Good Mornings, Reverse Flies & Tricep/Calf/Grip work are all good, 2-3×10-15 for these work well.
For the 20rep goal, establish the end goal loads.
Once you know these you work backwards to sensible starting weights (perhaps 50% of the end weight).
Here is an example based on my on BW rounded up for easy maths:
Barbell Curl 0.50xBW = 40kg /2 = 20kg start
Press – 0.75xBW x20reps = 60kg /2 = 30kg start
Pull Up – Bw x20reps = 80kg* /2 = 40kg
Bench Press – BW x20reps 80kg /2 = 40kg start
Squat – 1.5xBW x20reps 120kg /2 = 60kg start
Deadlift – 2xBW x20reps 160kg /2 = 80kg start
*For the pull up you’d use band if required, or personally I’d just start off doing lower reps and building on them until I hit 20 unbroken.
All decent starting loads that are very achievable.
Warm up set wise you won’t need much, perhaps 1-2×20, then crack on with the work.
For the working sets you’ll be having that set to 1 for the time being, aim to add load each session you successfully hit 20reps in your woking set.
E.G – Press – 0.75xBW x20reps = 60kg /2 = 30kg start
30kg x20 = +2.5kg
32.5 x20= +3.5kg
35kg x13 = stay at this load and aim to get 1-2 more reps and repeat until you hit 20.
Make sense?
Once you hit the end weight goals add in a second working set at that weight, if you hit the reps first try then it’s time to set a new goal, if not work on that until you hit 2×20 – working sets.
May your 2020 be filled with progress & success.

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Random Protocol for Easy Strength

This little training protocol just popped into my mind, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Train every 3 days, this will equate to training three times a week in some weeks and two times in others.

You’ll be alternating Heavy/Light/Medium sessions.

Each day will have a slightly different focus, the overall goal of this protocol is to build strength in a steady and more importantly easy fashion.

Heavy Days:
DL – Ramp to 1x5x5RM, 2-3x5x80% top weight – working up to a top set of 5
Press – Ramp to 1x5x5RM, 2-3x5x80% top weight – working up to a top set of 5
Squat  – Ramp to 1x5x5RM, 2-3x5x80% top weight – working up to a top set of 5

Medium Days: Based on 85% of 5RM from heavy day – adjust +/-:5% on feel for the day
DL – 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5 -Rest 30-60 sec between 2-3-5, then 3-5min each wave
Press – 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5 -Rest 30-60 sec between 2-3-5, then 3-5min each wave
Squat  – 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5 -Rest 30-60 sec between 2-3-5, then 3-5min each wave

Light Days: Based on 85% of 5RM from heavy day – adjust +/-:5% on feel for the day
DL – 6×6, rest 2-4min between sets
Press – 6×6, rest 2-4min between sets
Squat  – 6×6, rest 2-4min between sets

*Accessory work: 1 to supplement DL/Press, 2 Lifts to supplement Squat – 2-3×8-12reps

** You can use any DL/P/SQ variations you like on this protocol, once the cycle starts
again choose a different variation, Example: Cycle 1 = FS, Cycle 2 = HBBS, Cycle 3 = LBBS

*** The +/- 5% allows you to add load when you feel strong, use this as a guide to progress, if you can hit two weeks of +5% then that is the new working weight, the -5% serves as a nice deload if needed, however the way this is set it you shouldn’t need it too often meaning the small increases in +5% based on the % of 5RM will have you by the end of the cycle potentially working with what was your old 5RM as new working weights.

Here is the basic set up of days for a full cycle, it’s roughly 13 weeks, as the cycle repeats your can choose on the Monday (when Heavy DL/Press comes back around) to retest your 5RM on all three lifts, then take the rest of the week off before starting  new cycle with your new variations.:

Monday: Heavy – DL/Press
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Light – Squat
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Light – DL/Press
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Medium – Squat
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: Medium – DL/Press
Sunday: Off
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Heavy – Squat
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off
Friday: Light – DL/Press
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off
Monday: Light – Squat
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Heavy – DL/Press
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Medium – Squat
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Light – DL/Press
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: Light – Squat
Sunday: Off
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Medium – DL/Press
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off
Friday: Heavy – Squat
Saturday: Off
Sunday:  Off
Monday: Light – DL/Press
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Light – Squat
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Heavy – DL/Press
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Medium – Squat
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: Light – DL/Press
Sunday: Off
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Light – Squat
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off
Friday: Medium – DL/Press
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off
Monday: Heavy – Squat
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Light – DL/Press
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Light – Squat
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Medium – DL/Press
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: Medium – Squat
Sunday: Off
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Light – DL/Press
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off
Friday: Light – Squat
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off
Monday: Heavy DL/Press – This would be the start of a new cycle.


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Playing with Time

After writing a small piece on Gains Central the idea of ‘Timed Sets’ got touched on.
Given these are great little tools for giving people a variable shock and devotion from the norm they’re worth sharing here too.
As the name suggests you’re performing a set based on a length of time and not just a number of reps.
These are great for 3 reasons:
– Overload
– Mental Toughness
– Easy to Program
Here is an example of how you might utilise a timed set.
A1 – Squat x2min x4 sets
Pretty simple right?
Now you don’t need to have the time being a static thing, it can change set to set if required, this can allow for harder sets first or hard-easy sets.
A1 Squat –
Set 1 x120sec
Set 2 x90sec
Set 3 x60sec
Set 4 x30sec
A1 Squat –
Set 1 x30Sec
Set 2 x120sec
Set 3 x60sec
Set 4 x90sec
Honestly these are very enjoyable and also great for people who are short on time in their training because it will allow for accurate planning so that an effective session can be squeezed into very little spare time.
How long you decide to have the time of each set can be to your discretion, you might even choose to do 5min of non-stop squatting, tough yet 2 sets of that will be a good session for the day.
Here are two sessions I’ve personally alternated in the past when time has been tight, please be aware there was no specific warm up and I’d often use the first timed set as the warm up.
Session 1 – Kettlebells
A1 – Clean & Press x2min x3sets
B1 – Swings x5min x2sets
60 seconds rest
Session 2 –
A1 – Inverted Rows* x 2min x3sets
B1 – Squats** x5min x2set
60 seconds rest***
*Or renegade rows, or pull ups depending on gym kit
**Or kettlbell, barbell, sandbag, depending on gym kit
***Variable depending on what time I had, most session ended up being 20-25min only.
Very minimalistic, very effective.
If you’ve never tried timed sets before add them in as accessory work on smaller isolation lifts first because they catch a lot of people out because they’re easier on paper than they are in reality.

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Old Texts, New Findings

Digging through some older writings of Russian powerlifters has been quite interesting of late. 

Apart from the magic numbers that seem to be floating around and the common use of certain well known set/rep protocols there is pattern in the way they train. 

Most claim to follow this pattern:

  • Press heavy every 3-5 days
  • Squat heavy every  5-7 days
  • DL heavy every 10-14 days  

A good general rule, yet as they got more experienced they seemed less focused on the heavy element and more on building up the medium/light numbers and volume, that was very fascinating to me. 

The really interesting part is how they set up a training week because it’s clear that some could train any day required, whereas others still had full times jobs and as such had to stick to specific days of the week, as such this gave some dramatically different looking programs they yet still followed the same basic principles.

The expression of Light-Medium-Heavy is often in reference to their efforts, as opposed to just pure load not he bar, however you can rest assured the loads were also hefty. 

Example: Rotating days 

Monday – Press (medium) & Squat (Heavy)

Thursday – Deadlift (Light)

Sunday – Press (light) & Squat (Light)

Wednesday – Deadlift (Light)

Saturday – Press (Heavy) & Squat (Medium)

Tuesday – Deadlift (Heavy)

Friday – Press (Light) & Squat (Light)

Monday – Deadlift (Light)

Thursday – Press (Medium) & Squat (Heavy)

Sunday – Deadlift (Light)

Wednesday – Press (Heavy) & Squat (Light)

Saturday – Deadlift (Heavy)

Tuesday – Press (Light) & Squat (Medium)

Friday – Deadlift (Light)

Monday: Potential lift variation change, protocol change or repeat of previous. 

You can see they lift every 3 days, alternating Press & Squat sessions with Deadlift Sessions, some would choose to also press on the DL day as well however that would often be light or a special variation press to target weak/sticking points from what I read. 

Leaving 6-9days between heavy pressing and more between heavy squats and DL seemed counterintuitive at first to making progress, yet it worked. 

Looking at the older lifting protocols these people followed was truly a worthy habit hole to go down. 

**Please note that light or even medium to these people in say pressing was 400lbs, which to us mere mortals isn’t light at all**

For those that had set days, such as 2-3 sessions per week this was what it tended to look like:

Monday – Deadlift (rotating H-L)

Thursday – Press & Squat  (Rotating H-L-M)

Saturday –  Press & Squat & RDL/Stiff leg variation (mostly L-M)

A lot also added 2-3 accessory lifts for weak points and lagging areas, this seemed to be a lot of Lats, Tricpes, Hamstrings, Glutes & Lower Back. 

Some added in additional shoulder pressing however as it wasn’t a given necessity for comp many would do it in the off season unless they specifically responded very well to it on a personal level. 

Now after reading their loading parameters and seeing their overall strength levels the above didn’t seem too odd to me, yet reading some journal notes it seemed many trained this way from day dot, just because that’s what the ‘strong comrades’ did, and that is food for thought. 

Many got into the pattern/routine of people much stronger than they where, and while the frequency may go against current science for optimal, many stuck with it one the long haul and seems dot make great progress, yet these days many would argue they shouldn’t have, yet, they did. 

I can’t tell you why. 

Perhaps they were able to focus more on RFD in a session, of maximal contraction each rep, utilise heavier loads and push the envelope a tad more due to the extra rest. Hell they may have been on all the PED’s from the start (doubtful though), there are many potential extra factors, however one thing that seems clear is this; they did less better and made it work. 

There were also several notes regarding people who were tempted to do extra training (boxing, wrestling etc) and told not to as it owed effect their recovery, so it is worth remembering that the people chose to do only PL.

Limiting their other activities meant they worked when they had to, and at what we may predict was a high effort, whereas these days we add in a lot of extra training/stress, meaning that while we can keep it all up, the total accumulation of volume still takes a toll  because we can only adapt from what we can revere from and if there is more to recovery from then the adaptations il be minimal due to the massive amount of resources used by our body to return us to our baseline from all that training/stress. 

***Allostatic load! been trying to think of that term since posting this as it disappeared from my mind the second I went to write it down. It would have been in the above in this sort of form – ‘We have to be careful not to overshoot the hermetic effect and our total amount of necessary allostatic load.’ – Been bugging me all morning that has.

Certainly worth more digging into. 

How much training do you do, and when did you find that doing more started getting you less?



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Dial in, and die.

Or is it dice now?

Once upon a time die was considered the singular term and dice was plural, however I think now it might just be dice for both singular and plural.

Anyway, this nifty little tool can provide some great training sessions.

All you need to is have one (you can use two, or you just roll one multiple times like a logical person would).

^^ Personally I quite like having two though as there’s nothing better than rolling two of them and getting a double 6.

If you are a person who needs structure yet finds it hard to stick to said structure then this will be a great tool for you.

Simply follow the below:

Set up 6 sessions for each of numbers on the dice.

1 – Clean & Push Press > Pull Up: Super Set
2 – Sprints (any kit)
3 – Deadlift > Kettlebell Swing >Farmers Walk> Floor Press: Giant-set
4 – Slams (any kit – think ropes, med balls, sand bags, etc)
5 – Squats
6 – Front Squat > Squat > Lunge: Ti-set

Next for the sets and reps, as an example.

On the lifting rolls form the above:
First roll (one dice) = reps you will do (1-6)
Second roll (two dice) = sets you will do (2-12)

That’s it, you may get a very easy day, or a very hard one, these don’t include warm ups though.

On the CV option from above:
First roll (one dice) = seconds of work (10-60 seconds)
Second roll (one dice) = seconds of rest (10-60 seconds)
Third roll (two dice) = total amount of rounds (2-12)

Personally I’d only preform one of the example sessions, even if it ended up being something like this:

Squats – 2 sets of 1 rep.

See it as a gift for a low volume session, the temptation would be to avoid doing more because when I’ve prescribed this in the past people have thought they’ve known better and make what would have been a very easy session stupidly hard by doing extra because of ego, then when the dice cast gave them a hard session they couldn’t perform.

Poor performance apparently happens to 1 in 5 you know.

Don’t give in to your ego, train once per day, if you have an easy session today, then train again tomorrow, if that is again super easy, train the day after that as well and keep repeating this until you get a session that takes a lot of effort and then you HAVE to rest for one or two days.

It’s a nice was to have some structure and yet still a good amount of variety because you don’t know what you will roll (unless the dice are weighted), so you could end upsetting the same session a couple of times in a row, unlikely however it might happen.

As you can see the above is super easy to plan/program.

My main advice for you would be this though; have 4 numbers with things you don’t do often and really need to be doing more of, and two that you like doing, this sill help your overall progress because we get better by doing the things we need to do (or don’t do), not what we want to do.

So go grab a die, or dice and have some fun.


P.S – if you’re really sadistic you can use D&D dice.

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One move to almost rule them all

The clean & press (push press/jerk) is a great movement.

Whether you do it with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, odd objects or people, it yields some great results.

As far as looking for a movement that covers everything, this is pretty damn close to being perfect.

I say close to because you can’t get maximal speed/power like you could with a snatch, nor the raw pressing strength like that of a bench press, or even the leg strength from a squat, you get the idea.

That being said, it’s still epic.

If you have any of these in your list of goals:

– Strength
– Increase LBM
– Lose Fat
– Increase Athleticism
– Look Cool

Then this is a movement you should be doing in abundance.

These days we have a lot of choice when it comes to training, and while this is great it’s also a problem because the level of results based on the average gym goer have gone down over the years.

Having too many options is the devil.

Back in an almost forgotten time when I would teach classes (well, small groups), the training would be simple, so much so that some used to complain and not come back.

I didn’t miss them, they didn’t have faith int he process and just wanted to have their bis appealed to and their ego stroked.

One thing with training is often the most effective stuff (once you’re past the point of beginner gains) is often a little dull and very repetitive.

To add in all the fancy and flamboyant stuff requires skill.

Not skill in coaching, although that is a necessity in my eyes, it requires skill from the participants in said training because if they can’t keep up then they need to take a step back and start at a level appropriate for them, less the don’t progress.

Anyone who’s worked with large groups will be able to give you lists of what works well and what requires some extra time/attention.

Anywho, back to the C&P.

Here is how you might apply this glorious movement to a three day per week training protocol.

This would yield Fat Loss as the primary function, LBM would be secondary and Strength as a by product.

All C/P variations done with a bar.

Day 1 –
W/U – Kettlebell Swing x15min (5/15 interval)
A1 – Clean & P/P x5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3-2
B1 – Front Squat x10-8-6-8-10
C/D – Stretching

Day 2 –
W/U – Bear Complex 3-5reps x15min (vary load as needed)
A1 – Clean & Press x1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
A2 – Bent Over Row or Pull Up x6-8
C/D – Stretching

Day 3 –
W/U – Loaded Carry (hug & shoulder, alternate) 20m x15min
A1 – Clean & Jerk x3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1
B1 – Floor Press x4-6×4-6
C/D – Stretching

Rest periods can be kept int he 60-120second mark after each wave, rest only long enough to change the weights int he way or briefly if you are going to keep the load static in a wave.


– 5 > add load, 3 > add load, 2 > add load > rest 120sec
– 5 > 20sec, 3 > 20 sec, 2 > 20sec > add load and rest 90sec

You get the idea.

This is one example, there are many more.


P.S –

There are endless videos on how to do this, here is one decent one:


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Test Your Might

“If you’re not assessing you’re guessing.” – various strength coaches
You may have heard these words before, but now I’m going to show you what they really mean.
– Finding gaps/holes in people fitness
Beware though, this will leave a fair few in a potential state of dismay because they’ve over estimated their abilities and now feel stupid.
Well, men will feel stupid and then justify why and make up 1000 excuses.
Ladies on the other hand will hold themselves back, which makes them look equally as stupid as the gents who try to reenact feats from their teens.
The funny things with testing is that it’s not mean to upset.
It’s merely a set of objective test to help gain an understanding of a persons current level of fitness.
***Tests can vary based on the goal or discipline***
It’s also worth remembering that a test only gives a piece of the puzzle, this is where we have the need for ongoing assessment.
What tests/assessments you choose to do will vary base don the context in which they’re required for.
As such there are no ‘perfect’ tests.
Yet there are still some that yield some great insight in to what people might be lacking in a vernal strength/ability sense.
Here are three of my favourite ones that people can’t hide form.
1 – Pull Up 1/2/3/4
Grab a bar (any grip, however DOH is my preferred).
Hang for 30 seconds, do 1 pull up.
Hang for 30 seconds, do 2 pull ups.
Hang for 30 seconds, do 3 pull ups.
Hang for 30 seconds, do 4 pull ups.
Come down safely. The feeing in your hands will return shortly.
Completing all 10 reps means a person will have more than enough upper body strength to do pretty much everything, if they can’t hang for the first 30 seconds then the’ve got work to do.
*Advanced Variation – there isn’t one, this is tough enough 😂
2 – Deadlift Max
Perform single deadlifts (any variation with a straight bar is acceptable).
Increase weight until speed is lost, this is safer than going until form starts to lose its tightness.
Bw on the bar is okay.
1.5xBw is decent.
2xBw is more than enough for people to be awesome.
2.5xBw+ well, that’s just impressive.
*Advanced variation – how much can they pick up from the floor and put overhead in a strict press fashion.
**BW on the bar is where most men ideally want to be, ladies 3/4bw, if either exceeds this then applaud because it’s well deserved.
3 – Squat & Hold
Perform a full ROM squat (hip crease below knee line).
Sit here while maintaining good posture, this is a mobility test.
30seconds is minimum required for health.
60sec is decent.
2min is very impressive.
4min+ guess they’ve got no need for chairs any more.
*Advanced variation – Overhead Squat. Being able to perform this movement is a good standard for many people to aim for.
The tests above are nothing spectacular, they’re merely three tools I’ve used over the years that have always provided a good baseline understanding of a persons level.
If someone maxes out all of them their training will be most enjoyable to program.
When we see gaps in one or more of the above that means their training will be set up to address those first.
The above is also most optima for the AVERAGE PERSON.
Yep, an average Joe or Jane that can do well in all of these will often have solid posture/strength, good body composition and move well.
Several things many people desire.
If you are training an athlete or someone for a specific goal then you may have specific tests you need to utilise.
You should investigate this thoroughly.

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