Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You already know how to get strong

I believe that you already know how to get stronger. It's dead simple, really.

Lift heavy things. Do this regularly, but not so often you're running yourself into the dirt. Work hard, but not so hard you can't function the next day. Rest up, but not for so long you get weak again. Then you lift slightly heavier things, and slightly heavier still. Repeat repeatedly.

Justin Harris just wrote an article on this very subject. I've posted Jim Wendler's take as well. It's not rocket science. It's really basic stuff.

Everyone really knows this, deep down. They just get caught up in the latest program, latest exercise, the "grass is greener" feeling when someone at the gym does something different. Sure, the devil is in the details. How heavy? How often? What way should I lift it?

But this simple core - lift heavy, rest, do it again heavier - is the basis for all of the programs out there. Starting Strength. Westside for Skinny Bastards. 5-3-1. Even the much-maligned-by-me ACSM standards are pretty much "lift heavy, then do it again a little heavier."

Use this simple maxim as the test of a program, a new exercise, a progression, a plan in the gym. Does it involve lifting heavy stuff? Do you get enough rest? Do you lift a little bit more later? If it involves lifting light stuff with no progression and lots and way too much rest, it's probably not going to get you stronger. If it involves lifting very heavy stuff with huge jumps in weight and no rest, you're probably going to get hurt before you get strong.

It's just a simple common sense, in my opinion. Next time you see something, be it an exercise or a program or a supplement claim, evaluate it with your common sense. Does this fit that simple core of gaining strength? If so, it just might work. Get digging into the details. If not, just move on.


  1. Thanks Jason. I can't help but think people have this common sense but let it get overwhelmed.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...