This is a bucket list for beginner and intermediate meatheads. Each of these are a right of passage in their own way. They are not necessarily things you need to accomplish in the next year or at the same time, just at some point over the next two decades of your meathead life. Most veteran lifters I know have checked these off of their list but if you are a new lifter, you may not have done any of them. This is my list of 5 things I feel everyone should do in their Meathead Training Life:
TRAIN FOR A POWERLIFTING MEET
Train for a powerlifting meet. Even if you only do this once, it teaches you the difference between stringing together a bunch of workouts and training. Training for maximal strength is different than doing a chest, arm, and leg day. If will teach you that there is more to building strength than AMRAP sets. It will also give you some insight into and respect for what powerlifters do all year.
Diet to get under 10% body fat. This will bring out discipline that you didn't know you had. It will take more than going to the gym a few times a week. It will take a 24/7 lifestyle and will teach you all about the intricacies of food intake. Many of us take for granted what macros are, but there are many who still have no idea what food are high in carbs and fats and what a lean protein source is. Many people also do not think they have control over what they eat and this will show them that they do. You will also gain more respect for what physique athletes do day in and day out.
CARRY SOME HEAVY SHIT
Carry something heavy for 50 yards. This can be in your hands or on your back. It doesn't matter. Carry something you will drop several times on your way to the 50-yard mark. This will teach you how to keep moving forward when you don't think you can take another step. You won't want to and won't think you can but you will find a way to get to the end. Once you get there, you will gain more respect for yourself for getting there, even if you had to stop and start up again. Oh, once you get there, carry the fucker back to where you started. If you got there, YOU CAN GET BACK.
HIGH REP SQUATS
Do a set of squats where you can't make it past 20-30 reps. Take a weight you think you can do for 12-15 and will yourself to do 20. Then 21, and 22, and so on until you simply can't do more. You will end up doing several more reps than you thought you could. You will be breathing like a freight train and everything will hurt. Just keep going. When you rack the weight, DO NOT hit the floor. Walk it off first and let your heart rate lower slowly. Crashing to the floor is not a good idea, keep moving until you can talk in a normal rhythm and tone. Then hit the floor.
Do a chin up. Yeah, I agree it's not a great movement. I don't like them and rarely have anyone do them. But I do feel at some point every meathead should be able to do them. NOT a kipping version but a strict version. This accomplishes a few things. To do these many will have to get stronger, others will need to lose weight. In short, this is a movement that you have to be in shape to do. Once you can do it, it's done. The older you get and more muscle you gain, this will be one of the first things to go and be of less importance. BUT, get them done while you can.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
This is my short list. I could list much more but am more interested in your thoughts. If you have items you would like to add, comment below or share this to your social group and add your own list.
First off I just want to say thanks for putting so much quality content online.
Secondly I think the list is well structured and includes some great goals.
Personally I have done, or attempted some variation of each of objectives, and they're all worthy of their place.
My question is, for someone starting out, having achieved none of the goals, what order would you suggest doing them in?
Thanks, Paul Devine, Dublin, Ireland.
In this post you mention the chin up is "not a great movement"- but you have been quoted saying it is "the most underrated exercise." I've always thought of the pull up as one of the primary mass builders for back, coupled with rows... do you no longer value it in training?
Thanks for the insight