Hard Activity Sets Up Weightlifting Gains?

Published 04/23/2012

Akin to the NFL these days as the passing game now sets up the run…

While I cannot attribute all of the recent gains I’ve experienced to hard activity, I believe playing in my backyard and in the woods of Neuty have made me stronger.  Another reason to implement the conjugate method I’ve alluded to before, originally read by one of my idols in the blogosphere.

Here are my conclusions based on the latest and greatest stats put up at the LbF Human Skill and Strength Development Center.

Rope climbing leads to improved chinup performance.

Not exactly ground-breaking news, but without having done the actual movement in months (chinups that is), I’ve gotten significantly better by doing something similar, and in my opinion, more fun!  In lieu of a bar, I’ve been pulling up a rope a few different ways (standard, sans legs, with 40lb weighted vest, etc).  The results…

Max chinups (dead hang) – up to 21 from 18 in 1 month!  I’ve never been really good at these but finally broke the 20 rep barrier.

Weighted chinup – bw + 101 lbs x 2.  Up from 90lb x 1 in 4 months!

Hill climbing leads to improved deadlift/squat performance.

Now this one may be a little more of a reach, but I’ve been feeling significantly more comfortable moving heavier weights around since fighting gravity at the slopes and trails at Neuty.

Deadlift milestone – 400lb x 3 at 165 bw!  Up 24 lb in approx 6 weeks!  .

Back Squat – 319 x 4.  Seeing gains here thanks to hill climbing and the fact that I just don’t do it often.

So there you have it, the old shotgun-formation-on-1st-down-setting-up-the inside-handoff-on-3rd-down version of getting stronger without “exercise.”


I have a couple events in May that will keep me from any structured programming, but once that passes I’m planning on more squats (front and back) and a little less deadlifting.  Not that I’m completely satisfied, but for now, I’m strong enough (in my personal opinion) when it comes to deadlifting especially compared to the squatting #’s.

Other key ingredients:

Clean fuel – these workouts were done in a fasted state (16-22 hrs) and after a few consecutive days of healthy eating.

Sleep – 7 hr minimum before a workout.  Quality of sleep has been high due to the clean fuel above.

Rest – it’s easy to be fresh when you don’t exercise much.  Lifting sessions are a once/week event.

Technique – whether on the hill, on the rope, or under load, technique (and the resulting efficiency) is the #1 concern!


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