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    The 3 big lifts for strength

    There’s no secrets for anyone looking to gain strength. Pick up heavy stuff, push it, pull it. You have to be prepared to strain, to sweat and to get really uncomfortable because there’s no other way. The process is not forever but you need to do it fairly regularly to begin with.

    I can advise you with a large degree of certainty that the pec-dec, leg extension and bicep curl machines are not that desirable when it comes to strength gains. Also using equipment like the Smith machine or even leg press create foundational issues in your program.

    The first 3 machines isolate muscles and why a lot of amateur bodybuilders look way out of proportion. The pec-dec also is extremely bad for the shoulders especially the anterior deltoid. Ditto that for the Smith machine that forces the user to move through the pattern it dictates. This is not a very smart thing to be doing. The leg press can be used from time to time but again this is not functional piece of equipment and shouldn’t be used too frequently.

    What we should be doing is movement training under load – also known as “lifting”.

    I know there’s some readers of my blog that understand how to lift properly. This is very important in that whatever lifts you do, they need to be executed with precision and a level of confidence that is only achieved with practice.

    So it’s imperative you don’t go chasing heavy lifts too quickly because you do need to progress steadily.

    The single best lift for allround gains and the biggest impact on our hormonal profile is the deadlift. This is because we can lift the heaviest weight with the deadlift. The second lift is the squat and the third lift is the bench/chest press.

    These 3 lifts are gold for our training. Why? They build strength in not only multiple muscle groups but also multiple joints. As we age, joint health becomes imperative and loading these joints helps keep blood moving to them, blood bringing with it much needed nutrients. Bones also benefit greatly from these 3 lifts with a positive impact on the density of the bone.

    I always advise people to use these 3 lifts as the cornerstone of their work. You can build everything else around these. Initially you go for 3-6 reps at least for the first month to 6 weeks and then do a week or 2 at a higher rep range before going back to the low reps but by then you should be stronger and lifting heavier.

    To understand your development here’s a great resource to help you know what weights you should be aiming for. The standards are heavy for sure and most of us will be at Beginner or Novice level but what you’re looking for is consistent numbers across the 3 lifts.

    The older we get the more we bring accessory work into the program. I’m keen to get my clients doing Poloquin step ups on the slant board to build stability and strength, weighted piriformis drops and QL weighted side rotations. I’m also a big fan of Nordic drops and for a while now have also been incorporating hip thrusters.

    Remember, have a plan, this brings purpose. Sketch out the weeks session and execute!

    darren@3TRUTHSFitness.com
    www.3TRUTHSFitness.com

    #Building Better Humans

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      The 3 big lifts for strength

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