Have You Been Hitting Your Big Lifts This Year?

Morning all,

Time for a #TrainingTips post.

Have you been hitting your big lifts this year?  If not why the hell not?  You should be ending this year with better PB’s than you did last and if you’re not what have you been doing the last 300 odd days?!?

The exercises that proceed should be the cornerstones of anybodies programme or workout routine.  Simply put these exercises will ensure continual progression and increases your potential for strength and growth.  The blood, sweat and tears we put our bodies through time after time are all investments we make to achieve something.  Whether that is a physique goal, a fitness goal, a sporting goal or a strength goal and just like any investment, there are poor investments which yield poor results and then there are good investments which yield good results.  I would like you to be making better investments in 2017 and hope you do too.


There Is Just No Replacement For Your Big Lifts



Welcome to the big lifts family.  The best way to achieve the highest possible yield from the smallest investment is what we are talking about.  Why spend endless unproductive hours and effort in the gym when it’s not necessary.  Investing wisely is not easy but it is possible and it is smarter.


Your Big Lifts to master in 2017:



The squatting movement when analysed has close specificity to many everyday tasks, such as lifting packages and picking up your children.  Research has also shown that the squat has an indirect correlation to countless other chores and hobbies that you do everyday.

A majority of daily activities necessitate the simultaneous coordinated interaction of numerous muscle groups  The squat is considered one of the best exercises for improving quality of life because of it’s ability to recruit multiple muscle groups in a single manoeuvre.  The squat and it’s benefits not only mimic everyday tasks, but squats have biomechanical and neuromuscular similarities to a wide range of athletic movements, which is why squats are included as a core exercise in many sports programmes designed to enhance athletic performance.

Have You Been Hitting Your Big Lifts This Year?

Image Source: https://firstpull.net/2013/11/08/ask-first-pull-fridays-should-the-knees-be-pushed-out-in-the-squat/

The squat also benefits people after joint-related injuries by strengthening the lower-body muscles and connective tissues.  As well as being used for treatment of ligament lesions, patellofemoral dysfunctions, total joint replacements, ankle instability and rehabilitation of ACL injuries.



The deadlift is a hip dominant movement that predominantly recruits our posterior chain.  Our posterior chain has been attributed to being the most influential group of muscles in our body by many coaches over the years.  Your prime movers in the posterior chain are your glutes and hamstrings, but in all bending patterns there is a hell of a lot more muscles working hard isometrically to maintain a strong posture.  Some research has actually shown that during your big hip and knee dominant movements, your core activation and stability during these exercises are a lot greater than all core focused exercises are on their own.

Have You Been Hitting Your Big Lifts This Year?

Image Source: https://www.joe.co.uk/fitness-health/oops-strongman-breaks-deadlift-record-then-leaves-arnold-schwarzenegger-hanging-138

The prime mover of forward propulsion comes from your posterior chain, jumping, running and even just standing up wouldn’t happen without it, so when you think of it in that light, we all need to be deadlifting.  Unfortunately due to most people sitting on their bums all day and not bending in the gym enough, we are all becoming more anterior chain dominant (quads), so there is even more reason to be bending.  And from my sports coaching background, building a strong hip extension is necessary in pretty much all sports which aids to a greater performing elite athlete, so guess what, they all bend if they like it or not.


Bench Press

The bench press is one of those exercises which every man loves to hate.  You never hear spoken how much do you squat do you?  It’s always ‘what do you bench’.  It shouldn’t be a competition and it definitely doesn’t highlight the bigger the bench the better the athlete.  That said however, the bench press is a great exercise when done correctly.  Huge upper body exercise focusing on the pectorals, deltoids and the triceps.  Although it is a huge upper body exercise, when done correctly the whole body should be working.

Have You Been Hitting Your Big Lifts This Year?

Image source: http://worldtranslation.org/uk/news/480-increase-result-in-bench-press.html


Pull up

One of the hardest exercises to master the ‘pull up’.  It’s hard as your are having to manipulate your own bodyweight.  But again just like the bench press it’s another great upper body exercise.  Hitting the opposite muscle groups to the bench (I like to hit all bases), our prime movers are our latissimus dorsi, deltoids again and our biceps, as well as working your core muscles harder than you would think.

Have You Been Hitting Your Big Lifts This Year?

Image Source: http://www.robkingfitness.com/training/why-women-cant-do-pull-ups/


Clean and Press

Massive combination exercise which involves the entire body using strength, speed and stability.  Good technique is essential as it is a technical lift.  The clean and press is a combination of all the elements above to a certain degree, as it has a bending movement, a pull, a squat and a press.  The coordination and attributes required to do a clean and press has many crossovers to sporting situations and force generation.

Have You Been Hitting Your Big Lifts This Year?

Image Source: http://theathleticbuild.com/dmitry-klokovs-5-most-impressive-lifts-on-the-web/klokov-push-press/


Achieving any health and fitness goal is like trying to piece together a puzzle with a very poor picture of what you’re trying to create.  It’s a fine balance of the right amount of exercise and recovery which is all supported by the right nutrition for you and your goal.  It’s a lot of trial and error before you get it right.

Now I don’t want those thoughts to put you off because all that time and effort is worth it.  Good things come to those who take it steady and are intelligent about their journey.  Those who do have these lifts in their arsenal are giving themselves the best chance to achieve many great things for a very long time.


I do hope all of my tips and advice have been useful to you over the last year.  I’m always open to suggestions if there certain things you would like to learn about or if you have mountains that don’t seem scalable at the moment.  I’m here to share my knowledge and help as many people as I can.

As usual I will be doing an accumulator 12 days of Christmas workout to keep you busy over the festivities so do watch out for that on all of my social media feeds.


Have a great weekend.


Stay strong and live, love and laugh!






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