Easy-strength: Increase strength without fatigue

There is a complete misnomer that in order to get stronger, you need to push yourself to grind out sets and reach fatigue on each training block and this couldn’t be further from the truth with easy-strength.

We often forget (myself included) that strength and strength training is as much as a skill as it is a physical trait… Yes, at some point you need to lift heavy shit to get strong, but the point is you don’t have to be drowning in fatigue to make significant improvements.

If you follow top level lifters, you’ll see them hit impressive numbers frequently, but it’s important to note that their lifts at 85% or less than their 1RM are still massive. Don’t think that top strength athletes work at high intensities week in week out.

It gets glamorised for social media that you need to work harder than you did the day before. More weight, more reps, more frequency, more focus… yada yada… Insert some quote about hard work and try to get more likes on Instagram.

It’s true there needs to be some level of hard work but don’t get sucked into the single-minded thought of hard work. Hard work can be consistency over 10 years! Hard work can be having the self-control to rest on certain days.

But it’s much harder to gain traction on social media with such topics. Recording a video of yourself doing a breathing drill or reading a book doesn’t have the same gravitas as ripping out a 500-pound set of deadlifts.

Before recording my podcast with legendary strength coach Dan John (see episode here), I went through and read several of his books. One in particular was Easy Strength (written with Pavel).


Click here for Book

Without a doubt, this is one of the best strength training books (in my opinion) – This gave me a paradigm shift in my thinking and programming, not only for myself, but also for my clients.

3 key lessons from Easy-strength the book

  1. “Lift heavy, not hard.” Do as little as needed, not as much as possible.
  2. Strength is a skill, and as such, it must be practiced.
  3. The all-or-none law – Muscles either contract or they don’t. “As signals become more frequent, the muscle fibres twitching overlap and summate a greater pull.”

After reading the above-mentioned book, I decided to complete the 40-day workout strength challenge (t-nation program here).  However, customised it to the areas I wanted to improve for myself.

Two specific exercises I wanted to learn and improve were: the overhead squat and pistol squats. Mainly because I had never really been able to successfully execute either of them properly.

And I’m happy to say that program worked! In the beginning of the program, I could barely hold a dowel rod in the right position above my head for 5 reps and much the same with pistol squats. Initially I had to hold onto something for guided/supported pistols.


At the end of the 40-day workout challenge, I was able to do 60kg overhead squats and elevated pistols, free-standing.  Which might not be that impressive for all of you 5-foot hobbits out there… But I’m 6 feet 4 inches with limbs like a giraffe… Making it more of a challenge and part of the reason why I thought those specific exercises would be a great test.

Plus, I added 20kg to my predicted max deadlift, 7kg to my incline press, amongst improvements in other lifts.

5 reasons to learn and try the Easy-strength training style

  1. Improve your weak points or exercises you struggle with.
  2. Learn a new movement or lift. You’ll be amazed where you’re at by the end of the 40 workouts.
  3. Adding pounds/kilograms to any of your desired lifts in a relatively short amount of time.
  4. Forming a healthy association to frequent gym workouts, that factor in recovery and fatigue.
  5. Technique mastery. Being able to lift heavy weights without increased risk of injury.

This program is not day-to-day hard, as you’re walking out of the gym relatively fresh and not in a crippled state of fatigue. However, the element of “hard” is showing up and being consistent.

There is a level of monotony to the program, executing the same movements over and over again. So, if you’re someone that needs variety then this program is not for you. It’s for people with OCD and an ambition for mastery in the gym.

Stay Strong,

Coach Adam

P.s. If you would like a free copy of my training Easy-Strength template submit email below. Please wait to be redirected to template file.

P.p.s See Youtube clip below on this topic

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