Have you ever been at the gym or at home working out when suddenly you just stop mid-training and worriedly wonder, “Am I strong enough”?
We totally get it.
It’s a question that gets asked by thousands of people every day. Especially since we live in a world filled with 1000-kg squat and 500-deadlift Youtube videos.
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but if you’ve spent any time on the internet you probably know what we’re talking about.
You think you’ve been making progress in your training. Heck, you’ve probably even been hitting your PBs. But seeing folks able to move Herculean amounts of weight can easily have you doubting your own strength and feeling insecure. Or worse, it could have you doubting your hard-earned progress.
Fear not, because we’re here to put those worries to rest!
In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about what it really means to be strong, how to assess your strength through achievable standards and what you can do to improve your strength.
Can’t wait to get started on your journey to strength improvement? Let our well-designed programme guide you every step of the way.
In this blog we’ll be looking at the following:
Why Should You Even Measure Strength?
The answer to this question might seem obvious, but there are still a lot of beginners and intermediate lifters who want to know how strong they are without even knowing why they should know.
Before you ask, “How strong is strong enough?”, it’s worthwhile to consider what measuring strength can do for you.
The simple answer is that knowing how strong you are lets you know whether you are making progress and what you should be aiming for.
Having standards can help you set expectations, decide which goals to strive for and allow you to ask better questions that lead to better choices.
The cherry on top? When you know exactly how to assess your strength, you can stop comparing yourself to those ‘lift bros’ you keep seeing on social media. And once you stop comparing, you also stop getting distracted and disheartened. Naturally, this means you’re left with more time for productivity in your training.
Get Stronger with These Tips
With just one click, you’ll find tonnes of articles online talking about how to get stronger. The amount of information available plus the contradicting views can get quite overwhelming.
Let’s make things a little simpler, shall we? Below are action points that can help you improve strength if you’re not sure where to start.
Tip # 1: Decide on What You’re Aiming For
What are you training for? We all have our reasons. Do you want to be able to move your furniture without breaking your back? Do you want to look more attractive? Do you dream of someday holding the record for being the strongest man in the entire galaxy?
Clearly identify what your strength goals are, with clear being the keyword. Be as specific as you can.
So, instead of just saying “I want to get stronger”, a better goal would be something like “I want to be able to do 130 kg-bench presses before winter.”
You also have to ensure that your goals actually mean something to you, personally. This way, you’ll have enough motivation to see the journey through to the end.
Tip # 2: Set Objective Strength Standards
Aiming for objective strength standards can help give you more clarity when it comes to your overall progress.
Often shown as tables or charts, strength standards provide benchmarks for various exercises.
They typically classify strength based on reps, body weight and gender. Sometimes, they’re shown as multiples of body weight. In other cases, they’re based on a rep-max instead of a one-rep max. You’ll find many types from many different sources.
An example of a strength standard is the one from powerlifter and powerlifting coach Tim Henriques. His chart divides lifters into three categories: Decent, Good and Great. It’s a bit simpler than most of what’s out there, but take time to find one that works best for you.
Do keep in mind that strength standards are meant to be starting points to help set goals and find weaknesses.
If you’re not reaching the numbers in the charts, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy. At the end of the day, it’s good to ask whether you’re pursuing valuable improvements or just chasing numbers.