Strength is King. It is the one thing that has an effect on most qualities. It is the reason why we separate men’s and women’s sport. The difference is strength.
Yes strength is useless without work capacity, mobility, speed and the other attributes of performance, but without the required level of strength to perform you won’t even make it to the field of play. In some way shape or form, being stronger can improve every other quality but the reverse does not necessarily hold true.
The dictionary definition: The ability to exert effort or force.
This is usually measured in the gym on the squat bench press and deadlift. These aren’t bad measures of strength but they are not absolute measures. You can have the best squat bench and deadlift but still not be the best performer on field. The most important thing is that the strength you develop needs to transfer to the arena of play.
The gym is a tool to develop strength. It’s not about demonstrating strength. This is a thing that athletes and coaches tend to forget. We lift to be better athlete’s not better lifters. That being said there are few things that make a person stronger than training with a barbell.
If I had to rank training tools in terms of developing general strength
2. DB/ Kettlebells
3. Odd objects
The bar is the easiest to load incrementally and to progress. It gives the best balance of incremental loading and overall load. The amount of weight you move and therefore the stress you put on the body to adapt.
It was a tough choice between 2 and 3 but the Dumbbells and Kettlebells take the second spot because of the incremental loading. It is easier to control the progression of the load than with odd objects.
If incremental loading was easy. Nothing would compare to odd object Training. Nothing makes you stronger in every way than picking up, carrying, pulling, pushing and throwing heavy awkward shit around. Why is it that farm kids are always weirdly strong even though they never seen a gym. It’s because they do lots of what is listed above.
The simple answer to get stronger
Bent over row
Start slowly, do more reps or add more weight to the bar. Repeat for a period of years…
The less simple answer
Train with all the tools you have. We don’t live in a world of absolutes. You don’t just have to do one thing.
The base of your strength work should be the basic barbell lifts. Done well and done with heavy weight.
You should do supplementary dumbbell and kettlebell work to balance out weak links and left / right imbalances
You should train with odd objects. Sleds, sandbags, logs, tires etc. Wrestle an alligator if you can. The odd objects add in that CHAOS element that is a part of sport.
That is the basics of it.
You don’t get strong in months, YOU GET STRONG IN YEARS. Consistent effort will get you results!