Build a base: The 4 keys
Push-ups are a simple test of strength. Here’s how we tech them at Alpha male Project 12 Week Challenge.
Regardless of your goals or age, I truly believe everyone needs to improve in 3 main areas of their fitness.
3) Conditioning (cardio)
Yes, there are other factors that can contribute to better performance, however I believe these 3 are the base of any program that needs to be built to support anything else.
From the competitive athlete to a sedentary IT programmer, everyone should be lifting heavy stuff off the ground, working at moving freely and getting some heavy breathing in under duress.
Weakness is an issue for most people. Making a person stronger, often fixes many other problems.
“Strength is the cup, the bigger the cup, the more of everything else you can fit in.”
What does that mean?
If we have a big strong foundation of strength, then jumping, pushing, pulling, squatting, etc all becomes easier.
You can’t have power without strength. You can’t have speed without strength.
If you can bench press 120kgs for reps, then doing push-ups, putting that heavy suitcase on the top shelf or even lifting yourself out of a pool isn’t going to be an issue, right? You are strong enough for most daily activities.
What if you need to pull someone you love from a burning house or lift something heavy that has fallen on them? You’d want to be strong, wouldn’t you? Well get onto it.
Telling the boys at work “I did 4 T-spine circles this morning.” Isn’t quite as sexy as “I benched 120kgs for reps!” But, it’s just as important. Unfortunately for that same reason, mobility get’s put to the back burner and forgotten there.
As we age, we need to focus more on mobility to undo the damage life inflicts upon us. We sit more, and in general we are less active. Much more so than say our parents and grandparents. Our hip flexors tighten, our pecs get tight and our shoulders round. We are getting older (physically) at a younger age. We need to add more mobility as part of our training.
This is actually easier than it sounds.
Without adding to your training time we slip the mobility in between our strength sets. As active rest. Here’s a whole article on how to do it.
Conditioning, fitness, cardio, being in shape whatever you would like to call it, is the 3rd necessary component to the building a solid foundation to your strength and fitness.
- Feeling better (it might suck at the beginning but then you feel great)
- Improved recovery from your strength training.
- Simple things like keeping up with the kids kicking a ball or playing at the beach.
- Ability to actually train heavy and hard without running out of breath or driving yourself into the ground.
- Better sense of well being.
There are plenty of ways to work your conditioning. Running or treadmill maybe one of those, others to consider would be circuit training, complexes kettlebell training, prowler/sled sprints, battling ropes. Mix it up, make it fun.
Balance: Putting it all together.
Some guys focus too much on the conditioning aspect of training and not enough on strength. Others can lift a fucking house but ask them to move more than 500 metres and they turn to dog shit.
We need balance.
Many guys I know want to look and move like a sprinter, however when I ask them what their training looks like they tell me they run 10km on a treadmill everyday.
If you are only running or doing cardio, get into the weight room.
If you are strong as fuck but can’t hold your own running with your kids, then you may need to re-assess your training plan.
It’s about balance. We all need to work on your mobility, period.
In short, don’t workout exclusively to one type of training to the exclusion of the others.
Plan and balance. A typical training session for Alpha Male Project would be:
Warm-up + mobility
Speed (extended warm-up/primer)
Strength + Mobility
Cool down + mobility.
That’s a pretty thorough training program for the average man that wants to be Fit, Strong and Powerful.
If you want to see what Alpha Male Project is all about CLICK HERE, and apply.
It’s great fun, and I guarantee you will be abetter man coming out the other end than you were coming into it.
Any questions, comment below.
Cheers Peter Bolsius.
Head Strength Coach.