Work on your STRENGTHS!


One of my favourite things to do in the gym is deadlift, and deadlift heavy! It doesn’t seem to matter how long I go without doing the movement, I always seem to improve at it regardless. This is because of two things, firstly I always train my legs and back heavy and hard with a range of other exercises. Box squats and pull-ups will help your deadlift tremendously.


Secondly, I’m just better suited to the deadlift movement.


I was talking to fellow strength coach Joe Lightfoot recently and he alerted me to the fact that the depth of your hip sockets has a huge influence on whether you are good at squatting or deadlifting. After a quick test Joe showed me that I have deep hip sockets, and therefore can’t raise my knee much past parallel towards my chest. My power is in my legs when they are nearly straight….AKA deadlifting!


Those of you who can raise your knee to your chest whilst MAINTAINING LUMBAR CURVE (that nice curve in your lower back) will have shallow hip sockets and will find it easier to drop into a squat and have power coming up out of the hole. So how can this help your training?


Simply put, work on your weaknesses, but understand that there is likely a reason why your squat is much worse than your deadlift, or vice versa. Aim to improve what you are good at and just keep everything else improving at a respectable level.


If you neglect what you are good at in order to work on your weaknesses, you will get worse at your strength and better at your weakness and stay at the same level of development. To go from a nothing athlete to a freak find ONE OR TWO things that you can be amazing at and just work hard on them!


So it could be running a great angle in rugby. Then your training becomes simplified to increasing sprint speed and power. We aren’t trying to get you to be the best prop in the world whilst also being a great fullback. It wouldn’t cut it in sport and it shouldn’t be allowed in the gym.


Work on your strengths, punch the clock with all the other stuff. Get better.


If you have any questions or comments just drop them below!

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