John Gaglione's Strength Training Words
to Live By #1
The Five Pillars of a Supreme Strength Program
are often used as a metaphor for the foundation of strength programs. Like
Milo and the calf, (for you 6th century BC Greek Wrestling fans!) their
symbolism serves as a constant reminder to build strength progressively,
by solidifying the basics. Here’s a five pillar colonnade of proven
training is used as a means to accomplish many ends. Some use it for fat
loss, and others employ it to boost athletic performance. No matter the
goal, building maximal strength is the central pillar of a supreme
program—as all other physical attributes are directly related to maximal
Consider the case of fifteen female cross-country skiers
that trained for maximal upper-body strength for nine weeks. Not only did
they outperform their control group counter-parts on strength testing, but
they also outlasted them during upper-body endurance testing !
Maximal strength improves our ability to develop every other physical
quality. A program that dismisses is sadly remiss.
The barbell deadlift is a fantastic tool to build and measure Maximal
Strength: As maximal strength is the central pillar, relative strength
is its most important subsidiary. It’s the most important progress
barometer, with body weight exercises serving as the mercury.
strength is the maximal amount of strength produced at a given body
weight. If your sport bids you to maintain a body weight of 205 pounds,
you must get as strong as possible while weighing 205 pounds. Gain weight
beyond 205 and your relative strength has decreased. And likely, so has
your performance. To
monitor relative strength, it’s imperative that body weight exercises are
included in strength programs. It’s great to put thirty pounds on your
bench press, but if you’ve lost the ability to do pull-ups—there’s an
Here an example of Real Relative Strength Weighted Pull Ups
Strength: How quickly can you demonstrate strength? If you’ve never
asked yourself this question, you are missing out on huge strength gains
and improved athletic performance.
strength is also known as power—the ultimate precursor to athletic
domination. Power takes the strength that is built during heavy training
and transfers it to athletics and life outside the weight-room. Power is
the bridge between pillars.
Dynamic effort barbell exercises, combined with jump training, build
dynamic strength and power.
Here is an example of a jumping drill to develop power
Strength: Athletes also have to produce strength repeatedly. The one
and done show is reserved only for powerlifters and Olympic lifters.
high rep training can’t dominate a strength program, it must be an active
component. Every athlete must overcome fatigue—and do so without
Repetition effort training is designed to meet this end—with the goal of
completing each rep with power, even as lactic acid burns and energy
Body Weight Training as well as dumbbells are both great tools to build
Stability: Our core is the axle that transfers strength and power to
and from our moving limbs. It’s the pillar that sturdily supports all of
the other pillars—even maximal strength. Every strong core is capable of
Optimal core stiffness is always a goal of a supremely
written program. Develop stiffness and stability by training the core from
all angles and by resisting movement from all directions. Avoid the core
and you’ll be a pillar short of a colonnade.
Roll Outs are an excellent variation to train the core stability and
Pillar, foundation or base—use
whichever metaphor you like; successful strength programs are built on
basic principles. The best strength programs transform basic principles
into sustained actions that produce continual results.
Not from around the area, but still want to learn the exact systems that are
Gaglione Strength to build champions? Check out
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Coach John Gaglione is a Sport Performance Specialist out of Long
Island New York. He is a certified "Underground" Strength coach & physical
preparation specialist who specializes in training combat and contact athletes.
John’s work has been featured in Men’s Health, Elite Fitness Systems,
Testosterone Nation, One Result & local wrestling site Long Island Wrestling
Association. Check out
to learn more.