If you are looking for rapid strength improvements you may need to take one step back before adding the next 20,50,100 pounds to your lifts.

Expressing strength requires effective skill execution, recognize that all movements are skills of varying complexity

Throughout every movement pattern (squat, clean, bench… whatever) understand:

  • How to achieve quality range of motion through the entire range
  • Posture (What moves? What doesn’t? What are the ideal joint positions/angles?)

Do not begin to load any movement before you can answer these questions, feel the appropriate positions, create the appropriate muscular tension, and recognize good vs poor reps.

Here are a few cases that demonstrate how technical work is critical to your progress in the gym.

This fellow was looking to improve strength. Specifically, sumo deadlift and bench press.  On day one he started to break form at 165lbs.  After 8 weeks he deadlifted 330lbs!  We didn’t pull heavy every time, we spent a lot of time on technique and retested as the positions improved.

Before weight training we begin workouts with unloaded movements and bar work.  We move through various ranges of motion ensuring that everything looks and feels right before adding weight.  When movements are feeling “off” we continue the dynamic warm up and foam rolling to address tight positions.

Watson, Bar Work

Once you are feeling good, start loading on the weight!

Tinordi, double power clean 120kg

Brown, 475lbs trap bar deadlift

If you are serious about training there is no time for missed sessions due to injury follow the simple tips described in this article to avoid injury and achieve long term strength improvements.

Key points:

  • Understand how the movement should look and feel before adding resistance
  • Test your range of motion without load before adding load on a daily basis


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