A couple of weeks back I stumbled upon a truly great article on StartingStrength.com. Though generally I settle for sharing good articles on my Twitter feed and the Facebook page I think this one deserves special attention calling to it. Enter Michael Wolf….
Strength & Barbells: The Foundations of Fitness
If I had a dollar for every time a client or athlete has asked me why they have to do heavy squats and can’t they just do lunges instead, or the same question phrased slightly differently and with a different alternative exercise, I’d probably have enough money to equip the black iron gym I’ve been trying to open. If I added to that the number of times I’ve seen similar questions asked in the forums, I could probably even afford the rent.
The issue of force production and its importance in life and athletics is dealt with at length in SS:BBT3, PPST2, and the SS Seminar. So why this article? Well, it seems that many people are still confused about it, despite the information available in those resources. For some, this may be due to laziness; actually read the book and attend the seminar, and it will all become clear. For others, it may be a function of organization: the info is there to find, but scattered throughout the sources. When you quickly learn so much information on a subject with which you were previously only passingly acquainted, it can be difficult to assimilate all that new knowledge into a coherent package that you can pull out of your brain for later use. You’re convinced of the efficacy of strength and barbell training, but can’t quite organize a cogent response to the question “Why?”
What I’ll try to do here is give you the “Elevator Pitch,” to borrow the over-used phrase from the marketing industry, on force production and barbell training. I’ll attempt to answer the following two questions directly, in a briefer article form:
1) Why should training focus on strength/increasing force production?
2) Why is using barbells is the best way to accomplish this training goal?