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  • Writer's pictureZac Zuspann

8 Principles to Maximize Strength Training Results and Training Longevity

Here are some of the benefits of strength training:

  • Strength is a key component to building muscle, which is the most powerful tool for raising metabolism and keeping you lean FOREVER. This is HUGE for your health!

  • Strength training is FAR MORE EFFECTIVE for improving body composition compared to "metcons" or "cardio"

  • Strength training improves joint health, increases bone density, prevents injuries and has been proven to be one of the most prevalent factors in determining long term health

  • Strength training is an incredible catalyst for confidence and can help empower an independent and active lifestyle

OK. Now that we know strength training is bad ass...

How do we get the most out of our workouts and ensure long term success?

1. Food, Hydration, and Sleep

  • What you are doing OUTSIDE of the gym is likely the biggest determining factor to your success inside the gym

  • We could write hours and hours on these BUT keeping it simple…

  • Eat nutrient dense foods in the right amounts for fuel, function, and recovery

  • Sleep at least 7 hours per night

  • Drink enough water and electrolytes for fuel, function, and recovery

2. Know your WHY.

  • Are you in the gym to look better, feel better, and lead a stronger, happier and more productive life? This is 95+% of us, including me. This should impact the way you approach your training.

  • Do we want to push ourselves, absolutely, but we do so INTELLIGENTLY in a way that aligns with our goals. Healthy, Happy, and able to return to the gym everyday with a smile!

  • Do you have the strong desire to compete in CrossFit, powerlifting, or own all the records at the gym? This small group will likely take more chances with their lifting - they understand the risk and have decided the JUICE IS WORTH THE SQUEEZE.

3. Commit to moving with quality and intention

  • This is the #1 way to injury proof your body.

  • Quality takes priority over speed, load, and pride.

  • Practice Technique THEN Consistency THEN Intensity DAILY

  • Move with awareness, body control, and focus on the details that lead to mastering a movement

  • This will pay off BIG-TIME. The best athletes who have LONG TERM success are the best movers.

4. Commit to patience, discipline, and the accumulation of small gains.


  • Long term consistency dominates short term intensity. Strength accumulation takes time and working beyond your means or with sloppy technique will send you backwards.

  • the strongest athletes in the world are the accumulation of thousands of sessions over the course of many years. Impatience leads to injury!

  • adaptation and the physiological process of getting stronger takes TIME

5. You do you.

  • There are times to push yourself and to try and “keep up” with those around you. A linear strength TRAINING progression is not one of those times.

  • Do not try and use a friend’s percentages in an effort to better yourself or out of pride. Use the loads and approach that is appropriate for you!

  • this is NOT a lack of competitiveness. It's choosing long term success over short term pride.

6. Listen to your body and live to lift another day.

  • Some days you just don't have it. Strength is a fickle son of a bitch, especially the longer you have been training. It ebbs and flows along with your sleep, nutrition, stress level, and many other factors.

  • You will have days when you feel weaker than usual and this is normal. Don't force it. Listen to your body and lower your weight for that session.

  • This is not a lack of effort or will power. It's honoring physiological cues and will help you return stronger the next day.

  • You will ALSO have days where you feel much stronger than normal! Ride that wave! Push yourself a bit more these days.

7. Don't get so emotional!

  • In the past I have referred to this as "training on the nerve." This refers to getting emotionally charged up, psyched, amped, etc.

  • This is extremely expensive for your nervous system and your body and nearly impossible to recover from if you train in this manner every day.

  • The goal is to complete the majority of your training "off the nerve" meaning you are completing your sets without having to blast loud music, stomp the floor, and think about your ex-girlfriend.

  • OCCASIONALLY, this is good and a wonderful part of lifting, but it is not sustainable mentally and physically on a daily basis.

8. Don't rely on supportive gear.

  • using belts, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, etc are OK at certain times BUT if you absolutely NEED them to move the weight or they are masking pain from a load that is too heavy. We have a problem.

  • a general rule for strength training would be that these supportive pieces are only used when you have 90+% on the bar.

  • this doesn't mean ditch your gear, but don't use it as a crutch for poor movement, muscle imbalances, or to boost your ego!

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