Saturday, December 30, 2017

Unilateral Training & How To Set Your Strength Goals

For this week's Kettlebell classes I'm putting heavy emphasis on unilateral work, which is one of the best ways to strengthen your upper and lower slings (core) without the need to increase the weight.

One of my best friends, who's a competitive powerlifter and my strength coach, once told me the fastest way to get stronger is by using the barbell. I'm paraphrasing but his comment about barbell training was;

"Baseball players have been hitting home runs with wood and aluminum bats since the 1800's and to this day. Imagine trying to hit a baseball with a PVC pipe?"
He's right. If you're looking to increase the weight you can lift, then using the barbell is the fastest route. 

Barbell Is King
Don't believe me? Try it out for yourself. Max out on the bench press (BP). Let's say your barbell BP single rep max is 300 lbs. Now try to BP with a pair of 150 lbs dumbells. Most likely it isn't going to happen because your stability gets questioned when both arms have to work separately. Where with the barbell, your stronger arm can pick up some of the slack. Barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, and even the shake weight are just tools. Though the weights won't be the same, with proper programming, they can all make you stronger.

What Are Your Strength Goals?
Why do you need to get strong? Programming your strength training is going to heavily depend on why and what you need to get strong for; are you training for a sporting event, longevity, to look and feel good, or all the above?

For me, as a martial artist, I aim to get enough strength so that I have a slight advantage if my striking and clinching techniques are on par with my opponent. So my strength training isn't going to be that of a bodybuilding program or the local high school football team.

I'd also want to be strong enough so that if my car stalls out I can push it out of traffic and for when I'm a senior citizen I can raise my hand with a tight fist and yell at whippersnappers, "get off my lawn." 

Closing Thoughts
A barbell is a great tool that'll help you lift some serious weights while working towards your strength goals, but depending on your goals, it shouldn't be only one in your toolbox. Think of it as a screwdriver; the screwdriver you use to change the battery of your car isn't the same screwdriver you use to change the battery on your watch.

This week's kettlebell workout & class schedule. 
Try it at home or schedule your trial session and join us in class.
Set Your Strength Goals
  • Figure out why you want to get strong. Longevity, Competitive Sport, Impress your IG followers, etc...
  • Find a professional and trustworthy Strength & Conditioning coach. Private training, programming, technique tips, or group classes.
  • Focus on leverage rather than the weight. Proper lifting form & mechanics.
  • Other ways to increase your strength besides adding more weight. Fast or slow reps, tempo, increase your reps, less rest between sets, substitute with kettlebell or dumbbell.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...