The 10 Undeniable Laws To Get Strong, Part 2
Beau Bradbury CSCS, CPT, CF-L2
You can see Part 1 here scroll down a little.
LAW #6) Become A Master Of The Fives
Five reps have been the method of choice for many very wise strength coaches to pack on lots of strength for their athletes for decades. Think Bill Starr, Rippetoe and countless others. Do not recreate the wheel. Fives have worked for me and they will work for you. Add a small progression of 2-5 pounds each workout to the Bench, Press and Power Clean. Likewise, add 5-10 pounds to your squat and deadlift each workout. Simple works please don’t try to make this complicated. Last note on this, don’t be in a hurry to find your plateau. Which you will eventually have to work through. If you have the choice between a 5 or 10 pound jump take the 5 pound jump every time.
LAW #7) Start Right By Training Full Body Every Workout
Three days per week train your whole body on heavy compound lifts. This is a simple approach and it flat out works. The body seems to adapt and respond better to a larger stimulus, especially for beginners. Begin workouts with squats, then a pressing movement, and finish with a pull. Again, please don’t make it complicated by adding lots of silly movements. Stick to the basics. Get in the gym, force an adaptation, and get out. If you must add stuff add pull-ups or chin-ups. Be sure to rest plenty between work sets and try to keep workouts under 1 hour.
LAW #8) Eat Right For Your Goal
If you are reading this most likely you are an undersized male who recently got embarrassed trying to move a couch for your grandma. Or perhaps you are an athlete who realizes that the difference between the bench and PT is closely related to your ability to display strength and power combined with sport skills against your opponent. Just maybe you are a guy or gal who is wanting to better your future in numerous ways by getting really strong. Bottom line: If you are fat and need to lose weight your food intake will differ than a 18 year old who is skinny and wimpy. Below is an attempt at exceptionally clear eating guidelines for both.
- If you are fat - “Clean” up your diet by reducing processed foods and sugar intake. Meanwhile, add in a quality strength training program. Evaluate every couple of weeks. You will add muscle so watch inches and not the scale. If inches change in the right direction a little every two weeks, you’re on track! If the inches don’t move, drop a few more calories per day. WARNING: There are many myths and foolish people who think that weight training makes you gain fat. This is utterly false, excess food makes you gain fat. If you lift weights as a result you will build muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires calories to maintain their size and function. Thus, the more muscles you acquire the easier it is for your body to rid itself of ugly fat and show off your newly installed muscles.
- If you are skinny and wimpy - Consume lots and lots of calories! Don’t worry about gaining a little fat during the process, keep eating. You are trying to build as much muscle and raw strength as possible. Try to stick to mostly whole foods and whole milk. After your period of growth, if you decide it’s time to shed off some fat this is relatively easy to do. Easy rule, don’t let yourself go over 20% body fat. Right now, you are skinny and wimpy and your sole focus needs to be on gaining weight! Do yourself a favor and don’t stay wimpy by eating side salads and kale chips.
LAW #9) Get The Most Bang For Your Buck, Always (Supplements)
We’ve all been there, you are a newbie and you are desperate to freak people out by lifting your uncle’s station wagon with your 22” biceps. You know who else knows this? The supplement industry. Am I anti-supplement? Absolutely not. I use supplements everyday. I am anti-empty promises from deceptive marketing attempts and have learned from experience when I was a newbie. Start off by sticking to the basics with supplements. Do your research. There are a few great supplement companies out there. I can tell you if your supplement bill is higher than your grocery bill, you are way off track. If the label is super shiny and makes outlandish promises WATCH OUT! A solid supplement plan for a brand new beginner should be easily under $100 per month. Okay now that I’ve saved you thousands of dollars per year let’s proceed to the final and most important law. You can thank me later.
LAW #10) Practice Patience & Persistence
Yoda says, “PATIENCE YOU MUST HAVE my young padawan.” Yoda is smart. Be like Yoda. Your single ability to stick and stay is the key ingredient in this quest. Even a bad exercise program with enough persistence will yield some kind of improvement. However, imagine that same persistence applied to a proven system of training. Outlined above is the basic building blocks of just that, an effective strength training protocol. We can give you the best program in the world, the best gym in the world and even the best coaching in the world, but you know what, it won’t make a damn if you get impatient and quit. All of this given to another guy or gal who does possess this uncanny ability to stay the course it’s almost like magic what will happen. If you take anything from this article this is it: whatever you do hang around long enough to see the end result.
I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this article. It is my mission to help you leave no stone unturned and find clarity in training. This process should not clouded with doubt and uncertainty. I want to put you newbies on the fast track to success so that the iron bug will keep you coming back for decades to come.