Basic Strength Standards
Strength training is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth and it has a huge impact on your health and performance.
Strength is the mother of all physical qualities and the foundation from which speed, power, flexibility, mobility, balance and endurance are built.
If you want to shed body fat, be more powerful, more flexible or improve your endurance, the fastest way to get there is through properly developing strength.
Like anything though, there is a point of diminishing returns with strength.
Getting strong up to a certain point will have a huge impact on your health and performance.
Trying to get stronger after that point will take up a lot of your time, energy and recovery abilities and could eventually lead to injuries.
There's nothing wrong with that, but at that point you're no longer training for health and performance, you're simply chasing strength.
That's why I love kettlebell training.
When you train with kettlebells you're developing strength with weights that aren't heavy enough to beat up your joints and take a toll on your body.
And, with kettlebells, you're not training strength at the exclusion of the other qualities, you're also improving your power, mobility, flexibility and conditioning.
So you can train hard with kettlebells for your entire life and not get beat up and injured.
With that in mind, here are some strength standards that I think most people should be able to hit before we can say that strength is no longer the limiting factor in your life.
2 Hand Swing
Men: 40kg x 100 swings in 10 minutes
Ladies: 24kg x 100 swings in 10 minutes
The 2 hand swing is the best power movement in the strength training world.
Strength, power and conditioning all trained in one athletic movement.
As always, make sure your swings are powerful, explosive and done with perfect form.
Double Kettlebell Front Squat
Men: 2 x 40kg x 5 reps
Ladies: 2 x 20kg x 5 reps
The double kettlebell front squat is a tremendous full body exercise that taxes the core and upper body almost as much as it does the legs.
The amount of full-body strength that it takes to perform 5 reps with the above weights is surprising.
Once you reach that point, we can safely say that you aren't weak.
Men: 10 from dead hang
Ladies: 3 from dead hang
If you're a man and can't bang out 10 good pull ups, you're either weak or overweight.
Either way, you need to get stronger and lose some body fat.
Men: 40kg x 1 rep
Ladies: 20kg x 1 rep
When done correctly, the kettlebell press challenges the strength and stability of your entire body.
If you’re not strong and stable, there’s no way you’re pressing a heavy weight overhead.
Men: 40kg x 1 rep each side
Ladies: 24kg x 1 rep each side
The get up is a test of full body strength, mobility, stability and athleticism.
If you can perform a get up with these weights it’s a good indicator that you have all the strength, stability and mobility you need for most athletic endeavors.
Focusing on getting stronger is one of the best things you can do for your health and performance.
With strength, you'll live a longer, healthier and more active life.
And you'll optimize your body's performance along with minimizing injuries, aches and pains.
There is a point of diminishing returns, however, a point where getting stronger no longer improves your quality of life.
These numbers aren't the be-all, end-all for strength standards, they're simply a guidepost that can help you decipher if strength is what's holding you back from your goals.
Strength is never a bad thing, but chasing numbers in the gym is a good way to get hurt and perform poorly.
In Strength and Health,