Types of Strength
Absolute strength is how much you can do. Period.
Relative strength is how much you can do… relative to your body weight. This type of strength is the most “functional” because it doesn’t come with the high cost of heavy bodyweight. This is what most normal people are looking for.
Barbell strength is generally measured by how much weight you can lift with a barbell. This is what most powerlifters are after: big squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.
Bodyweight strength is taxed by decreasing your joint leverage. If I want to move the most weight on a barbell, I want my joints to be in optimal alignment. If I want to do crazy bodyweight stuff, “optimal alignment” means something totally different. There is usually a strong mobility / flexibility component to this as well. High bodyweight strength is highly impressive.
Getting frustrated with your progress — or lack thereof?
Maybe you’re right and you need to consider a new plan. That’s okay! But you have to know what you’ve been doing. And today I’ll help you set some goals (though you should talk to your coach and come up with a plan together).
Maybe, however, you actually HAVE made progress, but you just can’t see it. Let me help you take a step back and evaluate.
What is your BIG Goal?
What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to fit into an old dress? Excellent! That’s easy to measure. When do you want to fit into that dress? Let’s set a timeline.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal Framework
I’ve always found it helpful to make SMART goals:
This is where your coach can really come in handy. Not every training method is good for every person. Some people will get a lot out of yoga, but you don’t NEED to do yoga.
I don’t mean to pick on yoga. It applies to all training methods: PRI, FMS correctives, CrossFit, whatever. Literally anything.
Anyways, since I’ve seen hundreds of different people as I’ve developed my coaching eye, I’ve seen hundreds of different ways that things can play out. I can steer you in the right direction. And when that direction proves to be a little off-target — because plan A never works — I can help you re-align.
Deeper SMART Goals
I implore you to do more than just listing one sentence for your goal. Dive deeper. How will you make this goal a reality? Be specific about your goal specificity. What are some ways you’re going to measure it? When are you going to take those measurements? Who will take those measurements? How often? What would make you change that plan? Think about every. little. detail.
Shoot to write at least 500 words on each goal. Write for at least ten minutes. If you don’t have anything to say, sit there and think about it instead. If you’re spinning your wheels, move on to the next goal and maybe that will jog some creative thinking.
What are your sub-goals?
Sub-goals comprise your BIG goal. What’s the best way to identify them? It happens when you dive deeper into your superficial SMART goal. Not much feels more magical than just continuously unlocking thoughts you didn’t know you were thinking. A lot of people are smarter than they allow themselves to be. It’s just like fitness, actually.
What else can you measure?
List out sub-goals. Then elaborate on each one of those.
I always like to set performance goals along with body composition goals. Looking to shed some fat? You can generally see progress pretty quickly there, but it’s susceptible to fluctuation. How about we also track your work capacity? Maybe your resting heart rate, strength, and subjective well-being, too.
Health is broad. What is important to you? Above all else, I want to feel well. That entails strength, cardiovascular fitness, business success, and social connections. Include all of those goals, too! I couldn’t live with myself if I helped you lose weight, but made you into a person you no longer liked.
Now I will leave you with some examples of things you can measure. Get your notebook and favorite pen ready.
Measure your work output. Maybe try some escalating density training, for example. See how far you’ve come.
Tracking your resting heart rate can keep you in tune to your body.
Do you feel on top of your day? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you have a strategy for dealing with stress? If not, find one.
Maybe it could be exercise!
Consistency with diet
Are you sticking to your plan? If so, give yourself a check yes! Plan your “cheat” meals. You cannot be 100% ON all the time. Realize that. Don’t judge yourself more harshly than is fair.
Consistency with training
What did you and your coach decide is a realistic frequency of training? Have you stuck with it? If not, why not? Did the goal prove to be unrealistic? If so, change it. If not, is it not a priority for you? If not, why not? What is a higher priority?
Write this down. Introspect. Disconnect from the emotional and objectively evaluate your life for a few minutes. This will help you make logical decision.
He’s the perfect blend of intellect and creativity, a true modern-day Einstein…
Working all day, reading two extra hours (at least) every night, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and working out every day… while still finding time to have fun with his wife and friends. Everyone wonders how does he do it?
He’s unparalleled. And that’s why he’s so well-respected.
And after losing almost 40lbs, he’s ready to share his method — rooted in science — to help you become the person we all strive to be.
After realizing he wasn’t practicing what he was preaching, Bill Hartman, PT, decided to make a new system for total body and mind health — a path to clarity (without all the foo foo B.S.).
I remember him telling me about his diet: “I was just sloppy.”
Health tips and facts, though true, simply aren’t enough for most people. Everyone knows they SHOULD eat more vegetables, but how is that possible with a busy work schedule, ambitious goals, and a need for social connection?
To make health change, we need rules and structure…
That’s why the ALL GAIN, NO PAIN system was born. Principles — commandments, even — to minimize your pains and maximize your gains.
Having worked with him for almost a decade, I have no shame telling you Bill is a present day Einstein (except Albert didn’t have two fake hips and a rotator cuff tear). Also, he’d kill me if he knew I was calling him this… on the internet, no less. Shhhh this can be our little secret.
The ALL GAIN, NO PAIN system is about:
- Losing the excess fat you don’t even know you have (in addition to the fat you are painfully aware of)
- Maintaining (and even building) your physical strength in spite of your aging body
- Optimizing sleep to always feel energized and ready to go, whether that be for work, play, or bedroom activities (like, you know, hanging a picture frame)
- Reducing inflammation to make your knees, back, and other joints feel 30 years younger
- Finding your routine to organize your life (and mind) for clear thought
- Spending your precious remaining life hours on important things to leave your legacy and impact the world
If you’re ready to take back control of your life… lose the weight… exterminate the pain… be maximally productive…
Just adopt the ALL GAIN NO PAIN system. It’s already proven! Don’t waste your time and energy reinventing the wheel; spend it making yourself better.
ALL GAIN, NO PAIN is available now on Amazon as a Kindle book for only $4.99. Read it on your Kindle, phone (with the Kindle app), computer, or even iPad starting immediately.
I read this book in a single sitting.
Working out is about finding a balance. Train too hard and you break down, but don’t train hard enough and you won’t get anywhere.
Those who tend to train too hard are people I call “fitness junkies”. They usually enjoy Crossfit, screaming, and a burning sensation in their muscles.
Let’s talk about why you need some easy days if you really want to get strong.