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Strength Shift

The strength you possess by virtue of the dedication you have put forth in your bodybuilding endeavours is truly something to be proud of. Very few people wake up every morning with the first thought being an inquisition into how to get stronger that day. Your focus and your priorities within this realm has allowed you to build a physique that can withstand enormous amounts of pressure and force that breaks you down only to have you turn it around and respond by getting bigger and stronger. By and large, only a small fraction of our population participates in this cycle and to ensure you keep yourself in this exclusive circle, here are a few strategies you may want to put in place to shift your strength into the areas of your physique that will allow you to hold up over time and continue on with your love of lifting.

Re-Focus Strength Priorities

Chances are that when you started out lifting weights and going to the gym, your focus was on the big lifts that everyone always talked about and asked others about. “How much can you bench”? “What’s your squat”? “Do you pull from the floor”? Your answer to these questions were important as it would sort of put you in a specific category right from the beginning of your lifting career. Understandably so, you obliged by working your ass off on these movements to better your position in the gym and with that crowd. As a by-product of this approach, other parts of your physique fell behind and eventually imbalances within your structure reared their ugly head. Instead of allowing this to happen, you would have been much better off working on getting stronger from head to toe in all realms of strength development. Your body, at its strongest, works in synergy from muscle group to muscle group and the only way to truly achieve the greatest strength capabilities possible is to train in this manner.

Importance of the PKC

Our movements and biomechanical strengths work in a linear fashion. Much the same as the quickest way to get from point a to point b is to take a straight line approach, so too are the kinetics of the human body. If you want to improve upon your strength, you have to strengthen those synergetic muscle relationships and the first place you need to start is your PKC. The posterior kinetic chain includes the muscles that are present and attached to the line if you were to draw one from the top of your head, right through the frontal plane of your body and then focus on the muscles on the rear side. So we’re talking about all of the musculature of your upper and lower back, your glutes, your hamstrings and your calves. If you can give some time while you’re in the gym to focus on building strength in that area as a whole and pay attention to how these muscles work together, everything else from there on out will improve as well.

Minor Movements Matter

There’s no question that the big lifts always get the most attention and seem to be the exercises we give all our intensity and energy to. This could be a deficiency in your training and a reason you aren’t as strong as you should be. Once you start focusing on the smaller and more minor movements, you’ll see that these ancillary muscle groups really do support the major muscles to a greater extent than what you may have thought. Think about how much effort you put into your rear delt exercises, or your tibialis anterior or your forearms, your traps, the rhomboids, the spinal erectors or maybe even parts of your core. These areas seem to always get overlooked more so than they should but it’s the ones in the gym out-lifting everyone else who haven’t forgotten about them. I understand that the “show” muscles like your pecs and your biceps and the quads are always what will get the attention of others and what’s more visibly present when you check yourself out in the mirror. However, it’s those minor muscles and the strengthening of them that will really get the attention of others and really up your strength levels once they are focused on and fully developed.

The priority here as it pertains to getting stronger is to get stronger in every sense of the word. Total body strength should always be the goal and perhaps to attain that, you need a slight shift in your strength gaining priorities. Take some time to sit down and revisit your overall approach to getting stronger and find those gaps that have been holding you back. A little effort with this will certainly go a long way and yes you may find yourself having to spend more time in the gym to ensure everything gets trained appropriately but there’s nothing wrong with that. The gym is your favourite place to be so another reason to tack time onto your strength shift shouldn’t be an issue.

Author: Dana Bushell

Gym Star Team Member