by Grant Norris
Okay, so everyone wants to be old school strong. Whether you admit it or not, you think that being able to deadlift cars or carrying supermodels out of a burning building is awesome. However, it seems that old school strength is something that we’ve lost. How many guys out there are actually old school strong?
So what is Old School Strength?
- The ability to pick up heavy things and then walk with them (farmers walk, yoke carry, sand bags, small children, not so small children, dumbbells, barbells).
- The ability to pick up and put heavy things overhead (clean and jerk, log press, overhead press).
- Squatting and doing it for high reps even though you don’t want to.
- Deadlift for reps, for heavy singles, for heavy triples. You can do these anyway you want as long as they get done.
Now we need to have a discussion about how you should put these into a program. One of the best ways to build old school strength is by using Jim Wendler’s book 5/3/1. It uses basic linear progression and progressive overload to get you jacked and strong, which is the only way you actually can get huge. All of the information you need is online already, so a basic search will have you on your way to deadlifting a Civic. In strength training there really isn’t anything new under the sun, there are just better applications of similar ideas. Here’s the link to the program: 531 Article
Another way you can get strong is to use a methodology like 5×5, which once again is another way to use linear progression and progressive overload. The only issue with this is that there’s no waving of intensity, but if you’re new to lifting that really isn’t a big deal. However, if you are an intermediate and would like a way to use 5×5 without having to go up in weight every week try out this wave.
- Week 1: 6 sets x 4 reps @75-80% of 1RM
- Week 2: 5×5 at same weight
- Week 3: 4×6 at the same weight
- Week 4-6: repeat week 1-3 but 5-10 pounds heavier on each movement.
Obviously, you can’t track reps on weighted carries, but you can do a similar three-week wave where you change the distance or weight:
- Week 1: 4 trips x 10m
- Week 2: 4x20m
- Week 3: 4x30m
- Week 4: I think you get it
Okay, so now that you have two ways to get the girl of your dreams, implement one of them and stick with it. If your program hop you won’t get stronger.