The source of Strength

It’s no secret that resistance training using weights is an excellent method of making strength gains and increasing your overall fitness… but should it stop there? Is resistance training the only way to get ‘fitter’?

If you have specific goals in mind that you know only a certain type of training can adhere to, then sticking to the recommended training for those goals is certainly recommended. However, adhering to only one type of training is not always best for you, mainly because your body will adapt. This post aims to fix this issue by exposing our readers to some of the most used training methods that strive to turn the average Joe Blogs into a fitter person.

  1. Resistance training.

One of the most widely used methods of improving fitness, or improving your standards as an athlete. Popular types of resistance training include bodybuilding, powerlifting and weightlifting. The EHF workout programme aims to develop strength through powerlifting with elements of bodybuilding in order to help you feel strong and look strong. Gyms provide an easy footing for resistance training by supplying equipment that allows the user to make gains in incremental steps, whatever exercise they do.

2. Calisthenics

Ever watched a Bar Brothers video in awe and wondered how these guys are able to achieve such feats of strength? It’s the endless hours they put into being able to pull their own weight over a bar in endlessly different ways, over and over again. Though the muscle gain here is limited due to the resistance being only that of your bodyweight, the strength you gain from a bar workout can be immense. More importantly, the use of bar workouts gives command of absolute body control in ways you didn’t think possible… your future self will thank you if you start now. Frequent users of calisthenics programmes include military personnel, who as resourceful strongmen, are required to be able to pull their own weight without the worry of fatigue.

paul wade, coach wade, convict conditioning, calisthenics, prison workouts

3. Yoga.

Yoga is useful for a number of reasons, flexibility, muscle-toning and weight loss being some of the most prominent. Yoga is also associated with the lowering of stress and blood pressure, making it one of the best exercises after a long, irritating day at the office. A prime benefit of yoga is that it can be practised almost anywhere, no need to locate a gym or massive hall space. Ultimately, Yoga has something to offer to people of all ages, be it a young child or an elderly person.

  1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIT).

An emerging and popular focus in the fitness industry is the evolution of HIT. Methods of HIT such as the Tabata method of training have recently become the cement of a user with very limited amounts of time. In intervals of up to 10 minutes (depending of the type of HIT you attempt), you push yourself at 100% in your chosen exercise and then give yourself a moments reprieve, before restarting the circuit. The aim of HIT is to burn fat in small bursts, pushing your heart rate to the maximum in order to provide both aerobic and anaerobic benefits. A downside to HIT is generally that you have to be fit to do it, and not do it to get fit. This type of training targets those who want to push themselves to the best of their athletic ability.

  1. Strongman Training.

A final training method that has found popularity through the likes of a number of famous Youtubers, is Strongman training. Strongman training is the foundation of functional movement, involving lifting heavy objects over long distances. The use of strongman training builds raw brute strength with direct carryover application into the real world. If you are looking for something to give you the strength you need in whatever daily activity you desire, strongman training is for you. Though it may seem that some of the equipment used for strongman training is not available in all gyms, there is no need to fork out ridiculous amounts of cash to purchase the correct equipment. Many strong lifters start out by lifting tyres and beer kegs, before finding other equipment to lift with.

And that’s it! As mentioned earlier, you do not have to stick with just one type of training to get fitter. Working to become a stronger individual means tackling your training from all angles, and hopefully this post will have given you an insight into how to start doing just that.

Strongman Training Routine

Photo Credit:

http://breakingmuscle.com/interviews/convict-conditioning-old-school-vs-new-school-calisthenics-book-excerpt

http://muscleandbrawn.com/strongman-training-routine/

Take your fitness to new heights with the Box Jump

One of the most over used excuses for people that choose not to work out, is that they aren’t a member of a gym. According to some market research from 2007, only one third of us use a gym or leisure centre. Combine that with the dire health warning by a (UK) government based think tank, 60% of adult men and 50% of adult women could be obese by 2050. So if you don’t have access to a gym, stop making excuses: you can still get fit!

We’re going to tell you about one fantastic exercise that you can do anywhere: all you need is a raised platform, be that a bench, a wall, anything. Whatever you use, it has to be something that allows you to jump up on to it safely.

How to box jump

  • Face the platform and make sure you’re standing fairly close.
  • Bend your knees and bring your arms back.
  • Swing your arms forward and explode through your legs to propel you forward.
  • Jump and land firmly on the box (or platform).
  • Rinse and repeat.

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Benefits

  • The humble box jump allows you to build tremendous explosive power in your lower body. This makes it great for sports training and also carries over to your squat and deadlift.
  • It’s easy. A raised platform is the only equipment you need which you can find anywhere.
  • It helps build your core strength. As you have to control your body when you land, your core gets a tough workout trying to stabilise you.
  • Progression is easy to measure. If the height you are jumping increases, you’re getting better. Simple as that.

Drawbacks

  • The box jump is great for increasing explosive strength (and size) but in terms of overall leg development it is only one piece of the puzzle. This is particularly an issue for you guys or girls without access to a gym, but it’s certainly worth doing!
  • Jumping can take its toll on your knees. Due to the high impact of landing it is not recommended if you have knee problems (but go see a physio) but if not, it can still cause issues. Our advice would be to restrict box jumping to one, perhaps two times a week but not really any more.

We hope this shows that you don’t have to be a member of a gym to get out there and start getting fit! If you combine some simple exercises such as the box jump with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) then you have a recipe for some serious conditioning. We will be adding more exercises you can do at home in the future, so make sure you follow the blog and keep tuned!

We’d love to hear how high some of our readers can jump. Leave your PR (personal record) in the comments below and let’s find out who’s the best!