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The Fastest Way To Get Stronger

January 16, 2020

Steroids? Well, probably, but I wouldn't recommend it. 

Instead, if we assume that you want to get strong naturally, there is a way of getting stronger that doesn't require doing any extra work or making any changes to your diet: technique. 

A few small changes to your lifting technique can easily translate into an extra 10kg on your bench press, or 20kg on your squat. That is, if you're patient enough to stick to the process. 

 

 

What is 'Good Technique' ?

You've probably heard of 'good' and 'bad' technique. But who gets to decide what's good and bad? After all, some people will say your knees should never pass your toes when you squat, whereas others will deliberately encourage you to drive your knees forward. 

To me, good technique can be defined as the technique that will allow us to lift the most weight, as safely as possible, based on biomechanics and the performance of the best lifters in the world.

 

 

 

Levers N' Stuff

Don't worry, I'm not going to turn this into a boring physics lesson. However, you should know that most of the commonly accepted 'good' lifting technique can be explained by basic lever mechanics. 

Essentially, lifting things is easier if it's closer to your centre of mass (the fulcrum of a lever). In physics, this is because it shortens what's called the moment arm. If you want to see this in action in the gym, try deadlifting a bar while holding it a few feet away from you. Then try deadlifting it with the bar right against your legs. You'll find the second way is much easier, and in fact this is a very common error I have to correct in novice lifters. 

 

 

 

 

Be Like The Best

There are plenty of small details about lifting technique that coaches and athletes disagree on. Examples include where you should place the bar on your back in a squat, or how much you should tuck your elbows on a bench press. It's likely that these details simply depend on individual differences, hence why there's so much variation in them amongst successful lifters. (And, for the record, there are plenty of people who have squatted big weights safely both with knees past the toes or in line with the toes!). 

What we should really be interested in, are what are the things that are the same amongst successful lifters. These are the things that really matter. For example, the image above shows some of the strongest squatters of all time. What do they have in common? They all have their feet flat on the ground, a flat back, and their weight balanced over mid-foot. So it's probably a good idea for you to do that too. 

 

 

 

The Hard Part

So, hopefully now you understand how we arrive at some notion of 'good technique'. But here's the part that most people won't tell you. If you've been training for a while and gotten used to using bad technique, good technique is going to feel weaker at first. 

This is because our bodies become efficient at performing movement patterns, even if the movement patterns themselves aren't particularly efficient. So, don't be concerned if you change your technique and you get a bit weaker. This is only temporary. Depending on your experience level, it should only take a few weeks for you to become stronger using good technique. 



I hope you found this article helpful. Don't hesitate to get in contact if you want me to improve your technique to add some easy KGs to your lifts. 


In Strength, 
Cill 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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