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How To Deadlift Properly: The Complete Guide

How To Deadlift

The Complete Guide on how to deadlift properly for strength and performance!

Not what you’re looking for? Learn How To Sumo Deadlift or view All Exercise Descriptions!

600 lb deadlift

The Deadlift

The Deadlift is one of the most brutal and beneficial lifts there is. It is brutal because you have to lift a heavy weight from a dead stop, starting in a disadvantaged position, but it is so beneficial because it improves ALL of your other lifts!

The Deadlift builds muscle mass throughout your entire body and tests your full body strength like nothing else can. Nothing can improve your hip, core, back, and grip strength as much as deadlifts, and nothing can replace it.

If you have a strong deadlift, then you probably have a brutally strong body from head to toe!

It is such a simple lift, yet so hard that very few people actually do them. Not to mention that many gyms don’t allow deadlifts, or have terrible set-ups for them. If that is your gym, then I highly recommend you go somewhere else that actually promotes strength and doesn’t hold you back from reaching your goals.

Overall, the deadlift tests you physically and mentally with its brutality but can make you feel superhuman.

No ordinary person has every deadlifted 500+ pounds. It takes hard work, dedication and an internal fire to reach that achievement, and every pound after. If you have it in you, then you have the strength to do anything you desire.

It is you versus the weight in front of you. A weight that can take you from ordinary to extraordinary. All you have to do is pick it up.


Sumo vs Conventional Deadlift

The Sumo Deadlift is a variation that emphasizes more on the use of your legs squat the weight up rather than your hips and back. The conventional deadlift is just the opposite. It uses more hip drive to lift the weight with the lower back supporting the lift.

With the sumo style, your hips are closer to the bar compared to a conventional deadlift with a more vertical torso, which takes the stress off of your lower back and places it on your legs.

This decreased back stress allows sumo deadlifters to typically handle more overall work with deadlifts, as recovery will be easier. However, the sumo deadlift is a very technical lift in which if you get out of position you cannot grind through to finish the lift. The conventional deadlift you can grind through even if you make a mistake.

Another advantage of sumo deadlift is the decreased range of motion, and therefore total work is done, compared to conventional deadlifts, but the start of the lift will be more difficult. For conventional deadlift, usually, if you can start the lift, you can almost always finish the lift.

To become proficient at sumo deadlift, positioning and technique are key. If you cannot get into the proper positioning by externally rotating your hips enough, then sumo deadlift is not for you.

Simply put, the conventional deadlift is thought of as a brute strength lift, while the sumo style is a technical lift.


how to deadlift 600 lbs book Get our “How To Deadlift” Guide!

Everything you need to know about the Deadlift!

Includes a 12 Week Deadlift Program, Workouts, common Deadlift mistakes and how to fix them, and so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


Proper Deadlift Form

Click here for Sumo Deadlift!

Side view at the bottom of the page.

Purpose:

  • Teach Hip Hinge Mechanics,
  • Test and Build Full Body, Hip Hinge, and Core Stabilization Strength.

Prime Movers:

  1. Hamstring Complex (Legs),
  2. Glutes (Hips),
  3. Quadriceps (Legs)

Variations:

  • Deficit,
  • Block/Rack Pulls,
  • Stance,
  • Grip,
  • Accommodating Resistance,
  • etc.

The Set-Up:

Your deadlift set-up is all about creating tension in the right places without wasting energy. You need to maintain that same tightness during the entire lift. If you lose tightness, then you lose strength.

Set Your Feet:

Set your feet shoulder width or closer, to where the bar is directly over your mid-foot, and turn them out slightly (10-30 degrees).

Grab The Ground:

Suction cup your feet to the ground by spreading your toes as wide as you can, then grasping the floor with your entire foot. Your entire foot (heel, the ball of your foot, and outer edge) should stay locked into the ground.

Then, while clenching your toes into the ground like eagle claws, create torque by externally rotate your feet, as if they were to spin in place, throughout the entire motion.

This movement should flex your entire lower body from your glutes down through your entire legs so that everything is tight, and nothing is loose or relaxed.

Maintain this external rotation torque throughout the deadlift.

Note: By grabbing the ground with your foot you are simply creating a strong arch in your foot, not rolling your ankle. Your feet should not move out of place or come up at all during these motions. Just create a rotational pressure to stabilize your joints, while your entire foot is locked into the ground.

Brace Your Core:

Suck in as much air as you can and hold it in, attempting to create as much intra-abdominal pressure as you can, to stabilize your spine. Then press your lips closed to hold the air in while flexing all of the musculature surrounding your entire torso, and forcing the air deep down into your abdomen. This is known as the Valsalva Maneuver.

If you are wearing a lifting belt, then brace out against the belt as you do this.


Preparation:

Bend At The Hips:

While staying tight and maintaining a neutral spine, bend mainly at the hips until you can grab the bar.

Grab The Bar:

Set your hands about 3 inches outside of your shins on either side, so that you have enough room to push your knees out and not run into your arms.

After finding your preferred width, evenly set according to the power rings, spread your fingers as wide as you can as if to engulf as much of the bar in your hand as possible.

Then grasp the bar tightly with your thumbs wrapped, trying to crush the bar in your hands to take control of the weight.

This is your control point, SO TAKE CONTROL!!! Make the weight feel small while you become invincible with your crushing grip!

Then create an external rotation torque by pointing your elbows behind you.

Note: Use a double overhand-grip as often as you can, and only switch to over-under or hook grip when the weight gets too heavy to hold otherwise.

Re-brace:

While keeping your entire body tight, again suck in as much air as you can and press it down deep into your abdomen increasing the intra-abdominal pressure. Hold this tightness throughout the lift.

Get Set:

Fully extend your knees to reset the tension to your hips, and then push them forward as you sit your hips back until the bar touches your shins. Use the bar as leverage to maintain balance.

Maintaining a constant external rotation torque in your feet and push your knees out hard as you do this.

While keeping a neutral spine, force your head back, with your eyes straight ahead. Imagine pulling your chin straight back, and never tilt your head up.

Maintain a neutral head position (straight spine) throughout the entire deadlift with eyes straight ahead.

Create Tension:

Pull the bar back into your legs as you position your hips back and down, chest high and back flat. This is called “pulling the slack out of the bar.”

In this position, your entire body should be tight and ready to pull with the weight tight up against your shins.

Your lats should be tight, arms are straight, elbows pointed back behind you, and shoulders over or behind the bar.

Tuck Your Shoulders:

Keep your shoulders back and down throughout the deadlift.


The Deadlift:

Press Into The Ground:

Simultaneously press your feet into the ground, drive your hips forward and pull your shoulders back as you extend your knees and hips together until lockout.

The entire lift should be one smooth motion.

Maintain Control:

Stay tight as you lower the bar, with perfect form, sliding against your legs all the way down. This will build strength and improve form.

If you are doing multiple reps, pause on the ground for 1-2 seconds, without bouncing the bar or losing tightness, then pull again.

If you set-up properly your body should do most of the movement for you. All you have to do is stay tight and deadlift.


Key Points:

  • Stay tight throughout the entire set-up and deadlift.
  • Grab the ground with your feet.
  • Pull the bar into you.
  • Torque your knees out throughout the full range of motion.
  • Drive your feet into the ground and hips forward.
  • Maintain a neutral spine and head position.

how to deadlift 600 lbs book Get our “How To Deadlift” Guide!

Everything you need to know about the Deadlift!

Includes a 12 Week Deadlift Program, Workouts, common Deadlift mistakes and how to fix them, and so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


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How To Bench Press Properly: The Complete Guide

How To Bench Press

The Complete Guide on how to bench press properly for strength!

Not what you’re looking for? View All Exercise Descriptions!

315 lb bench press

The Bench Press is the absolute best lift for both building and testing your upper body strength. It is an extremely valuable training tool that builds your upper body like no other lift can.

If you have a BIG Bench, then your entire upper body is well developed!

Like most lifts, the bench press is a lift where some people love it and some hate it. Those that hate it, are usually the ones that don’t understand it and do it wrong. However, if you learn how to do it right, it can be just as good as any of your other lifts.

With that said, there are 3 important things you need to know about the bench press before you can start benching BIG.

3 Keys To A BIG Bench

1 – Use Your Whole Body

First, the bench press is NOT just an upper body lift. Though it focuses on your upper body, you must use your entire body as one unit to lift the most weight safely and effectively. The biggest part of this is simply set up in a position that puts the least amount of stress on your shoulders and helps you to maintain stability as you lift.

Most problems with the bench press come from simply not set up in the proper position to lift from, resulting in instability while you lift and high shoulder stress. The body was simply not made to hold a heavy load with our arms shoved back behind our bodies, and then have to press it away. That is why it is so important to learn how to lift correctly, so you stay safe while training to get brutally strong!

2 – Build Strong Triceps

Next, the key to a BIG Bench is strong triceps!

The Bench Press is a triceps dominant lift, not a “chest exercise”. Let me say that again…it doesn’t matter how much you can do pec flyes with, because the triceps do most of the work in the bench press. That is true for any pressing move we do.

It doesn’t matter if you are doing wide grip or close grip. Your chest and shoulders work together as stabilizers that only do some of the actual lift, while the triceps do all of the arm extension, or pressing work.

The reason the bench press is often considered a “chest exercise” is because your chest is the weakest link in the chain. Whatever is weakest, gets fatigued first and therefore builds up,. However, the stronger muscles do that actual lifting.

Same goes for military press. Your triceps do the work, but your shoulders feel it because they are the weakest link that fatigues first.

For a BIG Bench, your entire upper body needs to be strong, but strong triceps are key! Everything else will catch up to them as you train more.

3 – Build A Strong Back

Third, the stronger your back is the stronger your bench press will be.

Having a strong back plays a HUGE roll in counteracting all the big presses you do. Not only that, but your back strength helps to keep your shoulders healthy so you can bench safely and more often. If you have a strong back you can stabilize yourself and the weight better leading to BIG numbers, fast! So make sure you do a ton of back work whenever you can!

Apply these things and you will be well on your way to benching BIG! Now let’s go bench!


how to bench press more weight book Get our “How To Bench Press” Guide!

 

Everything you need to know about building a BIG Bench!

Includes a 12 Week Bench Press Program, Workouts, common Bench Press mistakes and how to fix them, and so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


Proper Bench Press Technique

Purpose:

  • Test Upper Body Strength
  • Build Upper Body Strength

Prime Movers:

  1. Triceps (Arms),
  2. Anterior Deltoids (Shoulders),
  3. Pectoralis Major (Chest)

Variations:

  • Hand Position,
  • Pauses,
  • Board Press,
  • Floor Press,
  • Specialty Bars,
  • Accommodating Resistance,
  • etc.

The Set-Up:

The set-up is all about getting your body into the strongest position to lift the most amount of weight, safely and efficiently.

Basically, it is all about tightness. You have to create tension in the right places without wasting energy and maintain it during the entire lift. If you lose tightness, then you lose strength.

Take your time and make it perfect. If anything is off, then reset and do it again.

Lay Flat on the Bench

Start by lying down completely flat, with your feet set on the end of the bench.

Set Your Hands

After finding your preferred width, evenly set according to the power rings, spread your fingers as wide as you can as if to engulf as much of the bar in your hand as possible.

Then grasp the bar tightly with your thumbs wrapped, trying to crush the bar in your hands to take control of the weight, while keeping your wrists straight.

This is your control point, SO TAKE CONTROL!!! Make the weight feel small while you become invincible with your crushing grip!

Note: Every barbell is different. NEVER base your grip on the knurling of the bar. ALWAYS base your grip off of the Power Rings in the knurling, even if you are like me and have your grip about 1 inch inside the rings. Though some cheaper barbells have their power rings in closer than competition barbells, it is still a much better way to base your grip. If all else fails, just close your eyes and grab the bar where it is comfortable and adjust from there as needed.

Set Your Shoulders

Press your feet down into the bench to raise your hips high, then pull your shoulders up off the bench while creating an external rotation torque with your hands, also known as bending the bar. Pull your shoulder blades back, together, and down towards your hips.

Next, firmly press your upper trapezius down into the bench, while keeping your shoulders tucked. Your eyes should be in line with the bar.

This is all meant to create an arch in your chest, not your lower back. Keep your chest high, and shoulders together during the entire lift.

Set Your Hips

While maintaining tension, and an arch in your chest, set your hips down on the bench, to where your chest is as high as you can get it.

Set Your Feet

With your hips in place, set one foot at a time down on the floor, while pressing down and out to maintain tension throughout your entire body. Think as if you are trying to slide your toes to the front of your shoe while pressing down hard into the ground.

Make sure your feet are set in a place where your knees are below your hips and your hips can stay on the bench, even when you push down harder. If you are having difficulty with this you need to work on your hip flexor mobility. You can do that by following my How To Warm-Up Guide or checking out my Mobility Exercises.

Lock It All In

To maintain tension throughout your entire body as you lift, brace your core, press your knees out hard to engage your glutes and keep your feet pressed into the ground.

After you are set-up absolutely NOTHING should move during the entire lift other than your arms. No opening and closing of hands, no foot wiggles, no movement at all. If you do get out of place, start all over until you get it right.


The Unrack:

Brace Your Core:

Suck in as much air as you can and hold it in, attempting to create as much intra-abdominal pressure as you can, to stabilize your spine. Then press your lips closed to hold the air in while flexing all of the musculature surrounding your entire torso, and forcing the air deep down into your abdomen. This is known as the Valsalva Maneuver.

Hold this air in tight as you lift only breathing as needed between reps.

Pull The Bar Out

While maintaining full body tightness and an external rotation torque on the bar, lock your arms to lift the bar only slightly over the bench hooks and pull the bar out until it is over your shoulders. Again, arms should be locked with your chest high and shoulders back and down.

Make sure that you get your lats tight as you pull the bar out as well, to help you stabilize the entire lift, allowing you to lift more.

Note: No matter the weight, it is best to do this with a spotter handing you the bar to maintain proper shoulder position. Do not shrug your shoulders forward to lift the weight out.


The Bench Press:

The bench press is as simple as pulling the weight down to your chest to create back tightness, then pressing yourself down into the bench as you extend your arms to lockout.

Make sure that you rotate your elbows in as you bring the weight down to limit shoulder strain, then flare your elbows out as you press for a stronger lift. This both saves energy for when you need it to press and keeps your shoulders safe.

Pull The Bar Down

While keeping your wrist straight and chest as high as possible, initiate the downward motion by pulling the bar down onto your chest, with your elbows tucked in slightly towards your sides, and engaging your lats.

Pause On Your Chest

Touch the bar to your chest and pause, without it bouncing. Your elbows should be directly under the bar and range from a 30-45 degree angle from your sides.

Find the best position for you, and if you have shoulder or torso mobility problems you should try to improve them before every training session. You can do this with my How To Warm-Up Guide.

Press Into The Bench

Press your traps down into the bench, while keeping your chest as high as possible, and flare your elbows out as you press the bar up and back over your shoulders where the lift began.

The more you press down into the bench, the stronger your press will be!


Key Points:

  • Crush the bar in your hands and keep your wrists straight.
  • Chest high with your shoulders tucked back and down.
  • Keep your hips down on the bench with your knees lower than your hips for more pressing power.
  • Press your feet into the ground with no wiggles.
  • Keep your entire body tight so only your arms move during the entire lift.
  • Control the entire range of motion.
  • Tuck your elbows slightly when you pull the bar down (for shoulder safety).
  • Flare your elbows out when you press (for a stronger press).

Always use spotters during your lifts for safety. 


how to bench press more weight bookGet our “How To Bench Press” Guide!

Everything you need to know about building a BIG Bench!

Includes a 12 Week Bench Press Program, Workouts, common Bench Press mistakes and how to fix them, and so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


How To Squat Properly: The Complete Guide

How To SQUAT

The Complete Guide on how to squat properly for strength and performance!

Not what you’re looking for? Learn How To Box Squat or view All Exercise Descriptions!

500 squat

The King Of All Exercises

The Squat is known as the “King of All Exercises” because it builds muscle mass throughout your entire body and tests your full body strength all in one powerful lift. The Bench Press and Deadlift have their own place in the strength world, but having a big squat makes you King and Queen to others.

This is the lift where you are standing with weight on your shoulders that would crush an ordinary person to the ground and yet you make it bow down to you as you lift it with ease! No other lift can test your strength and will the same as the Squat, and nothing can replace it.

The Squat Is Your Base

The Squat is also your base, and if you don’t have a strong base to build the rest of your body on, then you will never reach your true potential.

Nobody likes the gym bro look with a huge upper body, but chicken legs to stand on. It just looks weak, like they will find any excuse to skip leg day. Don’t be that person!

Build your base into the strong foundation you need to set an incredible upper body physique on! Do that and every part of your body will grow even stronger!

Though the squat focuses on your leg strength and development, your entire body must be involved to push back against the load trying to crush you where you stand. The squat helps to build muscle in all areas, including your upper body, through the releases powerful hormones. If you want bigger legs, squat. Bigger glutes, squat. Bigger arms, squat. If you want bigger anything, squat more!

All this from just one simple lift! No wonder it is called “King”!


how to squat 500 lbs bookGet our “How To Squat” Guide!

Everything you need to know about the King of All Exercises!

Includes a 12 Week Squat Program, Workouts, common Squat mistakes and how to fix them! Plus, so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


How To Squat Properly

Side view at the bottom of the page.

Purpose:

  • Test Full Body Strength
  • Test Leg Strength
  • Build Leg and Core Strength

Prime Movers:

  1. Quadriceps (Legs),
  2. Hamstrings (Legs),
  3. Glutes (Hips)

Variations:

  • Stance,
  • Bar Placement,
  • Pauses,
  • Box Squat,
  • Accommodating Resistance,
  • Specialty Bars,
  • Assistive Gear,
  • etc.

The Set-Up:

Your squat set-up is all about creating tension in the right places without wasting energy. You need to maintain that same tightness during your entire squat. If you lose tightness then you lose strength.

Grab The Bar:

Grasp bar firmly, with thumbs wrapped, as close to your shoulders as you can while maintaining a relatively neutral wrist position, that allows you to still pull the bar into your body.

If you grab too wide, then you will lose back tightness and risk falling out of position. If you grab too close, then you can stress your wrists and will be pushing the bar off your back rather than creating tightness from it.

Find the best position for you, and if you have shoulder or wrist mobility problems you should try to improve them before every training session. You can do this with my How To Warm-Up Properly For Strength Training Guide.

Set Your Feet Directly Under The Bar:

Set your feet directly under the bar in your squat stance so that the bar is directly over your midfoot.

If you set your feet behind the bar, then you will waste valuable energy as you have to pull the weight out of the rack from in front of your center of gravity.

You want to be able to stand straight up with the weight and not be out of position.

Set The Bar On Your Back:

Squat down and place the bar in the strongest position for you on your upper back, anywhere between the base of your neck and middle of rear deltoids (shoulder muscle).

Note: A higher bar position will emphasize greater knee flexion and less torso lean, while a lower bar position will emphasize more torso lean and less knee flexion.


The Unrack: 

Brace Your Core:

Suck in as much air as you can and hold it in, attempting to create as much intra-abdominal pressure as you can, to stabilize your spine. Then press your lips closed to hold the air in while flexing all of the musculature surrounding your entire torso, and forcing the air deep down into your abdomen. This is known as the Valsalva Maneuver.

Hold this tightness throughout your entire set-up.

Pull The Bar Into You:

Pull your elbows down and in towards your hips throughout the movement, as if you are going to bend the bar over your back. This keeps that bar locked in and it should never, ever slide out of place, if done properly. 

Push Your Head Back Into The Bar:

While keeping a neutral spine, force your head back into the bar, with your eyes straight ahead. Imagine pulling your chin straight back, and never tilt your head up.

Maintain a neutral head position (straight spine) throughout the entire lift with eyes straight ahead.

Stand Straight Up With The Weight:

Flex your glutes hard as you simultaneously, extend your knees and hips to lift the bar straight up, just over the rack hooks. Stay tight while you do this.

Walk It Out:

Slide one foot at a time back 3-4 inches, or just enough to clear the rack hooks, so you are standing in your squat stance.

The farther you move the more likely you are to be out of position and waste energy. The bar should move straight up and down when you squat, so you do not need to move back very far.


The Squat: 

Foot Position:

Toes should point somewhere between 10-45 degrees out depending on your stance width and mobility. Try different positions and see what works best for you.

If your heels come up as you squat or you have trouble getting to depth, then try either turning your toes out more or widening your stance, until you improve your ankle mobility.

Grab The Ground:

Suction cup your feet to the ground by spreading your toes as wide as you can, then grasping the floor with your entire foot. Your entire foot (heel, the ball of your foot, and outer edge) should stay locked into the ground.

Then, while clenching your toes into the ground like eagle claws, create torque by externally rotate your feet, as if they were to spin in place, throughout the entire motion.

This movement should flex your entire lower body from your glutes down through your entire legs so that everything is tight, and nothing is loose or relaxed.

Maintain this external rotation torque throughout the lift.

Note: By grabbing the ground with your foot you are simply creating a strong arch in your foot, not rolling your ankle. Your feet should not move out of place or come up at all during these motions. Just create a rotational pressure to stabilize your joints, while your entire foot is locked into the ground.

Re-Brace Your Core:

While keeping your entire body tight, again suck in as much air as you can and press it down deep into your abdomen increasing the intra-abdominal pressure. Hold this tightness throughout the entire lift.

Bend At The Hip:

Initiate the motion by bending at the waist, pushing your hips back slightly, maintaining a neutral spine as if doing a 3-inch bow. This is a slight motion just to open the hips.

The weight should stay over your midfoot, with no back arching.

Push Your Knees Out:

Push your knees out laterally to open your hips throughout the lift. This better engages your hips and makes for a stronger squat.

Your knees should travel in line with your toes during the entire lift. If they cave in at all then you need to work on your glute strength AND adductor mobility (being able to do the splits better to open up your hips).

Squat Straight Down and Up:

While maintaining a neutral spine, open your hips and descending straight down into a full depth squat. Make sure to bend your knees and hips simultaneously. Then forcefully press back up into the bar as you ascend, by extending your hips and knees together.

Keep your head neutral and knees pressed out over your foot.

If you set-up properly your body should do most of the movement for you. All you have to do is go straight down and back up with force.


Key Points: 

  • Stay tight throughout the entire set-up and squat.
  • Pull the bar into you.
  • Grab the ground with your feet.
  • Torque your knees out throughout the full range of motion.
  • Control the lift with your glutes.
  • Maintain a neutral spine and head position.
  • Drive back up into the bar to stand.

Always use spotters during your squats for safety.


how to squat 500 lbs book Get our “How To Squat” Guide!

Everything you need to know about the King of All Exercises!

Includes a 12 Week Squat Program, Workouts, common Squat mistakes and how to fix them. Plus, so much more in this nearly 100-page master guide!

Learn more!


Strength to Change the World

Strength to Change the World

Having the strength to change the world is having the strength to do anything. It is the strength to pursue any desire, blow through any challenge and accomplish any goal. It is the strength to push forward no matter the challenges. It is the strength to build up others and lead the world into a better place than you first found it. It is exactly what it says it is…the strength to change the world.

The only person that can tell you whether you have that strength or not is YOU. If you have to question whether or not you have it, then you do not have it, yet.

How To Change The World

To gain the strength to change the world and give it to others there are 6 things that you need.

If anyone of these things is missing, then you cannot change anything. There are many ways in which you can gain these 6 characteristics, one of which is through training your body to become stronger. Through training, you can find passion and purpose for something. Building your strength will build your self-confidence. If you can focus on training your body to become better then you can put that same focus on accomplishing your life goals.

By dedicating yourself to training weekly, you will learn to apply self-discipline to all areas of your life. By bettering yourself you will help to encourage others to better themselves, and as your training matures, so too will your character.

As time goes on, the world is continuously changing in many ways. Some of those ways are good while others are bad. So you can accept the road that life gives you or you can make your own path for others to follow.

Rather than life running you over, you can take life for a ride and make the change you want to see. Make the happiness you want. You can be whatever you want to be. You can be a world leader. You can be a difference maker. You can be a world changer.

If you accept the challenge, here are the 6 things you will need:

Purposeful Passion

You must have a purpose as to why you want to change. It is the reason behind what you want to accomplish. Without a purpose, there is no reason for a change. You should not have to display your purpose on your chest for others, but rather know it for yourself. Always keep your purpose in mind. This purpose must be your passion. If you are not passionate about something then you are not doing it for yourself. This may sound selfish but you do not help others for them. You help others for yourself. You have a passion for it. You do not just “want” to help others; you “need” to help others. Your passion is the same. It is something that you have to do for yourself. You have an inner calling that will not let you do otherwise. Your passion is your self-motivation for the things you do. Keep your passion close and always remember your purpose.

Self-Confidence

You must first believe in yourself before anyone else will believe in you. You must have confidence in your mind everywhere you go. You must believe you can change the world. If you do not believe you can change the world, then you are right; you cannot change anything. Of course, we must remain humble on our journey but believing in yourself will help inspire others to believe in you and them. Believe that you are strong. Believe that you have what it takes. Believe you can fight through the challenges. Believe in your passions. Keep your head up and believe you can change the world. No matter what, believe in yourself.

Focus

It takes a lot of FOCUS to change the world. It takes a lot of focus to change anything. You must be able to focus your entire life on the goals you have and block out anything holding you back. Focus your life on the change you want to make. While doing this, rather than shut out everyone and everything else, bring them all together. Integrate your goals with your family, career and other activities. Let everyone and everything join in your focus to lessen the impact and bring invaluable resources for change. Allow your many resources to help you break through challenges and encourage you on your journey for change. Let your focus stay narrow on your target, but allow everything as a whole to help you.

Consistent Dedication

To change the world you must be consistent and stay dedicated. Great change requires dedication every day. It takes a lot of patience and hard work to make a change. Be consistently focused and dedicated to your cause. Do something every day that will bring you one step closer to your goal. Even small steps will add up to a mile. Choose to do at least one thing every day that will make a difference.

HELP

You cannot change the world by yourself. We all need help. With your passionate purpose, self-confidence, focus, and consistent dedication find others that believe in what you believe. Help them and they will help you. Come together to make a change. Build your strength and lead others to find theirs. Help others to change the world with you. Find strength in numbers and include everyone.

Strength

Do you have to be strong enough to lift enormous amounts of weight to change the world? No. Strength to change the world has nothing to do with your physical abilities. You must have the strength of character to change the world. The strength to take life’s punches and get back up every time you are knocked down. The strength to stand up for what you believe in. The strength to keep pushing forward even while others attempt to hold you back. You must be strong enough to accept the challenges you are presented. You must have the strength to take responsibility for your mistakes and look to yourself on how to fix them. Keep the strength to persevere through the long and hard times. You must be able to hold your character through the good and bad. You must be strong enough to hold the weight of the world and raise it. You must be strong enough to change the world no matter what stands in your way.

If you remember your purpose, belief in yourself, are focused on your goal, maintain consistent dedication, help others to help your cause and hold your strength of character then you can change the world.

You have the strength to do anything.

You can lead this world into a better place. You can take on any challenge. No one is going to do it for you, though.

If you accept the challenge, then start today. Right now!

No matter your current position in life, you can change it. Better yourself every day to better others. Find who you are and what you stand for. Find what you believe in and hold to it.

Life is not going to just come to you. You have to go take it on!

Still, you will likely make many mistakes and be pushed around but always remember your strength. You are strong enough to change the world so nothing can stop you!

You may not do it the right way, but at least you did it your way and that should be good enough.

So now I challenge you to start your journey, right now. I challenge you to make a change!

Just remember, you cannot change the world without motivating others to change around you. You cannot motivate others to change unless you change yourself. You cannot change yourself without first believing in yourself.

I believe you can do it, but it doesn’t matter what I believe. You have to believe in yourself.

If you need direction or help email your questions and concerns to ryan@mathiasmethod.com


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Create Your Own Workout Guide

How To Create Your Own Workout Plan

strength training exercises dumbbells


Use this guide to create your own workout plan customized to you, using the Mathias Method Strength System!

  1. First- Print out the Workout Template
  2. Next- Go through the Template Guide (below) and add in your exercise selections with your personalized sets and reps.
  3. Then- Repeat as necessary until you have created all the workouts in your very own customized program.
  4. Finally- Go use your personalized plan to Change Your World and get stronger!

 


Don’t forget to print out the Workout Plan Template to record your workout(s)!


Go To

Warm-Up     Technique Work     Main Lift      Accessory Work     Abs & Core     Conditioning     Mobility


Workout Plan Template Guide

 

The Warm-Up:

Choose 1-2 bodyweight, or lightweight compound, exercises that will help you to warm-up your body for the main lift(s) of the session.

The sets are not listed because it varies. Do as many sets as it takes to reach the prescribed number of repetitions. Never reach failure as this is only a warm-up. Always stop 1-2 reps short of failure to allow for optimal gains.

                                                                                                          Sets x Reps

Bodyweight Exercise(s)                                                                   – x 25-50

Choose 1 Bodyweight Exercise

  • Pull-Ups
  • Weighted Pull Ups
  • Chin-Ups
  • Weighted Chin-Ups
  • Push-Ups
  • Dips
  • Other- any other relevant bodyweight exercise.

Plyometrics Exercise (Optional)                                                       3-5 x 3

Only for Lower Body Training Sessions

Choose 0-1 Plyometrics Exercise

  • Box Jump
  • Weighted Box Jump
  • Box Broad Jump
  • Single Leg Box Jump
  • Depth Jump
  • Other- any other relevant plyometrics exercise

Olympic Lift (Optional)                                                                   3 x 3

Only for sessions that include Olympic Lifts.

Choose 0-1 Olympic Lift

  • Hang Snatch Pull
  • Snatch Pull
  • Muscle Snatch
  • Hang Snatch
  • Power Snatch
  • Snatch
  • Muscle Clean
  • Hang Clean Pull
  • Clean Pull
  • Hang Clean
  • Power Clean
  • Clean
  • Hang Clean and Jerk
  • Power Clean and Jerk
  • Clean and Jerk
  • Other- any other relevant Olympic Lift

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Technique Work:

Choose 1 Exercise related to your main lift, that will target your weakness(es) and practice perfect form while controlling the movements. Use <50% of your maximum.

Technique Exercise                                                                          3 x 5

Choose an exercise that you are not good at and make it better.

Choose 1 Technique Exercises

  • Squat
  • Box Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Goodmorning
  • Deadlift
  • Deficit Deadlift
  • Rack Pull
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Bench Press
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Closegrip Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Military Press
  • Dumbbell Military Press
  • Other- any other compound exercise related to your main lift that targets your weakness(es).

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Main Lift(s):

Choose 1 main lift that focuses on building full body strength. This should be a heavy compound exercise that will be the main focus of your training session.

The sets and reps of this exercise will vary greatly so they are not listed. Do what you need to in order to grow stronger.

Main Lift                                                                                          – x –

Choose the main lift for your training session.

Choose 1 Main Lift

  • Squat
  • Pause Squat
  • Box Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Closegrip Bench Press
  • Pause Press
  • Floor Press
  • Deadlift
  • Rack/Block Pulls
  • Deficit Deadlift
  • Military Press
  • Olympic Lift Variation
  • Other- any similar variation to the main lifts

Back Off Sets (Optional)                                                                 1-3 x 3-10

Choose an exercise that is the same, or similar, to your main lift and do some more work with lighter weight, adding to your training volume.

Choose 0-1 Exercises

  • Squat
  • Pause Squat
  • Box Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Closegrip Bench Press
  • Pause Press
  • Floor Press
  • Deadlift
  • Rack/Block Pulls
  • Deficit Deadlift
  • Military Press
  • Olympic Lift Variation
  • Other- any similar variation to the main lifts

Main Accessory Lift (Optional)                                                       3-5 x 5-8

Choose the main accessory to your main lift for the day. This is a similar, but different, main lift that will help to build up your main lift for the training session. An example is doing lighter deadlifts after squatting or doing lighter military presses after bench pressing. Do a few sets with lighter weight to add to your training volume.

Choose 0-1 Main Accessory Lifts

  • Squat
  • Pause Squat
  • Box Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Closegrip Bench Press
  • Pause Press
  • Floor Press
  • Deadlift
  • Rack/Block Pulls
  • Deficit Deadlift
  • Military Press
  • Olympic Lift Variation
  • Other- any similar variation to the main lifts

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Accessory Work:

Choose 3-5 other exercises that will help to strengthen your main lift or related muscle groups. These can be any bodyweight, main lift or other exercises that will help you improve. Pick upper body accessory exercises for upper body training days and lower body accessory exercises for lower body training days. Add 1-2 abs and core exercises to the end of each workout, on top of the other 3-5 accessory exercises.

Choose 3-5 Accessory Exercises

+ 1-2 Abs and Core Exercises

Bodyweight                                                                                                – x 25-100

Do as many sets as it takes to reach the prescribed number of total repetitions. Never reach failure. Always stop 1-2 repetitions short of failure for optimal results.

  • Body Rows
  • Push-Up
  • Dips
  • Weighted Dips
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Glute-Ham Raise

Lower Body Accessories                                                                  3-5 x 6-15

Legs

  • Leg Press
  • Walking Lunges
  • Front Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Glute-Ham Raises
  • Leg Curls
  • Other

Back

  • Reverse Hypers
  • Good Mornings
  • Barbell Rows
  • Dumbbell Rows
  • Lat Pull-Downs
  • Seated Cable Rows
  • Other

Biceps

  • Barbell Curl Variation
  • Preacher Curl
  • Dumbbell Curls Variation
  • Hammer Curls Variation
  • Other

Upper Body Accessories                                                                  3-5 x 6-15

Chest

  • Incline Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Other

Triceps

  • JM Press
  • Rolling Dumbbell Skull Crushers
  • Press Downs
  • Triceps Extension Variation
  • Other

Shoulders

  • Military Press
  • Dumbbell Military Press
  • Face Pulls
  • Lateral Raises
  • Dumbbell Reverse Flyes
  • Other

Abs and Core                                                                                   3-5 x 10-25

These are additional accessory exercises that focus on building up your core and abdominal strength. Choose 1-2 exercises and do a good amount of quality work to strengthen them.

Choose 1-2 Abs and Core Exercises

  • Weighted Crunches
  • Decline Crunches
  • Weighted Decline Crunches
  • Hanging Leg Raises
  • Leg Raises
  • Planks
  • Side Planks
  • Side Bends
  • Walking Rotations
  • Other

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Conditioning

Conditioning is any exercise that focuses on improving your cardiovascular health while helping you move towards your goals. If your goals are to get stronger then do conditioning that is more intense such as sprints or farmers carries. If you want to be more explosive you can do jump rope or sprints. If you want to have greater endurance then you can run or do long duration exercises. This will help you stay healthy while improving your ability to recover from your workouts.

Conditioning (Optional)                                                                  10-20 min.

Do 10-20 minutes of cardiovascular work that helps you move towards your goals.

Choose 1 Conditioning Exercises

  • Sprints
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Farmers Carries
  • Suitcase Carries
  • Jump Rope
  • Other- any other cardio exercise you enjoy.

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Mobility

Mobility is used to increase your joint range of motion. This is crucial for athletes who are looking to get stronger, perform better and prevent injury. A mobile muscle is a healthy muscle. By doing just a little mobility work you will increase the health and function of that muscular area.

Mobility                                                                                            10+ min.

Take 10+ minutes to work on increasing your mobility through massage or stretching techniques. Work on the muscles previously trained by selecting 2-3 areas that need the most focus. Spend 2-5 minutes working on each area.

Choose 2-3 Mobility Exercises

Find exercises here: mathiasmethod.com/mobility/

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