When Acquiring Strength, Less Can Be More

By Brandon Richey

In today’s discussion, I want to dive deep into the component of developing an effective strength and conditioning program that best suits your needs without all the complication. All too often I hear about people that want to start up a strength and conditioning program, but quickly dissolve the idea due to the fact that they don’t have enough equipment, they can’t afford a gym membership, they haven’t mastered the Candy Crush game, or they just simply don’t know where to start. Well today we’re going to fix that my friend.

The Primary (Or Primal Human Movements)…

So as a coach I’m constantly being bombarded with questions from folks wondering where in the world they should start when moving towards developing their own strength and conditioning program. Their excuses for “NOT” starting usually fall in line with the explanations involving a lack of resources, time, etc. that I touched on in the opening paragraph of this article.

It’s understandable, but at the same time frustrating, for me as a coach to hear people being discouraged from acquiring a strong functional body due to a lack of resources.

Now allow me to clarify something here. When I say a “lack of resources” I’m primarily referring to a lack of equipment in some form or fashion, but remember that “knowledge” is also a resource, and with enough of that one can be resourceful when it comes to developing a sound strength program.

So buckle your seatbelt for these knowledge bombs my friend because they’re going to be coming right at you, and it’s hopefully going to make your strength program a lot more effective than you may have thought possible.

Let’s start with the basics. A few years ago a guy by the name of Paul Chek came up with a simple barometer to measure human movements (also referred to as primal movements). These movements are as follows:


Now as you may or may not know many of us coaches like to use these movements in order to assess problem areas that need to be strengthened in various trainees when involved in various strength programs. However, if you are one of those with a “lack of resources” and looking for a good place to start then take a look at these 7 primal movements and address these in some form or fashion within the model of your own strength program.

Ah ha, so maybe we’ve hit on something here! I mean why not just start back at the basics and implement basic human movements into the model of a strength program? What a novel idea, right? Ok, maybe not for some, but when it comes to most of the general public you get my point.

The good news here is that this just takes what can potentially be a complex formula for many and just flat out simplifies it. It’s all about making things simple so that you can acquire the physical goals that you want and need the most without the worry of NOT having enough equipment, time, money, and gym memberships!

I mean this can easily be broken down and the key is to just make sure that your focus is on the quality of movement rather than quantity of movements! For instance, if we examine the basic push up exercise (covering #1 on the primal movement list) we have a drill here that can be performed without the need of equipment. I mean I admit we can advance the push up exercise by performing it in conjunction with equipment and some movement variations, but the point is that you can pretty much perform a basic one without the use of any equipment.

Now having said this take a second and pull this from the primal movements list and add it to your list of strength movement to-do’s! In addition to this work to master this drill by performing it with quality effort.

Like any elite level athlete, respected businessman, quality leader, or Navy SEAL (:-)) you should work to execute everything you do with the intention of doing so with sound quality, and the epic push up exercise is no different. Quality is king my friend.

If you happen to have questions about whether you can do this then you might want to check out this little video I did discussing some common problem areas I run into with the push ups exercise. For instance, are you “roostering” when performing the push up? If you’re not sure then take a second to check out this video I did to see for yourself.

So the point is that even though the primal movements may seem basic (which in reality they are) the fact still remains that much of the general public lacks the ability to perform basic movements effectively and true to form.

Once again lifestyle factors weighing on a job that requires hours upon hours of sitting in a spinal flexed position, along with a lack of mobility practice, and a sound understanding of correcting basic human movement leads to a population that is infested with bodies that lack sound mobility and stability through various movement patterns.

The point of all of this is that you can still do more with less by just working to master the 7 basic primal movements. I mean once again you can ramp up the intensity of what you’re doing once you have gotten better and better at paying attention to detail and know that you’re doing it right.

For instance, if we take the push up exercise we can intensify it by simply doing it differently. Start implementing plyo-push ups, one arm push ups, diamond push ups, and once you’ve gotten those down then you can go a step further into the push up arsenal by adding in and combining another movement altogether such as a pull. Case in point resisted push up renegade rows. So now we’re checking #1 and #2 off the primal movements list.

You see by paying attention to detail you can make what should be very basic seem like anything but basic. The lack of attention to detail is also another problem that has infected a great number of folks, but that is a topic for another day.

Once again I just want to thank SGPT for allowing me to make another appearance and I hope you enjoyed the article. By the way, if you’re looking for more great ideas on how to do more with less then make sure you check out my Brandon Richey’s Unconventional Conventional Method Of Strength ebook because it is all about teaching you how to do just that!

Check out Brandon Richey’s Unconventional Method Strength Ebook HERE

For more information on other strength and conditioning strategies to help you get bigger, faster, stronger, leaner, meaner, more mobile, and an easy date with a Victoria Secret model check my blog below. Ok, maybe not that very last part, but I’m working on it!

Check out Brandon Richey’s Blog HERE

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