Old school strength… and guts

I always go back to my roots. The simplest exercises bring the most results. Grab a barbell as heavy as possible, lift it up for a few reps and repeat.

Load up a bar for squats, put on a weight you can only lift for 10 reps, not one more. Put your hands on the bar, get your head under, place the bar on your traps, lift it up. Take a few steps back, crank out those 10 hard spleen-busting reps, but hold on. Take 1 or 2 deep breaths, crank out 2 more. Breath again, add one or two more. Repeat until you reach 10 additional reps to your previous max. That’s a life changing experience.

Put a load equivalent to your own bodyweight on a prowler or a sled. Set a 30-minute timer and go for a walk. You can do it back and forth on a turf or go out around the block. There is no other workout who has pushed me as much as this one. There will be a few moments when you will say to yourself: “This is the most stupid idea ever”. You might even question your ability to walk back home. Your heart and head might feel like it would be more relaxing to just explode right there. Once you’ll be done, you’ll be done in every sense of the word, but what a rush and sense of accomplishment.

I’ve found some of my old books on training, old like yellow paper with stick man drawing made in the 50’s, which was all that was available when I started alongside the muscle mag international physique and Olympia trainings. Although I enjoyed those ‘’normal’’ bodybuilding workouts, the crazier the workouts and feats of strength, the more I was drawn into it.

For grip and forearm strength, try holding a sledgehammer at the bottom of the handle with your arm extended in front of you, lowering it to the bridge of your nose.

I remember two of the most stupidly effective ways to train grip and forearms. One is to grab a chair by one leg. Seems easy but it’s not. If you fail to do so, grab the leg nearer to the seat. As it becomes easier, lower your hand towards the floor. The second stupidest way to work on grip/pinching strength is to open a door, grab the door between your thumb and your fingers (pinching), squat down and hold on for as long as you can. Start with both hands and let go of one when it becomes too easy.

Simple but awesome ways to improve overall conditioning and strength.

Coach Eric

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