Three Fundamentals of strength training that aren’t going anywhere regardless of what any guru thinks.



Number one – Strength is movement specific

Your back is relative to your glutes so it breaks down under heavy loads yadda yadda herp te derp.

Your ability to produce force in a movement pattern is fundamentally down to your skill in that movement pattern.

Stronger people can lift more weight in almost any movement pattern due to increased general attributes but regardless of your general capabilities the longer you spend training a movement (squat, bench press, deadlift, clean, snatch, wanking) the better you will become at it.

To get better at squatting it is likely you will need to squat in your programme.

People invariably will bring up weightlifters or powerlifters as an example of people who work on accessory and target weak links in the chain this strategy works brilliantly when you are

1 – recovering from localised injury and have lost localised strength/mass.

2 – have a rock solid foundation of lifting fundamentals (4-5 years+ of basic and frequent training)

3 – Have a lot of training volume to spend (i.e. your a professional weightlifter and train for upwards of 20 hours a week).

If you aren’t fulfilling these criteria, have 4 hours a week to train then you better spend those hours doing the movements that you want to get stronger at!


2 – Strength development is down to the interplay between volume and intensity nothing else. 

How many reps in the week did you perform of the exercise you want to get better of in a percentage range that is going to promote strength gain is all that matters.

Not how many reps of one set you did, not how much weight of one rep you did, not how fast you moved that submaximal weight, not your banded suited squat.

Brass tacks.

The more lifts you can complete in an 80 to 95% range in a week, move well through and recover from the stronger you are going to get.

They key point being you have to

  • Move well
  • And Recover from your training

These are your limiting factors.  A good programme will hit the sweet spot on all of these factors and help you to get stronger almost indefinitely until you hit your limits.


3 – Hypertrophy is primarily a mechanical response to volume of work and is movement specific.

How can we state this (besides the fact that the consensus of research agrees with this viewpoint)… here are methods of training that will make your muscles bigger

  • Crossfit
  • Kettlebell training
  • Weightlifting
  • Powerlifting
  • Cable Training
  • Machine training
  • Dumbbell Training
  • Barbell Training
  • Bodyweight training
  • Gymnastics
  • Wrestling
  • Combat Sports
  • Swimming
  • etc etc

Almost anything makes you bigger but for activities like gymnastics and sports there’s a limit on the progressive overload obtained from tonnage you can obtain and it is very difficult to isolate workloads on specific joints and muscle groups.

This is why bodybuilders use a combination of weights and machines!  A combination of Compound and isolation…

More reps, more sets, more weight.  Recover from it and do it again.  Most people don’t go through the monotonous process of following this path to it’s logical conclusion they get caught up in minutia such as rest periods, compound vs isolation, machines vs barbells, getting stronger, rep ranges.

Let me let you in on one of the closest guarded secrets of the weight training world.

None of that fucking matters! 

  • Target your volume loads where you want to get bigger.
  • Choose a mixture of resistance modalities that you think work best for you.
  • Eat enough calories and protein to recover
  • Do progressively more each week in a sensible manner! (8 to 12 reps is the optimal pay off between load and volume for getting bigger).
  • Do a variety of movements so you hypertrophy the muscle fully.
  • Train hard and don’t be scared of boring programmes.

For the most part the more boring your training the more effective it is!

Basics > everything else.

In training if you drill and optimise the fundamentals you will soon realise everything else is just meaningless noise.