“I want to get stronger but I don't know how! I’m new to the weight room and find it intimidating.”
You want to get stronger but you find the weights area in the gym intimidating and you are nervous about injuring yourself.
You are either new to strength training or you have tried to do some in the past but you don’t feel confident enough in your technique or your knowledge to train on your own.
You want to learn good technique and know exactly what to do in the gym to get the results you want. You want to feel confident in your lifting and know what to do to keep progressing.
“I love lifting weights but I really need help with the Olympic lifts. I haven’t had enough time and coaching to learn the technique properly.”
You want to learn or improve your olympic lifting: the snatch and the clean and jerk. You may be doing Crossfit, a sport or just interested in adding olympic lifting to your training.
You want a confidence-building experience where you learn the movements properly and at a pace that suits you.
You need dedicated time to master the technique under the eye of an experienced weightlifting coach.
"I want to learn how to squat, deadlift and bench press properly, but I don’t know where to start.”
You are new to lifting weights and you don’t know where to start. You’d love to learn how to squat, deadlift and bench press with correct technique.
But you find the typical weight room off-putting and you are not sure who to trust.
You want to be stronger without getting injured. You want to know that you are lifting with proper technique.
And most of all, you want to be confident you’ll actually get results!
We all know that there are a variety of benefits to weight training — including improved fat loss, strength and athletic performance — but at the core of weight training, there are 5 key lifts that are known as the big 5. Also known as compound exercises, the big 5 work multiple muscle groups at the same time, making them some of the most effective exercises you can do when it comes to building strength. The big 5 lifts include:
When it comes to pull-ups, we’ve all had the same experience of wondering which grip is best. Hands facing the body? Hands facing away? One hand each way? Even the amount of different bars can be confusing! The problem is, if we’re unsure exactly what to do, we might be getting it wrong. This could cause ineffective workouts and even damage to the muscles, so it’s always best to trust the experts.
At Strength Ambassadors, we know the ins and outs of building strength and for pull-ups, we know it can sometimes be hard to navigate which grip is the right one. Though other grips come with different benefits in areas like functional strength, could the neutral grip be right as a starting point? We’ve put together this handy guide explaining the ins and outs of neutral grip pull-ups and why they can make a great addition to your workout.
Today we’re going to be talking about a topic which slightly divides the weightlifting world: Deloading.
Some lifters will groan inwardly at the very mention of the word “deload”. Why? Because they see it as a waste of time. Many fear that taking a week to lift lighter and do less will harm their progress, or stunt their hypertrophy programme (which you can read all about here).
In actual fact the deload week benefits show that it could be the opposite.
Let’s take a look at them, what a deload week is, and how often you should plan one.
Kettlebell swings are an incredibly versatile and impactful exercise. Using an explosion of power resonating from a harmonious connection between your glutes, hips and hamstrings, they’re capable of boosting muscular power, increasing endurance and even burning the same amount of calories in 20 minutes (400) as you would on a cross country ski.
Outside of their benefits, kettlebell swings also come in a number of variations which makes them a great option for beginners and experts alike.
But if you want to know which variation works what muscle before committing: here’s a guide to all the kettlebell swing muscles worked.
At its heart, powerlifting is all about building strength. But in order to build that strength, you need to pick the right exercises.
When it comes to choosing those exercises though, things can get tricky. Powerlifting is supported by a whole range of different exercises, but sometimes those exercises – and the subsequent workouts they’re grouped into – can support different goals such as size.
Today we’re picking for you and so we’ve chosen the best powerlifting exercises to incorporate into your workouts if you’re looking to focus on strength only.
Once upon a time, overhead squats were mostly used by olympic athletes. However, thanks to the meteoric rise of CrossFit, overhead squats are now commonplace in all kinds of strength and weight training programmes.
This is good news, and bad news.
Good news because overhead squats are incredibly beneficial for core strength, balance, stability and strengthening the bottom position of the snatch.
Bad news because, well, they’re hard. To perform the lift correctly, you need high levels of coordination, mobility and balance.
Thankfully there are some overhead squat tips that I’m about to share that can help you lessen the learning curve, and maybe even turn that feeling of dread into one of quiet, confident joy.
When gym goers head to the rack to lift weights, there’s normally a number of reasons why they’re doing it. It could be to enhance their general health, to increase their speed, or to enhance their endurance and explosiveness.
However out of all the possible reasons listed, there are usually two prominent ones: To increase their muscle size, or to get strong.
And that is where strength vs hypertrophy training comes in.
Depending on your overall fitness and lifting goals will depend on whether you should be favouring one over the other, or whether you should be combining both and it’s something you should know before you next hit the weights room.
To the untrained eye, powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting don’t look all that dissimilar.
Lifters of either sport will attempt to pull heavy weights from off the ground, they’ll both throw their weights down pretty aggressively when done, and to a certain extent, they’ll even both use the same types of equipment for training, like barbells, kettlebells and dumbbells.
The issue is that although they may look and sound the same, the subtle but scientific differences between powerlifting and weightlifting vary greatly, and they’re important to keep in mind for new lifters starting at the beginning.
Here I’ve listed the main differences that lifters should be aware of if they’re planning on pursuing one of the variations.
Staying with this month’s bench pressing theme, it’s time to shine some light on another variation of the bench press: The close-grip bench press.
As you may have guessed, the close-grip bench press involves performing the press with your hands much closer together on the bar in a narrower grip.
Whereas the conventional bench press works your chest, shoulders, pecs and triceps, the close-grip bench press targets your triceps over any other muscle group. Your chest and shoulders are still involved, but your triceps will receive a majority of the focus.
If that sounds like what you’re looking for, here’s your quick guide to the close-grip bench press including what it is, whether it’s better, its benefits and how to perform it.
A few months ago, I sent a survey out to my email list and the wider lifting community, asking them for their feedback on the most infuriating myths about ladies who lift.
In my vast years of experience, I have lost count of the amount of times women have been dissuaded from lifting by remarks such as “You don’t want to do that, you’ll get bulky.” Or “Don’t do that, you’ll hurt yourself!”
I even wrote a tongue in cheek blog on the subject way back in 2014 where I poked fun at the common things women could expect to hear on the lifting platform.
"It just feels brilliant, it feels really good!"
Holly - Olympic Lifting
"Ladies Who Lift has been a massive confidence booster for me"
Angela - Ladies Who Lift
"Everything in my life is easier for being stronger!"
Melanie - personal training
"I was snatching in my first session, which I really didn't think I would be able to do!"
Dominic - Olympic Lifting PT
"The process has been really fun, I've enjoyed pushing it a little bit more every week"
Pippa - Ladies Who Lift
"It's been great - extraordinarily instructive!"
Greg - Olympic Lifting
"Now I've learned how to be more powerful!"
Jess - Olympic Lifting
"We've got a really nice squad of lifters here...everyone's so supportive"
Jon - Olympic Lifting classes