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Are you strong or do you just think you’re strong? I’m not trying say anything offensive since you should know that the most important role of my channel I believe is to help my viewers. That said, in this video, I’m going to show you there is a very important difference that must be accounted for when developing strength and the failure to do so can lead to many breakdowns and physical issues down the road.
First it helps to define strength. Strength is the ability to generate force against an external load or resistance. This means that the more force you can produce against an external load, the stronger you are. While this is absolutely the case, there is no discrepancy made here about the type of strength we are talking about.
You see, there is your true strength and your compensatory strength. They often times go hand in hand and where true strength leaves off, compensatory strength takes over. What this means is, on any given lift, your ability to perform it with good form and free of compensation (meaning that you are directing the force that you generate through the exact muscles you are trying to train and to the object you are trying to move) is paramount and reflective of your true strength. Should you recruit unwanted muscle action or make alterations in joint mechanics that while helping you to perform the lift also compromise the health and integrity of your body during the lift, then you have tapped into your compensatory strength.
Now, I’m not talking about the egregious examples of bad form. Those are obvious to anyone watching them and can be easily coached out in a few sets. I’m talking about the subtle compensations that occur sometimes within a joint, that are not very visible to an untrained bystander and sometimes to even the person performing the lift. Continue to either load these movements even more or rack up more and more reps with these compensations present and you are going to put yourself at risk for eventual breakdown from the accumulated damage these high load reps perform.
The importance of heavy lifting cannot be understated. After all, lifting heavy weights is one of the truest ways of developing strength. Progressively overloading the bar provides an objective way for you to increase your strength and get bigger over time. The thing that you need to question however is the timing of the increases. The goal should not be to push as hard as you can as fast as you can. Instead, building the base foundation should be something that takes place first (free of subtle compensation) before pursuing weight increases as the sole goal of each session.
Now, strength will increase over time (especially if you are new to lifting). You may see dramatic increases in strength in a short period because of a more efficient neuromuscular patterning being developed on each lift. These increases may well come without any change in body mechanics that lead to compensation and should therefore be encouraged and embraced. What I am saying is that if the increases come at the inclusion of compensations (biomechanical) then you need to reevaluate the importance of those in the first place and the repercussions of doing so.
The ATHLEAN-X Training System is a program designed for pro athletes that has been configured to accommodate all strength and ability levels. The principles of training like an athlete remain the same and the refusal to compromise on them is what has allowed the program to be so successful and helpful to those using it. To start using it yourself, head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System and start training like an athlete.
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