1. Lift Heavy Weights! 80-90% of 1RM loads should be used. It is obvious but it needs to be number one priority.
2. Focus on technique whenever you lift. Concentrate on creating as much tension as possible and make your warm up sets feel like work sets.
3. Focus your sessions on 3-4 big exercises. Anymore and you loose focus and cant maintain intensity.
4. Don’t train for longer than 45-60mins, this will help keep your hormones in check and keep you focused.
5. Following training Whey protein is the best to consume as it is the quickest to be digested.
6. Rest as needed. If you are lifting super heavy have long rests so you can perform the work, 3-5mins in some cases. If you’re performing hypertrophy work you can get away with 1-2mins.
7. Stick to big compound exercises. They allow greater loading and you can constantly progress with them.
8. Odd object lifting makes a fun change of pace and challenges you in ways barbells can’t. Atlas stones, Kegs and Sandbags are best.
9. Don’t test your 1RM’s too often. 1-2 a year is enough. The rest of the time 3-5RM’s will do and then use a calculation to work out your 1RM.
10. Strive to progress at every session either by increasing load, sets, reps or density or by decreasing rest.
11. Listen to awesome music! Seriously, research shows that it helps you make gains!
12. Jumps and Bounds can help you get strong if you’re joints are up to it. Start easy and build up.
13. Try the Double Method to bring up a lagging lift. Basically split you work into two and perform at the start and the end of your session. For instance if you’re doing 4×5 squats, do 2×5 first then do your other exercises then go back and perform 2×5 squat again.
14. Focus 80% of your training on the Core lifts and 20% on assistance and isolation exercises.
15. If you hit a plateau on a lift try daily practice of it at 75-85% for a total of ten reps, never to failure and focus on your assistance work. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can improve.
16. Keep a record of all training sessions. This way you can see what has worked and what your records are to be beaten.
17. Drink Water! It should be common sense but it bears repeating, hydration is hugely important to making progress. Try to drink at least 3-4 litres of water per day.
18. For mobility concentrate on the ankles, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders.
19. Shoulder health is vital for consistent training, use band pull aparts, shoulder dislocates, klokov presses and scapular wall slides to keep them functioning and mobile.
20 Use explosive lifting to help you get strong. 8×3 with 1min rest @60% 1RM is a good start.
21. Isometric training can help eliminate sticking points and be a new challenge. Try a 3 second pause at your sticking point for bench press and just below the knees for Olympic lifts for example.
22. Alternate between Accumulation and Intensification periods. Accumulation is where you accumulate volume and intensification is where you build up the intensity. 4-6 weeks of each is standard.
23. Begin a program with weights lighter than you think, that way its easier to progress each week over time.
24. Try and get 8+ hours of sleep per night. Sleep is the number 1 priority for recovery and any less than that and you are at a higher risk of injury also.
25. Caffeine before a workout can help keep you focused and increases your pain tolerance. Don’t abuse it though, save it for particularly tough sessions.
26. If you struggle to squat you better make sure to be deadlifting heavy. Supplement that with single leg work and goblet squats.
27. Squeeze your glutes, brace your abs and grip the bar as hard as possible on every rep to create tension and get stronger.
28. Barbell and kettlebell complexes are a fun way to get some extra conditioning and they really challenge your grip and forearms. Pick 4-6 exercises that flow easily into another and o for it!
29. Warming up is important but don’t waste too much time on it. Set a timer for 5-10mins and stick to it. Foam roller, dynamic stretch and a few light sets should do.
30. Rope Pulling is great for the grip forearms, arms and back. Load up a prowler or sled and tie a rope to it and pull for reps, time or speed.
31. Be Consistent. Don’t change programs and exercises too often or you won’t give yourself time to adapt.
32. Use Workout Finishers 1-2 times per week to stimulate fat loss and keep your fitness up.
33. Make sure you use some unilateral exercises to complement squats and deadlifts. Reverse lunges, split squats, step-ups and pistols are great options.
34. Try density training for a change of pace. Pick two exercises and try and perform as many reps as possible in a set period of time. For strength do 85% for 5 mins and for hypertrophy do 75% for 10-20mins.
35. Train to failure only occasionally, the majority of the time you should leave 1-2 reps in the tank.
36. The posterior chain (lower back, glutes hamstrings and claves) are the powerhouse of your body. Train it with hip thrusts, glute bridges, glute ham raises, rdls and calf raises.
37. Aim to eat 2g of protein per kilo of bodyweight per day to support your training. Lean meat, fish, eggs and whey protein are the way to go.
38. To help improve you’re Olympic lifts try doing different variations like pulls, hang clean/snatch, block clean/snatch, split clean/snatch.
39. Use exercises that you enjoy. That way you will continue to work hard at them.
40. BCAA’s are an ideal during workout drink as they can be used for energy, stop you from becoming catabolic and are high in Leucine the amino acid most responsible for protein synthesis.
41. If you want to get bigger but are strapped for time just add one ‘burnout” set after your heavy work sets. Drop the weight down and shoot for 12 reps. If you get 12 put the weight up slightly at the next session.
42. Core training can help you get stronger, best exercises: Rollouts, L-Sits, Hanging Leg Raises & Plank variations.
43. Medball throws and slams are another good way to add explosive work to your upper body training. I like to pair slams with pulling exercises and throws with pressing.
44. Overhead squats are a great exercise that builds strength and challenges the mobility of most joints in the body. It’s great for warm ups but is worth training heavy for 6 weeks or so. Try it and see how you feel.
45. Use sufficient volume. 10-25 reps works best. Good examples: 5/3/2, 3×5, 4×4, 5×5, 3×8, 8×3, 5/4/3/2/1 etc.
46. Conclude your warm up with an explosive exercise to fire up the nervous system. Box jumps and medball throws or slams work well.
47. Kettlebells are a great addition to your program if you want to get strong. Presses, goblet squats and swings are recommended.
48. Biltong is an ideal snack for the strength athlete because it is a good source of protein.
49. Try using complex training. Pair a strength exercise with a power exercise and watch yourself get stronger and more powerful.
50. If you want a bigger bench don’t neglect overhead work. Hell even turkish get ups if performed heavy will help increase your bench press.
51. A general rule is to do 1 rep of pulls for every rep of pressing but it may be even better for shoulder health to do 2 reps of pulling for every rep of pressing.
52. Perform static and dynamic mobility daily to keep pain and injury free and to allow you to train consistently.
53. Hill sprints are an excellent form of conditioning for the strength athlete. They are brilliant for developing the explosive ability of the lower body and are surprisingly difficult to pick up injuries on. Find a hill and sprint up it 10 times with walk back recovery.
54. Don’t neglect injury prevention. If you remain injury free you have a greater potential to achieve your goals.
55. If you’ve had any shoulder or pec injuries and struggle at the bottom of the bench press, try reverse band benching where the band makes it easier at the bottom and harder at the top.
56. All the best lifters have strong glutes, grip and lower back: use the ketllebell swing for all of these.
57. To warm up for squats try wall-facing squats. They force you to sit back and use your hamstrings and glutes as well as open up the hips 1 set of 5 reps will do.
58. Occasionally use challenge workouts to keep you engaged and to challenge yourself mentally and physically.
59. Don’t let anything get in the way of your training. Pack your gym bag the night before and make time to train however busy you are. Make it a priority.
60. Use higher reps for assistance exercises to prevent muscle imbalances and to build muscle mass.
61. Skipping is a good warm up exercise and conditioning tool. It teaches ankle stiffness and is great for injury prevention.
62. Heavy Holds are a good way to prepare you for heavier lifting. Try unracking 110-120% 1RM and holding for 5-10s with bench and squats before your work sets. You’ll feel stronger!
63. Goals keep you motivated and focused, write yours down and put them somewhere you will see them regularly. The fridge is a common one.
64. Kettlebell Snatches are great for conditioning try 15sec with your right arm 15 secs rest then the same on your right. Repeat for 10 sets on each arm. Collapse in pool of sweat!
65. Attack your weaknesses. Pick an exercise you suck at and practice it everyday for a month. You’ll be surprised the improvement you can make.
66. You can’t go wrong with the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Olympic Lifts.
67. Pause Squats are an awesome way to develop mobility and strength out of the hole. They are also exceedingly tough! Try 4 second pauses.
68. Creatine is one of the most studied supplements ever. And It works. It helps increase strength and size. Make sure you’re well hydrated though.
69. Not sure what goals to aim for? Try Squat x2 bw, Bench 1.5x bw, Clean 1.5x bw and deadlift 2.5x bw.
70. Grip training can really help with most exercises pinch gripping plates and wrist rollers are excellent choices.
71. Bands and chains can be a useful addition to a strength program but odn’t let them overshadow basic barbell work.
72. Try and have a greens drink or juice 1-2 times per week these help you get all the nutrients you need and helps alkalise you from the acidic nature of a high protein diet.
73. Use Wave Loading to vary your workloads and allow gradual progress.
74. To save time and increase the metabolic effects of your session pair up opposing muscle groups eg push & pull. There is some evidence you can lift more weight doing this too.
75. Concentric only lifting can be a great addition to your training. Bottoms up presses and squats are brilliant. Brace yourself and build the tension to lift the bar off the pins.
76. Eat a diet that has low calorie density but high nutrient density, whole foods, fruit, veggies and nuts and seeds.
77. In most cases the best tempo to use when lifting is controlled on the way down and explosive on the way up. Don’t over think it!
78. Occasionally use overload techniques like eccentrics and partial range of motion exercises to increase the overload and help you adjust to heavier weights.
79. Drop Snatches or Snatch Balance are great at teaching you to drop explosively under the bar and making you comfortable in the catch postion. Use them as a warm up on Snatch days.
80. Bodyweight exercises stimulate the nervous system to a greater degree than barbell exercises. Make chins and dips a staple of your routine.
81. Ring or TRX training is great for body awareness and upper body rehab exercises. Good exercises are pushups, dips, flyes, reverse flyes, Y’s, Rows, Face Pulls and Muscle Ups.
82. Have a training partner who can push you when needed and can hold you accountable towards your goals.
83. If your deadlift has stalled try deficit deadlifts for 4-6 weeks. You’re sure to be lifting heavier once you go back to regular deadlifting.
84. Add Farmers Walks to your program to increase grip strength, trap size and core strength. And generally get better at everything.
85. Use deload weeks when you need them. Some recommend every 4th week but really you should just listen to your body. In most cases all you need is to cut volume by 50% but maintain intensity.
86. Supplements are great but they can’t replace quality nutrition. Take a food first approach and make sure you educate yourself how to prepare healthy meals at home.
87. Use Fat Gripz to increase grip strength, forearm size and eradicate elbow pain.
88. Prowler pushing is a great assistance exercise for the lower body and also a good conditioning tool. You can get away with doing high volumes of it because it has no eccentric phase too.
89. Plan your program, train hard and FINISH it, then reassess and start a new program based on your goals.
90. Static stretching is still important and is a good way to relax the nervous system after training. Shoot for 15-20 secs on each muscle whilst practicing diapraghamtic breathing.
91. When training your abs treat them like you would any other bodypart, train them to get strong and learn how to brace them. They are built to transfer and resist force.
92. The Turkish Get Up is a great addition to your training. It strengthens everything. Master this and watch your strength and athleticism skyrocket.
93. Fish Oils have been shown to improve any number of things including brain function and heart health. For strength athletes it is great at reducing inflammation and keeping joints healthy.
94. Try and perform 1-2 low intensity conditioning sessions per week. Use ketllebells, bodyweight exercises, rope battles etc. It doesn’t have to be savage but keep your heart rate between 130 and 150 bpm for 20 minutes. It will keep you lean and healthy.
95. As you get older you will need to emphasize hypertrophy more, you’re joints will thank me!
96. When it comes to Pull Ups vary your grip as much as possible. This will help keep yourelbows healthy and add variety.
97. Try new exercises every now and then that are a new skill, gymnastics exercises are great to keep you healthy and enthused. Try handstand and muscle up progressions for instance.
98. Do not shy away from eating carbohydrates. They fuel your training sessions. To keep under control aim for a fist sized portion with meals around your training session.
99. If you have gotten good at farmers walks try suitcase carries, and waiter walks they will smash your obliques, shoulders and grip.
100. You can out train a bad diet, but for results eat to support your training not to hinder it.
101. Strength training is a long-term process, enjoy the journey and don’t sacrifice long-term success for short-term gains.
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