Tuesday, 22 December 2015

How heavy must a weight be ?

The phrase “ A weight must be heavy in order for it to provide results” has multiple meanings to it and it is one that has been both helpful and misleading over the years. Given the different interpretations of this statement it’s no surprise that people struggle to determine it’s true meaning. 
I repeat my earlier statement that trying to figure out physical training is not nuclear physics or rocket science. When someone says that the weight needs to be heavy it has a simple interpretation to it. The weight needs to be heavy enough to shock the human body into shocking overnight. It’s as simple as that. You ask any strongmen this question that “How heavy must the weight be ?” they will reply with the same answer. No one got the strength game better than the old Strongmen. 

However, all this has changed in the modern times. The strongmen achieved there supernatural results using there minimalistic training programs and concepts. The concepts were easy and straightforward to understand. 

When the modern age took over, it seems all this knowledge just disappeared overnight. This is because the modern day athletes believe the propagated training information coming from the “experts” who hardly know better.  

The modern day athletes prefer physiques suited for  “show” rather than “go”. 

Strongman Training Part 2

Training to improve your physical health is not rocket science or nuclear physics. It’s simple, effective and to the point. In the last 70 years the old time strongmen ruled the game and performed feats of strength that are mere impossible to match by modern day strength standards. 

Modern day strength athletes believe that a stronger muscle is a bigger muscle and begin training to put on mass, in belief that it would lead to unbelievable strength gains. However no one got the strength game better than the old time strongmen. 

The old time strongmen knew full well that strength is not a destination that they should aim for. Instead it’s a skill that needs to be constantly updated. They also knew it’s not about the destination it’s about the process. 

Old time strongmen kept their workouts short and to the point. They didn’t employ any gimmicks of any kind. They employed training concepts known as “Heavy singles” and “Static Contractions”, which placed the foundation for what was to follow. Apart from the physical strength there is another important element that gave them their superhuman physical abilities, which was physical conditioning.

This was uniquely achieved with a special blend of heavy weight training and further lifting odd objects. These are some of the sole elements that made their physical program. Digging further into their training programs the length of a workout was approximately an hour to an hour and a half, which was conducted 2 - 3 days  a week. 

A true strength athlete knows that in order for a routine to be truly effective it must be kept to a bare minimum, so here  are some of the lifts that they used 

  • Deadlift
  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Olympic Lifts (Clean and Press, Jerk etc. 

Other equipment used in training sessions are
  • Kettlebell
  • Sandbag 
  • Ring Training 
Weight training was not the only element that they used in there sessions. Other forms of training involve intense bodyweight exercises like Pushups, Pull-ups, bodyweight squats, Dips etc.
The last element of their training programs were the rep range they used. Given the intense training sessions and the load of the exercises the workout contained about 20 exercises, with no more than 3-4 sets per exercise. Obviously there are other factors that vary strength levels like diet, genetics etc. 

But in a nutshell this is what gave them such superhuman abilities. 

Monday, 21 December 2015

Strongman Training

Let’s go back to the 19th and 20th century where the world was dominated by Strongmen who performed unbelievable feats of strength that can never be repeated by mankind ever again.

Names like Arthur Saxon, Eugen Sandow and Paul Anderson  are some of the names lost in folklore. These were some of the strongest names in human history for competing in various strength based sports like Powerlifting, Strongmen contests and actively competed in weight lifting contests. 

The feats of strength that they performed were one of a kind and could only be repeated by a select few group of people. For example, Arthur Saxon (Pictured above) used to perform a feat known as two - hands-anyhow.

The goal was to perform as weight overhead with both hands as long as there was no assistance from an outside force. In his stronger arm he would hold a heavy barbell and perform another feat known as a bent press. In his other arm he would hold a smaller weight, which was a kettlebell. To this day this only a select few of people can replicate this feat. 

In the 21st century the term Strength is sort of misled. These days people often believe that being bigger is being stronger, which is nothing more than a myth. Strongmen training techniques are somewhat rooted in modern day training programs, but are somewhat misinterpreted by the “experts”. Strongmen training techniques are nowadays labeled with terms like “Static Contractions” , “Isometric Contractions” and “Training to failure”. 

These terms are often mislead and misunderstood. It is true that the strongmen   athletes used to employ heavy static contractions in their training programs, but it was more than just that. The strongmen believed that strength is a skill that needs updating regularly rather than viewing it as a destination the way it is viewed today. That’s particularly the reason why so many people back in the day were able to perform so many unbelievable feats of strengths.

There is another unknown training concept known as “Heavy Singles”. In this concept the athlete loads whatever equipment they are using to the maximum of their capabilities and perform the movement once with their full effort.
 If the athlete is not fatigued it does one set of multiple reps with the best of their abilities. This training technique in particular boosted their strength levels to unimaginable levels. Once the athlete has fatigued themselves they take as much rest as they need and perform it again. This became the backbone to their unimaginable strength levels. Another important concept is that they always practice their lifts like a skill. 

The strongest quality of the old time strongmen will be their mindset. That is their biggest asset.