Reset Your Bar
Surpassing this year’s strength goals needn’t be a slow grind. By zoning in on a single, smart target – and working a few tricks into your training plan – you can make lighter work of a heavy task. Follow our guide to turn yourself from also-ran to strongman
IF THE BENCH, squat and deadlift are the Holy Trinity of weight training, the last is surely God Almighty. “It uses a huge amount of muscle mass,” says strength coach Jason Coultman. “Not only is it the truest test of full-body strength, it’s also the best test of maximum output, as typically you can lift more than you would with other movements.”
But there’s a lot more to training than ripping the bar from the floor as often as you get the chance. Before you even look at a weight plate, you need to address your physique’s frailties. Weak glutes are a common limiting factor and an area often overlooked by men. To unlock the PB-breaking power you need, Coultman advises putting your backside into it with a set of warm-up glute bridges, while stretching out your hip flexors.
It’s equally important to know when to give your body a break. Most people miscalculate their recovery time. “If you’ve been lifting heavy weights, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to shift as much two days later,” says Coultman. Forget linear progression and introduce a little variety: “For example, on one day a week you might lift 90 per cent of your max, then for the next session switch to 60 per cent with a higher rep count.” Use these lighter sessions to focus on your form. If your posture is bad, you’ll reduce your biomechanical efficiency and burn up extra energy through unnecessary movement. It’s time to take your power back.