The Greatest Strength Training Program Ever?

This post is about the famous strength training program called Easy Strength. The goal is to get stronger without struggling.

As a student of strength, I enjoy learning from all the top strength coaches. I like to take things from their teachings and apply it to my training. Two of my favorite strength coaches are Dan John and Pavel Tsatsouline. I’ve learned a lot from both of these legends. A strength program created by these two must be legit.

Their strength training program is called Easy Strength. The goal of the program is to get significantly stronger without feeling beat up after each workout. If you could get significantly stronger in all your major lifts without beating yourself up with heavy loads and intense training methods, would you do it?

How Does Easy Strength Work?

Easy Strength is an 8 week strength program in which you only do five main exercises. You’ll do the same workout every day for 5 days a week. Some weeks you’ll do different variations of the same exercise to avoid boredom. The key is choosing weights that you won’t struggle to move. At the end of each workout you should feel energized. It’s reccomended to choose a push, pull, squat, hinge, and loaded carry movement.

My approach: I decided to give Easy Strength a one week tryout. This will be my chance to get a feel for the program and reload. I’ve been pushing myself with heavy and explosive lifts lately so I’m sure my body will appreciate the relief. Since I’ll be doing the same movements for five days in the week, I’ll also be able to improve my lifting technique.

The five exercises I’m choosing are the squat, deadlift, chin-up, dumbbell overhead press, and farmers walk. I’m choosing these exercises because they’re the ones I train the most. The deadlift counts as a pulling movement but I’ll treat it solely as a hinge movement. I plan on doing some cardio at the end of each workout but it won’t be too strenuous.

Closing Thoughts: Easy Strength was originally created so athletes could get stronger in the weight room and still have enough energy for their sports. We’re all athletes and our sport is called life. Isn’t the ultimate goal of fitness to improve our quality of life? I get a thrill from pushing my body with heavy loads but there’s always room for a program like this. There’s so much information in the fitness industry so the best way to find it if something works is to try it. I’ll be sharing how my one week trial of Easy Strength goes.

 

Photo by Leon Martinez from Pexels

Deadlifts Forever!

This post is about the deadlift exercise. I talk about the things that have helped my deadlift performance.

The deadlift is the king of all major lifts. The deadlift works every muscle in your body. No other movement takes more to recover from than heavy deadlifts. It’s a lift I take pride in and I’m always trying to improve it. I believe it’s the ultimate test of total body strength.

Why The Deadlift is So Important:

The deadlift is one of the most functional exercises that exists. Not only does it make you strong from head to toe, it also helps with sports performance. Due to the emphasis on powerful hip movement, the deadlift can help an athlete improve their sprint speed and vertical jump.

The deadlift also teaches you how to properly lift things from the ground, assuming you’re using correct form. This will come in handy when you’re helping a friend move their furniture. Deadlifts will also help you improve your posture.

How I Train The Deadlift:

Since the deadlift is so draining, I rarely ever max out. When I do try max out, I make sure to leave feeling like I have a lot left in the tank. The last time I tried a new max, I got 415 but definitely felt like I could do at least 10 more pounds.  Also, I don’t try to push my max since I don’t lift with a belt or use alternate grip. When I deadlift, I train mostly in the 90-92% max range. The percentage is based off the max that I set.

For my main deadlift workouts, I’ve been doing 10 sets of 1 in my working sets. I rest one minute in between each sets. So far I really enjoy this rep scheme because it allows me to have focus on the quality of each rep. The total volume is low enough so I can still lift heavy without draining myself. I also do speed deadlifts on other days.

Exercises To increase The Deadlift:

The best way to increase your deadlift is to deadlift. It’s that simple but there are supporting exercises that help. I like to do exercises that compliment each other. Two things I’m currently doing that are helping my deadlift are speed deadlifts and Farmers Walks.

Speed deadlifts are still deadlifts but they’re worth talking about. Improving the speed of your deadlifts allows you to move the weight easier. I noticed that once I added speed deadlifts to my routine, my heavy days felt easier. This gave me the confidence to increase the weight I was using in my workouts. This all comes down to force. When moving something heavy, you have to apply a lot of force from your body. Once I learned how to produce more force, everything changed.

I’ve also seen how Farmers Walks have helped my deadlift. The most obvious benefit is the grip strength gained from farmers walks. Grip strength makes a huge difference in deadlift performance. It’s hard to lift something that keeps slipping out of your hands.  Aside from grip strength, the farmers walk builds overall body strength especially in the core. This is the perfect complement to the benefits of speed deadlifts because the stronger your core, the more force you can apply.

Deadlift Tips:

Something that has helped me perform better with my deadlifts is stretching my hip flexors. Overtime I’ve learned that stretching your hip flexors allows greater glute activation. This is everything because most of your power comes from your glutes. The more power you can generate the more weight you can move. The hip flexor stretch is the only static stretch I do before lifting.

Another thing that has helped my deadlift performance is squeezing my lats. I’ve notice that the more I engage my lats, the less work my lower back has to do. To take advantage of this, add some lat building exercises to your routine. My Go-to movements are the previously mentioned farmers walk and the weighted chin-up.

Closing Thoughts: Deadlifts are awesome. If you want to maximize your overall strength, you have to deadlift. There are so many types of deadlifts you can do to get stronger. I prefer the conventional method. I hope this post provided some valuable information. Fell free to comment if you want to add anything!

Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels

Choose Five Exercise Movements

If you could only do five exercise moves for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Walking doesn’t count because you can walk anywhere. You can walk to the kitchen. You can walk to the bathroom and you can walk to your car. When choosing five exercise moves, I want to incorporate different types of movements and different muscles. I’m sure I’ve left out a lot of great movements but the five I’m choosing are based off of my personal experience. As I continue my fitness journey, I might find some exercises to replace with the ones on this list.Here’s my combination of five exercises. It’s in no particular order.

Leopard Crawl: The Leopard Crawl is a cross-crawl movement done on the floor. It has been popularized by Tim Anderson of Original Strength. I chose the Leopard Crawl because it incorporates the same muscles as the bench press such like the chests, triceps, and shoulders. I’ve also noticed improvement in bicep strength from doing this move. The Leopard Crawl has also improved my posture tremendously because when doing this move properly, your hips sink lower than your shoulders and your neck is facing up. This move is also great for core strength. The Leopard Crawl will also improve your mobility. This dynamic movement has improved my coordination and made my Central Nervous System more efficient.

Here’s a link to the site I learned this movement from:

https://originalstrength.net/2013/09/05/how-to-crawl/

Deadlift: I chose deadlifts because it’s the ultimate strength building exercise. It works every muscle in your body. The deadlift transfers to other areas in your life like playing sports and picking up furniture.

Barbell Back Squat: I chose the barbell back squat because I love how it makes me feel. It feels great to overcome a force that is  trying to keep you down. The squat builds physical and mental toughness. It’s also the best exercise to develop leg strength and muscle if you’re using proper form.

Sprints: Similar to walking, you can do sprints in your regular life. Whether that comes from running from a stray dog or chasing the bus. Jokes aside, I chose sprints because of the fat loss benefits it provides. Sprints also teach your body to move fast in case you do have to chase the bus or you’re playing sports. I’ve been in the best shape when I consistently did sprints.

Farmers Walk: I chose the Farmers Walk because of the strength benefits it provides. I’m a big believer in the idea that the stronger you are, the easier everything else is. Doing Farmers Walks is the “easiest” way to get stronger. The Farmers Walk teaches my body how to stabilize itself. The Farmers Walk will also prepare you for situations in which you have to carry something heavy over a distance. You can manipulate the weight and distance used for Farmers Walks if you want to get stronger or burn fast. At the very least, the Farmers Walk will make you more efficient at carrying groceries to your house.

Bonus: It hurts a little not to include the barbell hang clean because it’s a fantastic total body movement that teaches your body how to move explosively. I’m at the beginner stage with this movement but maybe I’ll replace one of the moves I chose once I get more proficient at Hang Cleans.

If you could only do five exercises, what would you choose?