I gotta lay it on the line here. From the time I was a teenager to the present – the hype surrounding the bench press has gone wild.
People are now conditioned to believe that how much weight you can press while lying on your back counts for something.
And it does.
It counts for a lot of torn rotator cuffs, a lot of blown pecs and big useless pecs that don’t contribute a whole lot to being functionally fit or strong.
Making matters worse – because many people fall in love with “benching” – it’s almost all they do. The whole workout is nothing but taking turns on the bench.
A far, far, FAR better measure of your strength can be summed up with the following question that the
farmers in Iowa used to ask me:
“Hey feller, how much weight can you put up over yer head.”
That one used to stump me when I was busy building my bench press. But it was the right question.
How much you can pick up from the floor, hoist to your shoulders, then press overhead – sounds a lot like what a farmer might have to do when he working the hay fields or doing other chores.
Doing the old fashioned clean and jerk and snatch – although true measures of overall body strength – are pretty doggone hard for many to learn. Moreover, they’re just not the best exercises for a lot of people to do because of age, previous injuries, overall coordination, etc.
This is why it’s a good idea to begin with Combat Conditioning wherein you are building FUNCTIONAL strength with nothing more than your
own body weight. Just like animals in the wild.
Bodyweight exercises build strength, endurance and flexibility simultaneously. And Combat Conditioning starts you off with the Royal Court – the Big 3 of exercise: Hindu squats, Hindu pushups and bridging.
Once you’re doing these fairly well – then it’s time to reverse things. By this I mean that instead of seeing how much weight you can “put over your head” – you kick into a handstand – lean against a wall and work on pressing your entire body weight up and down.
It’s harder than using a barbell with weights. It’s more challenging.
But when it comes to creating FUNCTIONAL strength – it is truly magnificent.
You can read more about doing these handstand pushups – by going here.
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