Rodney McBride

A More Detailed Look at Strength 3

A More Detailed Look at Strength 3

So you need a functional working Nervous System (NS) to start and you must learn over time how to promote muscle tension to its max. This is a mandatory stipulation for strength development and for the most part will never change. Don't forget.

The next component is technique. I cannot stress how important technique is in strength training. The whole idea again is to continually increase function and tension/force in the NS so strength improves. This will not happen without perfect technique. So what is technique?

Technique consists of the basic setup but is also the positioning of the body during the lift, the path of the bar, the speed of the bar, using specific strength promoting reflexes at certain points, staying tight and of course enhancing tension/force as much as possible. Lets take an example.

The basic set up in the conventional deadlift is to first stand up to the bar so the bar sits over the last 3/4 of the foot. Feet are hip width apart. Slight turn out if you want. Reach down and grab the bar just outside the legs. Use an alternated grip. Shins should be vertical. Push your hips back and keep your back straight (Don't squat this a pulling motion not a squatting motion). Keep the head up and look straight. Pull the bar off the floor to lockout in one smooth motion. 

But don't forget to pull the bar not only close to the body but also into the body all the way to lockout (think 11o'clock). Once your basic set up is complete take in some air and start to tense up. Crush grip the bar. Brace your abs. Squeeze your glutes together really tight. Hold all three during lift. Power breathe. Stay absolutely TIGHT. Pause at lockout.

One more thing if in the starting position your knees move forward and your shins are not vertical keep your feet flat but pretend you are pushing them forward along with pulling the bar into the body at 11o'clock when you start the lift. This will give you better leverage. Don't use shoes as this will take advantage of strength promoting reflexes in the feet. If you must use a shoe make sure it has a flat sole. 

The best way to master your technique is to practice. Think of your workouts NOT AS WORKOUTS but as PRACTICE SESSIONS. You are going to the gym to PRACTICE. Perfect practice is the goal.

Practice the basic set up. Practice staying tight. Practice bracing your abs. Practice squeezing your glutes. Practice crushing the bar. Practice power breathing. Practice pushing your feet forward (if need be) and pulling the bar into the body at 11o'clock. Practice all of these things together. Etc., etc., etc. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. 

By practicing your lifts you are teaching your NS to be more efficient and responsive to what you are asking it to do. If you are practicing correctly your technique will (should) look and feel the same every rep and every workout. Period. So PRACTICE.


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