Strength is all about force production. The stronger you are; the more force you can produce. It’s how we interact with the world around us; pushing, pulling, jumping, carrying, walking, running, standing up & sitting down. The stronger you are, the easier it is to do these things.
Training for strength will increase neuromuscular efficiency, develop power, increase muscle size, improve balance and mobility and enhance muscular endurance; it underpins our everyday activities and athletic prowess. Side-note; if you believe that strength training doesn’t involve ‘cardio’, I invite you to try a set of 5 heavy squats because I imagine that you’ve never experienced it for yourself. Remember ‘Cardio-vascular’ activity doesn’t just mean ‘aerobic’.
How strong are you right now? Be honest with yourself; if you’re not genetically gifted or actively training for strength, you could be a LOT stronger.
Most of us are really busy these days, and we need to make the most of our available training time. Kettlebells, dumbbells, suspension training are all fun, look fantastic and have their benefits for sure but they also have their limitations for strength training. The most effective tool for the job is the barbell. They can be progressively, incrementally loaded over time and you’ll never exhaust their potential load. They’ll allow you to lift the heaviest weights possible, over a broad range of motion using normal human movement like squats, deadlifts and presses whilst training the most muscle mass; all the essential ingredients for strength development.
Why have a coach?
For the naturally gifted athlete, working out and getting results isn’t generally a problem. But for the vast majority of us, we need someone to teach us how to execute the lifts safely for their effective use and guide us with efficient training, saving time, energy and money.
Your coach will teach you how to move safely; you’ll learn how to squat, bench press, deadlift and press. As you get comfortable with the lifts, your coach will programme your training whilst adapting it to your experience and current capability, keeping it as simple and effective as possible, developing a solid foundation to build on.
As you progress and get stronger, your coach will make sure that your programming keeps pace in order to keep up with you and you’ll learn additional movements and lift weights that you never thought would be possible before.
When an inevitable setback occurs, like an unforeseen illness or the routine of the school holidays interrupts training, many people just don’t know what to do to return to training. Your coach will be able to judge how best to get you back into the swing of things.
If you’re already an experienced lifter, there’s a good chance that you’re stuck and don’t know how to progress; are you hopping from one different programme template to another? A good coach can assess your current form and technique for any problems that need to be addressed, analyse your training history and figure out how to start making progress again. Programming for you will be a more complex affair than someone who is just starting out; this is where a coach will be invaluable and hold you accountable.