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.
Before we begin, you may be thinking any one of these things: What is the sumo deadlift? Is it like the sumo squat? Is this deadlift going to require a helluva lot more weight than I’m used to?
The answer is no and don’t panic. The Sumo Deadlift does not require any more weight than you’re comfortably used to training with!
Simply put the Sumo Deadlift is a variation of the deadlift. The difference is that in this variation, your legs do a little more work than your lower back.
Because of that, your sumo deadlift form requires good positioning and technique in order to be effective. Thankfully, that’s what we’re covering today!
In my last blog, we detailed how and why the snatch was so important in Olympic Weightlifting.
In this blog, we’re talking about its Olympic Weightlifting sister exercise: The Clean and Jerk.
The snatch and the clean and jerk are the two most iconic power exercises there are. Whilst the snatch is all about your form and your finesse, the clean and jerk allows you to use full, unleashed power (within reason).
Both exercises build muscle and make you faster, stronger and more powerful. Both exercises require your glutes, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps and shoulders to have a range of flexibility. And most of all: both exercises are a lot of fun to do!
During the Covid-19 national lockdown in early 2021, we asked our members to tell us about their home gym for strength training.
Pros and cons, what to buy, will they use it after lockdown?
Our members train in powerlifting, olympic weightlifting and strongman, so the ideal home gym is full of weights and strength equipment.
However, many members live in London in small flats. So home kit ranges from a couple of dumbbells in the lounge, all the way up to the full garage gym.
Therefore if you are wondering whether to get strength training kit for home, this will be a helpful read, whatever your situation. Read More
If you’ve followed Strength Ambassadors for any length of time, or you’ve read a couple of our blogs, you will have probably heard me mention “the Snatch”.
For the experienced lifters among us, this will be common terminology. For those of you who are just starting out with lifting of any kind, you might be thinking… Wait. What are we snatching?
Technically, we’re snatching increased strength, stability and power, but this will all mean very little out of context.
So today, we’re going to talk about an Olympic weightlifting movement that is enjoying a recent surge in popularity: the snatch.
Deadlifts. We all know they’re good for you – after all, they’re touted as one of the staple exercises in any strength training routine.
But ask any gym goer, fitness fanatic or exercise enthusiast which specific muscles deadlifts work and I guarantee the responses will be haphazard guesses about the back, the biceps and the abs.
In actual fact, deadlifts work around 9 different muscle groups! Different muscle groups also become more or less engaged depending on which variation of the deadlift you perform.
So that you can revel in just how beneficial deadlifts are for your body, here’s the complete run down as to what muscles deadlifts work.
If you’re looking for a brand new workout that will give you brand new results, it’s time to consider a strongman workout.
Beginners – don’t panic! You don’t need to have muscles that bulge like Eddie Hall’s or Donna Moore’s.
Strongman training is for everyone. After all, the primary movements of strongman: Pushing, pulling, and carrying are built into all of us! What’s more, performing these exercises in the gym can transfer over to when we use them in the real world.
Through strongman training we develop our functional strength, condition our cardiovascular system and increase our speed, all whilst getting stronger.
If those sound like the benefits you’re looking for in your workout regime, then step up to the plate and try this 6 exercise strongman workout.
"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