Just about every strength & conditioning coach you talk to will agree that getting stronger will improve your performance. In fact, getting stronger will likely get you closer to just about every goal you set for yourself as well.
The best part is, how you get stronger doesn’t matter…
Really, think about that for a second
In a world where everyone is trying to sell you the benefits of the super awesome program they are currently doing (Wendler, Conjugate, cube, etc.) the dirty little secret no one wants you to know is they will all probably make you strong(er).
So, the only data point you can use to measure the success of any training program is results… Did you do the program? Did you get strong(er)?
Pretty simple huh?
Wanna know the best part about using a defined strength training program?
It’s a program
They have a set length, a set protocol, set percentages & loads, and set volumes. They are defined in detail and force you to stop messing around in the gym and actually start training towards a specific goal. You don’t even have to put much brain power into it! There’s no magic in that, it’s just disciplined hard work wrapped up into a PDF or book for easy consumption.
However, there are a couple magic bullets in training that will help you succeed and become strong(er)…
Magic Bullet #1: They hold you accountable.
Just like with paying a high hourly rate for personal training… Paying more doesn’t get you the results. However, if you’re paying $85/hour what are the chances you’re going to sandbag that training session when you’re feeling a little tired?
The trainer’s number one mission is to get you into the gym, after that, the workout is the easy part/
If your buying a training program (or stealing it off the internet) the chances are you are going to commit to doing the program as it is laid out and, if you miss a workout or are having a bad day, you’ll probably find a way to make it up.
This accountability is a huge reason many of these strength training programs work so well.
Magic Bullet #2: Consistency
One of the best parts of any defined training program is that they will have you training consistently for a set period of time (6, 12, 18 weeks, etc.) and consistency is the key to long-term success in training, work, life, getting strong, and just about everything else.
If you are consistently hitting the gym 5 days per week and working hard you are probably going to make a positive change in your physical appearance and abilities regardless of how smart you are training. Consistency can be incredibly powerful.
The same holds true for strength training.
Just like every other physical activity, strength is a skill and it needs to be practiced. The guy (or girl) or consistently picks up heavy weights day in and day out over the course of their life time is going to end up stronger. This is exactly what you get when you buy a strength training program. You get a consistent program that will lead you down the path to becoming strong(er), eventually.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a very sexy marketing message… “Gain 20# on your deadlift in just 6 short months!” doesn’t really get people amped up and usually leaves them looking for a quick fix, thus abandoning a program without giving it a chance to succeed. If this sounds like you then you have failed, not the program you were on.
Getting strong can be incredibly boring
Becoming really, really ridiculously
good looking strong takes years and years of practice and work. Sure, genetics may help, but you’ve probably seen that one guy in the gym who you can tell is a monster by just looking at him, yea, he has probably put in a lot of hard work to make that happen.
For any of you who have followed a legit strength training program for an extended period of time (3+ months), you’ve probably been here…
Halfway through the second or third cycle of 5/3/1 and thinking about how sick of squatting, pressing, and deadlifting you are. However, this consistency is where the long-term gains are made.
Strength, just like any other worthwhile pursuit requires practice and time
You aren’t going to get strong overnight. This may not be a shocking statement to some of you, but I see people trying to rush into strength all of the time.
In the beginning, these people may make incredible gains in strength but do so without the movement practice a long-term strength plan will get you. This ultimately leads to plateaus, limitations, and injury.
If you want to get strong, you need to practice.
The person who practices their squat every day, constantly seeking to achieve that elusive one perfect rep, may be taking the long road to real strength but ultimately they will become more successful (and stronger than you).
True strength is a long-term pursuit that requires a ton of discipline, hard work, and dedication to achieve. However, once you walked down that long road it will feel like nothing can stand in your way.