Real World Strength

Dannyboy; 185# Grace.

Days of yore. Goldy; 315# farmers walks.

A close friend of mine is a very strong guy.  He is also a fairly big guy, about six and a half feet tall and he usually weighs 250 or so.  Of course he is strong, you say, look how big he is.  True, but here is the funny thing, his lifts were surprisingly low.  He benched about bodyweight, squatted a little more, and deadlifted double bodyweight once.  His quick lifts were relatively about the same.  Not the world’s greatest technique, but not particularly bad either. And yes, he trained earnestly and hard.

Not super impressive, huh?  But he is one of the strongest and most powerful people I have ever known.  Way more so than people whose lifts were a lot heavier.  He can lift just about anything to his shoulder, hold a length of 4×4 in one hand and a Skilsaw in the other and make precise cuts (try it), and carry a 120# sandbag almost a half mile without setting it down (Greg A witnessed that one).  I have seen him literally throw a 170# guy over people’s heads into a mosh pit, push a stalled truck up an incline (it was my truck), and close the IronMind #2 gripper a dozen times in a row.  His upper cut is like an RPG and a straight arm shove will set most guys on their butts.

What’s going on here? You see, my buddy has real world strength, and lots of it.  His ability to manifest his power in everyday life is huge.  If your gym strength is not translating to the real world, then you are weak. The real world does not care about numbers.

Now, don’t be insulted.  Remember, your power clean is not an indication of who you are as a human being, any more than your Helen time is, or the car you drive, or how well you can surf.  Nor am I saying that you should not be excited about your lifts and times.  Certainly you should be.

What am I saying here?  What is the purpose of this post?  The reason to CrossFit, or really to do anything, is to help you in your everyday life.  If your training is not translating to everyday life, then something is off.  It may be your training, but most likely it is your focus.  Yes, some people seriously compete in CrossFit or weightlifting, and for them the numbers are not the means to an end, but the end itself.  Most of us, however, do not fall in that category.

There is one more aspect to this post. Remember all those Attributes of Fitness that CrossFitters talk about and pay vague homage while they focus on endurance, stamina, and strength.  What transfers all that gym strength into the real world are the other attributes, the less popular ones like coordination, balance, and accuracy. The combo of an intermediate bench press and an advanced squat or clean (click to check yours) should give you a savage upper cut.  Do you have one?  If not, then maybe you need to pay a little more attention to those latter three attributes.

Please post thoughts to Comments.


Back Squat

Find new 1RM.


7 Rounds

1 Deadlift + 3 Handstand Pushups

1 Deadlift + 5 Pullups (C2B)

1 Deadlift + 7 Squats

Deadlift weight–80% 1RM (go heavy)

Do each couplet on a 1 minute interval.

So, do 1 DL and 3 HSPU and then rest for the remainder of the minute.  On the minute, do 1 DL and 5 pullups and then rest for the remainder of the minute.  On the minute, do 1 DL and 7 squats and then rest for the remainder of the minute.  On the minute, do 1 DL and 3 HSPU and so on until 7 rounds have been completed (21 deadlifts).