Get strong-10 brilliant (and slightly badass) ways to do it

A new way to reach old goals


Photo: Nathanael Boehm CC-By-2.0

Losing weight and building muscle are fantastic goals. But what about getting strong? Everybody can benefit from increased strength-from opening a jar of pickles to lugging a kid around. Here are 10 brilliant (and slightly badass) ways to get stronger.

  • Kettle bells – Training with these little beasties is a sure way to build overall strength. If you don’t know what to do with a kettle bell don’t be alarmed. Due to their popularity, many gyms are offering classes. You will increase overall body strength, and have a fun time doing it.
  • Sandbag – Want something a little more off the beaten path? Why not try training with a sandbag? Somewhat similar in nature to training with kettle bells-but now we’re lifting, swinging, and even tossing a sandbag.
  • Crossfit – Crossfit is a chain of gyms found in most major cities throughout the US. These aren’t your average gyms. And really, it doesn’t have to be a Crossfit gym. There are other gyms setup the same way. Think about how you may setup a training facility in a vacant garage. The basic premise is to use “strongman” training techniques. Try flipping a tractor tire for 50 feet. Or pulling it with a rope. Throwing a medicine ball up against a wall and catching it? These are just a few examples of what you may find.
  • MMA – Any type of martial arts will help build flexibility and endurance. It can be a fun way to build strength as well. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) takes it to another level. MMA incorporates elements from boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and grappling. Not only do you benefit from discipline, and build a stronger body, but also sharpen self-defense skills.
  • Pull-ups – Does your gym have a pull-up bar? Perhaps you have a free doorway that you can use a cantilevered pull-up bar. If all else, try the monkey bars at the local park. Wherever you do them, performing pull-ups requires a significant amount of upper body strength. You will only get better by doing them.
  • Boot camp – These have been around for awhile. Not only will you have a good time, you’ll also push yourself harder than normal. Boot camps typically use circuit training with various stations. After a set time period of time-with no rest-you move on to the next station. After one circuit is complete, you get to recover. Then repeat. Not all camps are run like this, but this is very typical.
  • Build your core – Strengthening your core is one sure way to improve your lifestyle. Building your midsection-abdominal muscles and lower back-will alleviate many aches and pains. Balance is also improved. Core muscles can be made stronger using traditional strength training. This area can also be improved with yoga or palliates.
  • Compound lifts (the big three) – The compound movements, those using multiple muscles, are the best for building strength in the gym. There are many examples of these-but there are three that are considered the granddaddies of ‘em all. These are the barbell squat, dead lifts, and bench press. Any weight training routine should be comprised of both compound and isolation exercises. The big three should definitely be included.
  • Change of view – Not necessarily a strength builder, but it certainly is a way to inject some new energy into your training. Changing the scenery brings some newness, and can help to keep you motivated. Perhaps a friend is willing to give you a guest pass to their gym. You can sometimes get a trial pass at a gym across town-nothing says that you have to join. You may find that just moving your session outdoors can be a good change of pace.
  • Sprint – Have you ever seen a runner? I’m not talking abut the lanky distance runners. I’m referring to the explosive sprinters. That is strength defined. Sprinters use weight lifting, such as squats. On the track, they use interval training, running various distances. Wind sprints up hills are useful for building leg strength. Another method that has become common is to use a parachute or elastic band-either anchored to a solid object or to a person. These methods functionally train the runner in their environment.

There you have it-10 brilliant (and slightly badass) ways to get strong.

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9 Responses to “Get strong-10 brilliant (and slightly badass) ways to do it”

  1. Anne says:

    “Slightly badass”. hahaha I love it. Great post. Thanks.

  2. Tim says:

    Should be Mega-Badass. :)
    I like the addition of using sprint exercises, as well as some fun ways of gaining strength. The martial arts suggestion rocks. I’ve recently taken up Krav Maga, and it’ll whoop your butt.

  3. Todd says:

    @Anne and @Tim, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post.

    Krav Maga, huh? I’ve thought about checking it out, but haven’t yet.

  4. Miguel says:

    What’s with the sandbags? I’ve never seen that one before.

  5. Awesome in depth post. I have always wanted to learn a martial art, but that is on my bucket list. I think I better get going and soon :-) Thanks for another great post Todd!!

  6. phit_admin says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Glenn. My writing skills appear to be getting better as time goes by. :)

  7. [...] really struck me funny is the “next big thing” comment. I mean, really? Where ya been? Granted, if you’re new to fitness, which many people are, kettlebells may be a new [...]

  8. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Todd Boyer, Trainer Jon. Trainer Jon said: RT @PhitZone Get strong–10 brilliant (and slightly badass) ways to do it #fitness [...]

  9. [...] Get Strong-10 Brilliant (And Slightly Badass) Ways To Do It [...]

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