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  • Writer's picturereignsandc

Wait, you DON'T use Barbells?

Unless you’re competing at the highest level of sport, getting stronger is simple. It’s real simple. However, like most things, it’s not easy. The reason personal training is a billion-dollar industry is a result of this principle. Fancy gimmicks, sponsored content, tight pants, and the fear of a client getting bored dominate the domain. Don’t get me wrong. Tight pants are great. You can run, jump, kick, and even drink Starbucks comfortably while wearing them. But if you aren’t learning how to squat, bench, overhead press, and deadlift, you’re avoiding the most important lifts.

A tragic, and somewhat twisted way to highlight a point, brings us one of the main reasons you may end up in assisted living prematurely. Some of us will be kicking around in our old age and reach the point where we no longer have the strength to stand up following a trip to the bathroom. That’s real. Not something I made up to shock you. Leg strength is a fantastic predictor of mortality. Sad. Awkward. But true. Unless you’re progressively overloading your leg strength, you’re avoiding many people’s number one goal with training. Not just staying alive longer, but staying alive, and feeling good longer.

When barbell training pops into your head what do you picture? I’ll take a guess and go with, big, sweaty, hairy men grunting and tossing weights around in what looks like underwear. Yes. That’s one side of the story, and trust me, training in your underwear is great fun. But there is a very different side to the story. For example, if I add up three of my clients ages, I end up at 218. These beauties front squat, half-deadlift, bench, and lift weights overhead. Despite the fact that none of these clients know each other, they all say the exact same thing. “I wish I started doing this 30 years ago.”

Compound lifts are tricky. It takes great skill and patience to break 88+ years of bad habits. Even eight years of habitual movement patterns take work, but that’s a post on its own. The precision needed for a good compound lift is why every personal trainer you’ve tried has avoided them. It’s too bad because the reward is very much worth the effort. If done right, back pain goes away. Now, all of a sudden you can walk 18 holes again, back to back days of tennis are an option, or six hours on a Harley is fair game. The things you used to love to do but can no longer handle due to the pain they lead to, are back on the table. If. Done. Right. If not done CrossFit style. Oh, come on…that’s not a rude thing to say… well maybe it is, but I’ve done it so many times I’m numb to the backlash.

There is a chance you’re one of the lucky ones and you’re training under the watchful eye of a sensible coach. But statistically speaking (source: me), you’re not. Want to start getting results? Book a consultation at today.

Mark Salkeld Jr

Reign S&C

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