Sometimes Less Is More.
Work. Family. Kids. Sports. Weekend outings. Summer vacations. Did I say work?
Look, your time is limited, I get it. With everything going on in your life, you really don’t need to (or have time to) add more on your plate. This includes trying to add in countless hours in the gym to get strong.
That being said, I do hope you realize that strength is the mother quality of all physical qualifications. In fact, strength is a skill and like any other skill, it does require practice.
Furthermore, strength training should be used to achieve two primary goals: injury prevention and performance enhancement.
(The change in body composition, fat loss, muscle gain, etc are all nice byproducts too though.)
But, in this day and age non stop schedules and countless hours running around between 8+ hour segments at the office, we’ve got to learn how maximize our results while compressing our time efficiently.
Here’s a new strength training technique I’ve been playing around with lately to do just that.
For this example, we’re going to use one of my favorite exercises, the deadlift.
Now, some of you may be already freaking out saying, “Mike, I can’t deadlift for ‘X’ number of reasons!”
Stay with me, because using this protocol we’re actually using a partial range of motion and no negative (lowering) phase, which may decrease the likelihood of hamstring and lower back injuries.
Check it out below…
Here we go… The basic technique: Using a sumo, wide stance, and keeping your back straight and vertical (thus skipping the hinging movement at the waist where most people struggle); squat down, grab the bar, pull/deadlift the bar up to your knee level, then drop the bar.
Regrab and repeat for 2-3 sets x 2-3 reps at around 85% of your 1-rep max.
Then follow immediately with a plyometric exercise such as a 10-20 meter sprint, or 6-8 box jumps.
Rest for roughly 5 minutes between sets and aim to do this two times per week.
Researchers for this type of training and following this schedule for 8 weeks showed a 120 pound increase in deadlift max ad gained less than 10 pounds of mass. In fact, one early adaptor actually started this type of training in his 70’s and was able to pull over 400 pounds without even a lifting belt at such a “young” age.
This type of structured training and scheduling keeps your recovery efforts high and allows central nervous system to not get so overwhelmed. Which is exactly what happens to a lot of guys when they train for strength.
It really does go to show that in a world where more is always better, that sometimes minimalism can still produce pretty awesome results.