Measuring strength is a measurement of progress that focuses on performance over physical change.
Strength training is our exercise of choice.
From increased body awareness, to coordination, to physical strength, mobility and a reduced risk for injury - strength training is abundant in its benefits. We love strength training here at THE BOD.
You will find a mix of bodyweight exercises, free weight exercises and the implementation of machine-based exercises in THE BOD programs. Each mode of strength training is used as a tool for resistance to strengthen the muscles and produce force.
While performing these movements on a regular basis, it's important to also track the progression of your lifts to assess whether your strength is declining, plateauing or improving!
Progress is not always linear, so setting aside time to measure strength from time to time sets benchmarks to go by and record.
Strength progression can be tested through recording how much weight can be lifted for one rep, several reps, a record time or even an improvement in technique.
WAYS TO TRACK STRENGTH PROGRESSION
Try implementing any of these tips to tracking your strength:
Record your weights in a diary
One week you may squat 40kg, and the next week you may feel confident squatting 45kg. Recording these new weights down gives you a new starting point to work from in a new week.
Conduct a 1RM test
Dedicate a whole session to working out your 1RMs (1 Rep Maximums) by slowly working your way up to a weight where you can only perform one repetition of the exercise. Increase the weight slowly to reduce the risk of injury and ensure correct technique is carried out.
Record best times and reps
Dedicate time to recording your bests for exercises you want to improve on. This could be the goal of increasing your plank hold or number of push-ups in one go.
TEST YOUR STRENGTH ACCORDING TO YOUR LEVEL
TESTING FOR THE BOD ONE - STARTER
- THE BOD One aims to incorporate bodyweight exercises you can slowly perform seamlessly over time. One of our favourite exercises to keep track of in THE BOD One is the push-up! If you are still performing your push-ups on your knees, keep at it and practise until you can do these with full range of motion. You can level up by placing a resistance band around your torso to help you work on push-ups on your toes.
- Core strength is incredibly important to us at THE BOD - it will work the superficial extrinsic muscles but also the rectus abdominis. A strong rectus abdominis plays an important role in spinal stability. When recording your plank time, try to beat previous times without sacrificing technique. Remember: bum in line with the rest of your body, pelvis tucked in and core engaged.
TESTING FOR THE BOD TWO - MAINTENANCE
- On top of testing your main compound lifts (squat, bench, deadlift) - a great way to stay motivated is to also keep track of lifts you love and are working on to improve. A personal goal may be to hip thrust 100kg, or bench press 50kg. Testing can be as frequent as every four weeks. Testing is important because as your 1RM increases, so will your weekly working weights (percentages) which will ensure you are always training for progressive strength gain.
- THE BOD Two emphasises on body-weighted movements even though you will notice a dramatic increase in weighted exercises compared to THE BOD One. This is because bodyweight exercises are overall amazing ways to condition the whole body and useful for home workouts. If you're still performing your chin-ups and pull-ups assisted, try to challenge yourself by choosing a lighter resistance band and keep your eyes on the unassisted prize!
TESTING FOR THE BOD THREE - PRO
- THE BOD Three is a challenging and technical level. A lot of the exercises required advanced technique, and with complex technique comes an increase in the risk of injury. Before adding more weight to a movement, ensure you are performing the exercise with the best technique possible. For example: before adding weight to an unassisted pull-up, make sure you can perform this exercise for several reps without swinging or hiking.
- On top of testing your main compound lifts (squat, bench, deadlift) - a great way to stay motivated is to also keep track of lifts you love and are working on to improve. You will find movements in THE BOD Pro like the clean and press, pistol squat and handstand push-up. How many of these can you do?
TESTING FOR THE BOD STARTING STRENGTH, POWERBUILDER or D.U.P POWERLIFTER
- The men's programs all require access to a gym, making the free weight and machine-based exercises crucial to progressing in each level. On top of testing your main compound lifts (squat, bench, deadlift) - a great way to stay motivated is to also keep track of lists you love and are working on to improve.
One of the main aims of our programs is to not only help you create your ideal BOD, but to make it function at its optimal level, make you stronger, and make you more energetic.
Remember, if you feel subtle changes in you go through your day, that is a WIN! It may be as small as not getting winded from climbing a flight of stairs, to feeling more energetic when you get up in the morning!
What exercises are you working on at the moment? Leave a comment below and let us know!