Strength Standards: How Strong Should I Be?

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Regarding strength standards, how strong should I be? Is that a question you asked yourself before? Keep reading to find out more.

Lifting weights, posing in the mirror, and accomplishing a new PR after a long time working hard. Those are amazing feelings. And sometimes it gets to a point where you want to know where you stack among other people.

So what are the strength standards? How strong should I be, you might be asking. There are many variables to take into consideration before being able to even comprehend this question. However, Alan Thrall, an accomplished strength coach and owner of Untamed Strength, a 24-hour access gym in Sacramento, decided to talk about that.

Check it out.

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Strength Standards: How Strong Should I Be?

Do strength standards exist? Right from the bat, you should know that Alan Thrall will probably not answer what you would like to know. He is not going to tell you a fixed number of how heavy your deadlift should be if you are a novice, intermediate or experienced weightlifter. Not at all.

Actually, if you would like to know the numbers and what you probably should be lifting, there is another article that you should read by clicking here. It is a full guide for noobs, novice, intermediate, experienced and freak lifters.

Thrall, on the other hand, begins by explaining that there are too many things in the way to respond to that question about strength standards: “How strong should I be?” That is, according to him, impossible to explain.

First of all, strength standards can only be meaningful in three scenarios, he says: strength sports (powerlifting, weightlifting, CrossFit and so on), military (if you are not strong/fast enough, you won’t make it), and general health guidelines (to check mobility and physical independence, such as being able to sit down and get up without assistance).

What Alan Thrall doesn’t like are the internet strength standards. He calls that DUMB, an acronym:

  • D – don’t mean sh*t
  • U – useless
  • M – made up
  • B – befuddling
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For example, if someone is telling you that novice lifters should squat a minimum of 200 pounds, intermediate lifters should be able to do it with a 400-pound plate and so on, is ludicrous. Should you train the same way if you are a college basketball player who never deadlifted before as a 40-year-old person who is sedentary and also has never done any deadlifting? The answer is no.

Regardless of how much you weigh or how long you’ve been going to the gym, Thrall says whatever answer he would give to someone about how strong they should be is meaningless. “It’s impossible for me to predict what you’re capable of and does it really matter what I think you can do?”

Thrall’s tip is to aim for heavier lifts because even if you fall short (not squatting 500 pounds, for example) you might still be able to lift heavier than you thought you could (such as squatting 450 pounds, for example).

Thrall also talks about strength ratios, how you will get good at whatever it is you are practising, and that is just nature. If your bench press is too strong compared to your overhead press, are you going to stop training bench presses just so your overhead press catches up? Well, you shouldn’t.

Train however makes you happy, work hard and consistently to see results. Strength standards, in Alan Thrall’s opinion, are not helpful in any way.

Click on the video below to see his entire argument about strength standards and answer the question “How strong should I be?”

VIDEO – Strength Standards: How Strong Should I Be?

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Progressive overload is a fundamental principle of exercise training that involves gradually increasing the stress placed on the body during exercise over time. The idea is that in order to make progress and achieve better fitness and strength, you need to challenge your body by gradually increasing the amount of weight, repetitions, or sets you perform during an exercise.

By progressively increasing the load on your muscles, you force them to adapt to the increased demand, which leads to improved strength and endurance. This principle applies to any form of exercise, whether you’re lifting weights, running, or doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups or squats.

However, it’s important to progress gradually and safely, and to give your body time to recover between workouts. If you increase the weight or intensity too quickly, you risk injuring yourself or experiencing burnout. A well-designed exercise program should take into account the principles of progressive overload to help you achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively.

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Some key benefits to doing strength training are:

  1. Builds muscle: Strength training is an effective way to build and maintain muscle mass. This can help increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout the day.
  2. Increases strength and endurance: By challenging your muscles with resistance exercises, you can increase your strength and endurance, which can make it easier to perform daily tasks and activities.
  3. Reduces the risk of injury: Strong muscles and joints are less likely to be injured during physical activity, which can help reduce your risk of injury and improve your overall physical performance.
  4. Improves bone density: Strength training has been shown to increase bone density, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  5. Enhances overall physical performance: Strength training can improve your overall physical performance, whether you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance in a specific sport, or just looking to perform daily tasks with more ease.
  6. Boosts confidence and self-esteem: As you see progress and improvements in your strength and physical abilities, it can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
  7. Improves quality of life: Strength training can improve your overall quality of life by making it easier to perform daily tasks, reducing the risk of injury, and improving your overall physical health and well-being.

Overall, incorporating strength training into your fitness routine can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health, and can help you live a happier, healthier, and more active lifestyle.

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