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Getting Stronger Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
Getting stronger doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes all the information available to us makes finding the best information impossible. It’s less about the program you do as the will you put into it. I’ve written about strength before with my Barbaric Strength routine you can get on Gumroad, but let me break it down even further.
At the end of the day, strength comes from lifting heavier weights, doing one more set, or one more rep. Hell, it can even come from doing your work sets faster. Anything more specific past that should be tailored toward something you want to work on.
Don’t waste your time looking for the perfect program. You’re not going to find it.
Don’t chase too many goals at once. Be laser focused. You aren’t going to lose fat, gain muscle, and get stronger all at once for any extended period of time.
You must reign in your horses and chase one or two goals at a time, preferably just one.
When it comes to strength, it’s hard to get stronger on a caloric deficit. The best you can hope to do is hold onto as much strength and muscle as you can while you lose weight. Strength training while cutting is a smart way to signal to your body to hold onto muscle.
You don’t always need volume to get stronger. Volume is good when you’re young and dumb, it gets you the reps required to hammer down your technique and get your body used to lifting heavy.
Much of getting stronger is learning to lift the weight against gravity. The bench is the easiest way to demonstrate this. Does gravity lower the bar to your chest or is it your muscles guiding the weight down against gravity.
Strength requires Devotion.
Your strength doesn’t grow on your schedule. You won’t always get stronger from workout to workout. There will be bad days. You must be devoted to strength to reach your goals. You may string together many days of good workouts and progress, but always remember: the wall is coming.
When you hit the wall, we find out how strong is your devotion really is. It’s important to follow a system. As I said above, you won’t always be able to progress by putting more weight on the bar. Sometimes you will have to add reps, sets, decrease weight, or even back off to grow.
The goal is always to master the weight you’re on and then put more weight on the bar. The longer you’re at it, the more it becomes a grind where the only way you win is by showing your Devotion to strength.
Simple Strength Program
About a month and a half ago, I sprained my back. Worst back pain I’ve ever had. Part of my rehab was — as soon as I was able — to get back into squatting and deadlifting. I decided to train for strength as I had weakness there.
What does training for strength mean in practice? It means I’m not focused on hypotrophy. My only goal is to get stronger on the Back Squat and the Deadift. The program I chose is low volume. Your strength is best trained in the 3-5 rep range.
Some of you may have heard of Reverse Pyramid Training. This is the program I chose, not just for those exercises but for the Bench, Shoulder Press, and even Pull Ups.
The doctrine of Reverse Pyramid Training(RPT) is easy to understand. It’s simple. But it’s practice requires force of will. You warm up to a top set of 3-5 reps. If you hit the 5 reps, you add weight next on the next workout. If not, do the same weight next time with the goal of doing more reps. The goal of this program is to do your heaviest set first, when you’re freshest.
After that first set, you have two back off sets. The second set you drop the weight by 10% and do more re than your first set. The third set you drop another 10% and do one more rep than your second set. That’s it.
I typically pick one exercise as the main(RPT) lift for the day and do some hypertrophy exercises afterwards. This has worked wonders to solving my low back pain which as of today is damn near non-existent. RPT also works well for the Shoulder Press which is an exercise that doesn’t work well on volume-oriented strength programs.
I don’t care how many times a week you workout. I’d recommend keeping workouts around an hour in length. If I prefer a bodybuilder style set up.
My schedule is as follows:
I take a rest day as needed, but I don’t schedule rest days. Training is my Devotion and I’ll do it every day if my body lets me. You don’t have to follow this split, it’s any example of what you could do.
I like to put in 3-4 accessory exercises after the RPT lift that are sometimes related to the main lift, but not always.
Remember, getting stronger isn’t about the program. It doesn’t have to be complicated. What matters is the shear force of will you put into getting stronger. It’s getting incrementally stronger from workout to workout whether that’s adding weight, reps, or sets. It’s eating for strength and giving your muscles time to grow from workout to workout.