13 January 2010

Rest Day

I've been thinking a lot about how we can measure our gains and set a standard baseline for maintainable strength. What is usually found in other training programs is a max effort load for one repetition in the foundational lifts like - the deadlift, squat, military or bench press, clean and jerk, and snatch. If this were our goal however, we would train with the mentality to constantly increase the load in order to achieve maximal strength in a particular lift. We don't want to do this, that is not our goal! Our goal is to increase relative strength - that is a strength ratio that is proportionate to our body weight. I want a standard that is applicable to daily life encounters. What I have come up with is the following:

1. Deadlift 2x your body weight for two reps. The majority of heavy loads we come across in a day to day situation we're only going to have to lift once, if by chance you need to pick it up again you can. This is not by any means a test of strength amongst those who train to be the strongest. But remember we are looking for the most well-rounded fitness base achievable.
2. Squat your body weight twenty five times or more. This is roughly the equivalent of putting someone your size in a fireman carry and climbing five stories. The practicality of this should be obvious.
3. Clean and jerk your body weight ten times sub one minute. This is a measure of three things: your work capacity, your body's ability to produce power, and your anaerobic capacity.
4. Perform ten consecutive muscle-ups. Completing ten muscle-ups is equivalent to performing thirty consecutive pull-ups followed by thirty consecutive dips. Mastering this movement allows us the ability to pull ourselves on top of whatever we can wrap our fingers around.

That's it, work up to these goals and then maintain them. Run, jump, climb, push, pull, throw, lift, and carry for fun and for practice.


  1. Do you believe in taking full non-workout days or just lighter loads? Curious.


  2. Usually I believe in active recovery days, where you still partake in some sort of physical activity. Like tonight I have brazilian jiu jitsu which is a workout in itself, but my body is drained and if everyone else is going just as hard they should feel it too. So I don't want everyone over training. Tomorrow will be back to the grindstone!