Is your back/front squat stuck at a certain weight? But your shoulder press and bench press are still climbing or vice versa, the squats are up but the upper body is stagnant. The answer is simple. Your not training your body parts equally making you stronger in certain lifts/exercises.
The old saying goes your only as strong as your weakest link. Well, if we use the posterior chain (hamstring, glute, Erector) as an example; if even one of these is weak it will affect the overall result since they all work together. Most of what we do in a day involves the posterior chain so it is important to give it the proper attention. At the gym you will use it to squat, deadlift, swing a kettle bell and run to name a few. Day-to-day you will use it to get out of bed, sit on the toilet (and get off), walk, run, jog, climb/go down stairs.
My back squat was stuck at 365lbs for what seems like forever. Recently at Caveman Strong we started doing more targeted leg work to isolate those muscles as a chain and individually to make them stronger. We were doing things like split squats, front and side step ups, glute/ham raises, good mornings, reverse hypers and Romanian deadlifts. Alone these exercises are boring and tedious but once you go back to squatting and jumping you see a huge difference.
With the addition of the prowler and soon sled drags to the mix that chain will get some awesome work and strength.
My back squat PR jumped from 365 to 405 after 4 weeks of chain targeting. Just last week I hit another back squat PR of 410lbs. Taking that focus to the upper body can produce the same results in pressing for sure.
The moral here that some days the movements are slow-paced, tedious and boring but they target specific areas to make muscles or muscle groups stronger. Nothing feels better than hitting a PR but to achieve them requires some good work and committment. So next time you see the workout of the day calls for boring stuff or something you’re not good at…those are the days you should NOT skip. Go make yourself stronger and refine your technique.
Creating balance between muscle developement, technique and diet will produce results even you may not have thought possible.
Is this easy, hell no, but do your best to enjoy the journey and celebrate the small victories along with the PRs. Rome was not built in a day and you won’t be either.
You ready to hit the gym?
It has come up more than a few times over the past number of weeks from both men and women (more from women) who fear coming to Caveman Strong (Cornwall CF) will cause them to “bulk” up. Let me be blunt, unless you are taking “the juice” or coming to the gym 3 times a day and doing bodybuilding exercises and eating a special diet it is NOT going to happen. Don’t flatter yourself He-man!
I hear this all the time ” I just wanna tone up”. News flash folks, to “tone up” you must not just lose fat but build those muscles up underneath the skin so they are visible thus creating “tone”. Straight up 60 minute cardio marathons will not produce a “toned” person, just a skinny weak one.
I posted a Shake Weight video today on my fb page to poke fun at it but since it is the worst gimmick out there today but there are dozens of television offers that promise you abs, or nice glutes (butt for the slower folks) for just $19.99. What they forget to include is you also have to give up part of your dignity if you fall for it. Might as well just buy the Body Toner from the Têtes à Claques folks http://www.tetesaclaques.tv/le_body_toner_vid111 .
Truth is you cannot tone just one isolated area of your body, you must lose overall body fat in order to achieve results in a desired area. The science is out there folks.
To say that women at Caveman Strong who have been there over a year are bulky is just plain bullsh*t! The are lean, confident and strong women who train hard to look after themselves. None of them look like bodybuilders, give me a break! They are focusing on improving their overall strength and when you build muscle you burn fat, it’s a fact. When you do that with a solid diet the results are amazing.
To me bulky means fat so can we please stop the nonsense about “bulking” up. Ladies embrace your strength and build muscle to get that toned body you want. Women cannot build muscles like men do…their testosterone levels are way too low. That’s why men get bigger, have more hair and deeper voices to name a few. So, relax ladies you will not bulk up. A good strength training routine coupled with a solid diet will get you the body you want. Don’t waste your time just doing crunches or situps for that flat belly it doesn’t work that way.
So please stop using society’s misguided use of the word bulky to define a woman’s body shape.
Strength training is where it can all come together, so when you’re ready, come see us at Caveman Strong (www.cavemanstrong.com)
A quick request from Rob Orlando. He is on a crusade to get 100,000 people to fill out a survey that would help Muscle and Fitness magazine pay more attention to the Crossfit world. Rob has been a great ambassador for us and deserves the help.
I went down to Hybrid Athletics in Connecticut last month and trained under him for a Crossfit: Strongman seminar. He is a great coach, good dude and a true beast!
Here is the link, have at it!