The Long Term Pursuit of Strength


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

You can ask yourself two questions to measure the success of any program:

  1. Did you do the program?
  2. Did you get strong(er)?

Pretty simple huh?

Now the key here is you need to have some sort of planning or strategy to follow. A clearly defined program that will progress you from where you are to where you want to go.

Wanna know the best part about using a defined strength training program?

It’s a program

Programs have a set length, a set protocol, set percentages & loads, and 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 app or whatever for easy consumption.

However, there are a couple of 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 $115/hour what are the chances you’re going to sandbag that training session when you’re feeling a little tired?

Probably not very likely, right?

That 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 it forces you to train consistently for a set period of time (6, 12, 18 weeks, etc.). This consistency, as I’ve talked about before, 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’re probably going to make a positive change in your physical appearance and performance 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 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 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. It never works out well…

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.

Depending on your “training age” you need to be practicing different aspects of strength. We’ll be talking more about that in future emails but here’s a quick overview.

Training Goals based on Training Age

Beginners: Develop motor control patterns – You need to learn how to move. This means training is probably going to be progressed in a linear fashion, focusing on a higher volume of reps at a relatively lower intensity.

Intermediate: While you should always be practicing moving well, your goal here is to develop muscular endurance. This means overall volume goes down and the loads go up.

Advanced: Once you move into the “advanced” realm the assumption is that you have mastery of motor control & muscular endurance and your focus should switch to strength endurance and maximal contractions which basically means loads go way up and the volume comes way down.

Again, there will be more on that to follow on that…

Anyway, practice makes permanent and the person who practices their strength every day, constantly seeking to achieve that elusive one perfect rep while slowly and methodically increasing intensity, is the one who is ultimately going to be successful (and stronger than everyone else).

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.

Ready to build some serious strength?

Like GI Joe said, learning is half the battle, well, the other half is doing.

You can read a million article on strength training but unless you apply the concepts you’re never going to add weight to that bar. So if you’re ready to get serious about your training and pack on some of that confidence building, I can do anything strength & muscle you want then you need to check out one of the programs below.

Good: 4-Week Strategic Squat In this one, you’re gonna squat. In fact after the first week I guarantee you’ll think I hate you & have something against people with functioning legs. #doyouevensquatbro

Better: 8-Week Strategic Strength This program is exactly what you think it is. You’ll spend three days per week working on getting stronger. You’ll squat, press, and pull your way into a stronger, healthier, more functional body. And you can follow the bonus cardio days added in or combine this with your current endurance or conditioning training without an issue.

Best: 8-Week Custom Strength Coaching Get your own personal coach to design a program custom to you & provide the instruction, coaching, and accountability you need to dominate the barbell & really life in general.

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