Strength is the foundation on which all athletic skills are built – from power to speed. And it makes everything else in your life a little easier, whether that’s a Sunday morning kick-around with the boys, a DIY project in the garden or just lifting the kids on and off of the climbing frame ad infinitum.
When we look at our training through the lens of ‘strength first’, we can improve other qualities in the gym, such as becoming less prone to injuries when running and shifting more weight on the bench press. And we benefit from a hormonal balance that keeps us as healthy on the inside as we look on the outside. Oh, and you’ll fill a T-shirt better, too.
So, if you’re looking for a training style that doesn’t just come with surprise benefits to life outside the gym, but one that is tailored to ensure daily obstacles never slow you down, then ‘modified strongman’ is your prescription.
MH Elite coach Tom Kemp is no stranger to the strongman scene and has the silverware to prove it. Here, he offers up a four-week blueprint for some real-world strength. Hit each session hard, leave a day of rest between each workout, then repeat with added gusto. Before too long, many more plates will be on the bar.
Workout #01: Pull The Pin
Nothing screams ‘strong’ quite like a back the size of a barn door. Rest for 3 mins between sets for your first move, 2 mins on your second and just a minute between your carries. Rest as much as you feel you need to ensure maximum-quality reps, not ‘reps by any means’. And be mindful of your form on your final deadlifts, too. If you’re injured, you won’t be training for a while, after all.
Workout #02: The Big Push
This is your push day, which means we’re going to be hammering your shoulders, chest and triceps. Work through each movement, lowering your rest throughout the session. As before, you’ll rest for 3 mins between sets for your first move, then for 2 mins on your second and just a single minute between your carries. Make sure you rest as needed to give the best possible output on your final effort.
Workout #03: Tree-Trunk Legs
If a strong upper body is the house, your legs are very much the foundations. Carb up before this session – it’s a big one, so do it justice. And you know the drill when it comes to rest now – follow the same protocol as sessions one and two, lowering your rest time as needed throughout the workout, below, to ensure that you give your final move the maximum effort that it deserves.
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