Sunday, May 31, 2009

15 Things You Can Do This Week To Get Stronger!




In no particular order, here are some useful tips you can start implementing THIS WEEK to get stronger, put on muscle, and increase your conditioning.

1. Train your posterior chain. Squat variations, deadlift variations, heavy goodmornings, romanian deadlifts, glute ham raises, 45 degree hyperextensions, pull throughs, high rep band goodmornings, dumbbell swings, kettlebell swings, etc. Work your posterior chain HARD 1-3 times per week.

2. Master the pull up. Learn as many variations as you can and get really, really good at them. Do them weighted, do them unweighted, do high reps, do low reps. Just do them...and OFTEN!

3. Quit doing crunches and other boring ab work in favor of stuff like tire chops, sledgehammer swinging, single arm overhead work, barbell rollouts, band woodchoppers, and medicine ball throws.

4. Warm up! Before diving into your first exercise of the day, be sure to get in a good general warm up using calisthenics, band work, light barbell complexes, kettlebells, movement prep drills, and the like. Not only will you be better preparing yourself for the workout ahead, but you'll also increase work capacity and gpp.

5. Think outside the box. Throw in some "strongman" training in the way of sandbags, kegs, and various other odd objects for some sick strength and conditioning workouts. Mixed in with heavy barbell work and bodyweight calisthenics, you will have one kick ass training program.

6. Buy a pair of rings or get some tow straps. And use them for a variety of upperbody movements. Push ups, dips, recline rows, face pulls, and scarecrows should be a part of everyone's program and will help pack on some serious upperbody size.

7. Buy or make a sled and start dragging! For lower and upperbody gpp work, and even strength work, the sled is awesome tool. The lack of eccentric will negate any soreness (well, for the most part), allowing you to get in a ton of volume without loading your spine.

8. Train outdoors. At least once in awhile. Its good to break away from the "routine" and just focus on working hard while getting some fresh air. Take a dumbbell or sandbag outside or go to a playground and just kill it for 30-45 minutes.

9. Do Push ups. I know, too easy, right? Well first, do them CORRECTLY. Second, throw them in warm ups or do them with extra resistence via bands and chains (or a weighted vest). Third, there are a zillion variations - try em all! For upperbody and core strength, the push up reigns supreme!

10. Train your grip. I prefer doing this with stuff like towel chins, thick bar work, or sandbag training. This is a no brainer for combat athletes, but everyone should want a strong grip so that they can handle more weight in their pulling movements such as deadlifts and rows.

11. Keep your workouts under 45 minutes, sometimes much less. If you're TRULY working hard, I find it very difficult to believe that anyone needs to spend more than that (an hour TOPS depending on the type of training session) in the gym.

12. Read all of Louie Simmon's old articles. This stuff is a goldmine and everyone who has an interest in strength and conditioning should look at his work like its the bible.

13. Finish Strong. Add some sort of finisher to your workout. Whether it be a timed set of kettlebell snatches, sandbag loading for reps, or sled dragging for max distance in a set time, finishers are great tests of conditioning and mental toughness. I know, so not cool to talk about things like mental toughness (the nerds hate that), but it matters and it needs to trained!

14. Do some active restoration work. Play a game of basketball, hit up some gpp minute drills, do some light calisthenics...whatever you do, pick something to aid in recovery and conditioning. Throw in some foam rolling, activation work, and some stretching and you're golden.

15. Keep checking out my blog! Haha, ok, I know this is lame, but look forward to some of my workouts i'll be posting that you can use for yourself. Not to mention guest articles and blog posts. Thanks to everyone who checks this thing out everyday and the people who show their support in Twitter!

7 comments:

StrangePeeps said...

Hi Dustin, Oh I misread your #3 on this post here, I thought you were saying Quit doing single hand overhead work. Ok I misread, you state here quit doing crunches in favor of these other exercises, I Agree. Thanks.

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