Real Strength Training Tips for Real Life

I have always been fascinated by strength training. I often wondered what were the secrets of real strength training and conditioning that allowed some men to perform near superhuman feats. Growing up I thought that you were strong if you had big arms and a huge chest. The guys I knew did whatever bodybuilding exercises they read about in magazines or heard about in the locker room, I did the same.

As I became more educated and experienced I realized that had little to do with real strength training. In fact some of the strongest guys I came to know rarely had a swollen chest and bulging biceps.

I have seen big, seemingly strong men knocked out by men half their size. I have served with men who were all of 5 feet 8 inches but had backs, abs and legs made of flexible steel and a will of unbreakable iron. I have had instructors no bigger than 5 feet 6 inches that could knock the wind out of you by merely brazing your skin with their fist. The question is how did they get that way? how did they train? How can the average person use those methods for better fitness?

Real strength training, in my opinion, is functional, athletic, practical and in many cases very simple. The question often asked these days is how much strength is truly enough. Well, that would depend on who you ask. Strength training must prepare the individual for the challenges he, or she, will face on a daily basis.

For a stay at home mother of three that may mean having the strength to take care of her children and still have enough energy to have a life for herself. For the weekend warrior it may mean being able to play the game on Sunday and not feel as beat up by it on Monday morning. For a soldier it may mean being able to endure extreme physical and mental hardships while still maintaining a cool head under fire. For the athlete it will mean having as much explosiveness left in his body and mental toughness to carry him through the last two minutes of play as if they were the first two.

I founded "Strong to the Core" on the belief that to be truly strong, one must possess many different physical qualities, as well as a strong mind and good character. This approach is inclusive and integrated. By incorporating modern strength training methodolgy, martial arts conditioning techniques, classic strength training methods like kettlebells, barbells, sandbags and bodyweight training, modern "functional training" tools like resistance bands, medicine balls and balance training together with proven sport psychology concepts the results are undeniable.

Bruce Lee once said, "Absorb what is useful". In that spirit I will use whatever training approach is viable, relevant and effective in order to help a client reach his potential. I hope that you will find information that will help you reach your fitness goals, whatever they may be, so that you too can become "strong to the core".

Jeff Fields MS ATC CSCS

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