Exercise selection for absolute strength

Transcribed from video:

– It should contain an element each of deadlift, squat, and press. Now, because we are programming not for powerlifters, we need to be efficient with our time. We can’t just have an upper body max effort day, and then a lower body dynamic effort day, and then a squat-based max effort day. It doesn’t work ’cause sometime in there, we need to be building our stamina and our cardiorespiratory endurance through all these energy systems we’ve talked about. There’s a lot to get through, so we need to be efficient. This means that you will not be as strong as a specialised powerlifter. But that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to attack the weakest point on our spoke. We’re trying to create a broad competency and then expand that competency. So, I believe that every time you powerlift, ’cause it’s not going to be every day, because we have other priorities, your Olympic lifting, your other stuff in there, that everyone should include some soft of deadlift, some sort of squat, some sort of press. Now, what I would do, and again, this is a little bit of a again, a practical template of how this should be working. If we look at your squat, deadlift, and press, we can categorise these into your dynamic effort and your max effort. Let me give you some examples of what I would include. Squat, your dynamic effort work. You could do box squats, which would be done very fast, or you could do a jumping high bar back squat, and I would use bands for both of those things. A dynamic effort for a deadlift, you could just do speed deadlifts with a band, or something like a jumping trap bar deadlift, which crosses over into a bit of squat as well ’cause there’s a little bit more anterior training than just a pure deadlift, but that allows you to build to speed. For your pressing, I would go speed bench with bands or speed strip press with bands. That’s how you’re going to build speed there. So these are the variations that I would choose for your squat, deadlift, and press max and dynamic effort work. For your max effort stuff, squats. Because we’re looking to build absolute strength, rather than just get better at the sport of powerlifting, this is where you would include obviously stuff like your back squat, that could be high bar, low bar, combinations, but I would also include here front squats and overhead squats. Again, as long as we are limited by your ability to generate strength, it’s going to improve that thing. Whatever the limiting factor of a session is is what that session will improve. So, a powerlifter is probably almost certainly not going to be doing overhead squats, but we’re not powerlifters, we are using the elements of powerlifting to become better at multi-sport. For your deadlift, for your max effort work, a conventional deadlift. I would do a rack pull, particularly if someone is weaker in their lockout position. I would do a deficit deadlift, particularly if someone is weak getting the bar breaking the ground, and then a sumo deadlift. For your press, I would go bench press, strip press, and I would also do a push press. Although that starts to get more into the world of Olympic lifting, including that in powerlifting absolute strength work, I think is going to be effective. So every session you do should contain a squat, a deadlift, a press. And if your squat is going to be a dynamic effort squat, you would go max effort for deadlifts and press. If you’re going to choose a dynamic deadlift, you would go max effort for squat and press. So every session contains those three elements. There are the variations of each of those movements.

Dan Williams

Dan Williams


Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology. He has worked with many thousands of individuals along the full spectrum of health, and has coached at The CrossFit Games. He regularly presents to corporate and fitness industry groups and mentors Fitness Professionals.