Whether you’re training for strength, hypertrophy or endurance, there’s one thing that the experts agree on just as much as the progression overload principle and it’s this: consistency in your programme is crucial.
Yes, you need to add progressive overload to your strength programme otherwise you’ll become the human equivalent of the clapping monkey with dumbbells instead of symbols, on an eternally looping repeat and advancing nowhere fast. But consistency is just as important. Start skipping workouts or getting distracted by shiny new programmes before you’ve finished the one you’re on and you won’t get the results you want.
Deep down, we all know that consistency and dedication is key, but let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about consistency. Consistency is a word used to describe the thickness of gravy. It’s routine – a steady 9 to 5. It’s your parents buying exactly the same “big shop” products from Sainsbury’s every Thursday, without fail, until the end of time.
“Slow and steady wins the race” may be effective but it’s not exactly the aspirational quote that makes you want to jump out of bed and hit the gym at 6am of a morning.
So, without running your consistency, how can you add a little spice of life into your workouts to make sure your strength programme keeps your interest for longer than two weeks, besides simply increasing the weight and altering rep ranges? Zzzzz.
STRENGTH PROGRAMMES THAT STICK
The answer is to make sure your strength programme includes at least a little bit of awesome. Something that will keep you entertained but that will also compliment your progress, rather than hinder it.
And in the world of strength, there is nothing more entertaining than strongman. We’re talking about the kind of badass training that will make you wish you had a Gopro on a tripod and your own Fitstagram account.
Strongman equipment isn’t expensive and adding just one or two pieces of additional strength equipment to your armoury could be just the catalyst you need to give your conditioning and general strength the extra boost it needs.
FEEL LIKE A WARRIOR
When it comes to strongman training, weighted carries (basically any exercise where you pick up heavy shit and walk with it), like yoke walks, duck walks and farmer’s walks, have the most carryover into general lifting, challenging the legs, hips, core, back, grip and conditioning too.
Adding just one carry session a week into your programme will give you a whole new world of variables to play with too – as well as weight increases, you can also aim for time and distance too (max distance in 60 seconds, for example, or set a distance (10 to 40m) and get timing).
Of course, you need to keep clashing away at your basic lifts. Your regular squats will never be replaced with some fandangled new exercise, but adding a little strongman into your routine will absolutely help you find the right balance between consistency and variety, keeping your strength programme interesting and you on your toes.