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February 10, 2012

Article: Quit Trying to Reinvent the Wheel

Straight Bars and Straight Weight, keeping Russia awesome 

           Strength Training is just like anything else out there.  There are infinite different combinations of things you can do to get where you are going.  This can lead to some confusing thoughts for beginning athletes.  Where do you get your information from?  Do you follow the newest fad?  Do you train like guys who are strong?  Well there is no simple answer to this.  Chances are the people that you are aspiring to be like all train differently.  However all successful strength athletes have a couple basic things in common.  If you want to get stronger the best way to get there is big multi joint lifts.  This is nothing new and everyone doing it right knows this and already does it. 

·         SQUAT
·         BENCH
·         DEADLIFT
·         CLEAN
·         SNATCH

That is it.  If you want to get stronger and perform better at sports do these.  Now that we have the 6 basic lifts that are guaranteed when coupled with any program worth a damn will make you stronger.  Your job is not to fuck this up.  Think about it like cooking.  You don’t buy a good steak and cover it in 5 types of sauce then other ingredients.   You add simple guaranteed good things like salt and pepper, cook it rare, and eat it.  This is no different than people who take great exercises and apply shit to them they don’t need.  These things should be your focus.  I have said it before and it still stands true.  No one cares how much you can good morning or curl.  Like ordering potatoes with a side of steak, it’s just dumb

Sticking to a plan that has you hitting each of these lifts consistently and working hard is all you really need.  Figure out how much time you have and what are the other goals that your program needs to address.  This will give you the information needed to decide on sets, reps, and percentages.  If you are trying to be a world class sprinter you don’t need to spend a lot of weeks with max weights on your back moving slowly.  On the other end of the spectrum if you are Powerlifting or weightlifting no amount of reps with 50% is going to get you ready to handle max loads.  Base your training on your sport.  If you are throwing, why would you try and train like fat guys in layers of gear who can’t move quickly? 

In short there are a ton of options out there when it comes to bars and accessories.  I have all of them and have used them all at one point or another.  After long discussions with other respected strength athletes they all come to the same conclusion.  Everyone serious about lifting goes though the same phases.  You start out new and focus on the basics.  This continues to get filtered with new thoughts, ideas, and accessories till it is unrecognizable.  Then mature lifters return to the basics again because they always work.  The basics work, just don’t try and fix what is not broken.  You are not unique and don’t have special needs.  Hard work and time applied to simple ideas make the steadiest gains. 

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