Riddle me this...

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
I suggest to anyone who’ll listen that a good first fitness step is to lie on the floor on your back then get up until you’re standing. Return to the floor and repeat for 10 total.

-S-
That's actually a pretty interesting thing to do. It also lends itself to progressions, such as eliminating use of hands, arms, etc. Also starting on ones stomach. Whenever I get up from floor work I strive to use as few points of contact as possible.
 

ClaudeR

Triple-Digit Post Count
I suggest to anyone who’ll listen that a good first fitness step is to lie on the floor on your back then get up until you’re standing. Return to the floor and repeat for 10 total.

-S-
This and daily movement/walking is probably the best advice to anyone to stay healthy!
Carry some shopping bags once in a while and everything is covered!
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
The standard should be only what is needed to live the life of a regular citizien with reasonably good health.
Yes, I suppose if we're talking about a public health standard, they should be lower.

But if we're talking about a vision.... the standards should be high, but attainable.

"On a 30,000-foot level, our motto—“Strength has a greater purpose”—has a lower key meaning. Unless you are a competitive lifter, strength is not the end all but a foundation upon which greater performance in your sport and a better quality of life will be built.

You can be anything you want. A warrior. An athlete. A hard man or woman ready to handle whatever life throws at you. But you must be strong first."

- Pavel Tsatsouline, Strength Has a Greater Purpose | StrongFirst
 

ClaudeR

Triple-Digit Post Count
If you want to make it complete rather than 80/20 I still believe Mark Sisson’s original (before you had to buy all kinds of stuff) movement related rules are about as good as it gets:
Move around a lot at a slow(er) pace
Lift heavy things (about 2-3 times a week)
Once in a while run really fast (hills, sprints, HIIT, etc, around once every 7-10 days)

No need to make it more complicated than that
 

Harald Motz

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
2) Do you think the barbell strength standards are a good measure of a person all around strength?

3) What would the kettlebell standards be? a) Simple Goal from S&S and/or b) Rite of Passage from ETK?

4) What would the bodyweight standard be? I know OA(OL)PU is the standard to pass the SFB, and it's a good skill, primarily in teaching tension generating technique. But I am unconvinced that it's a viable bodyweight strength standard candidate.
When it comes to standards SF has some great well rounded ones in the arsenal.
Getting to simple one has a really good base regarding power, grip, endurance, strength and mobility. Sinister is exactly that.
ROP goals are 200 24kg snatches in 10 minutes which demands grip, grit and a kind of endurance.
Beast Tamer has to be strong, lean and mobile

As I participated TSC this spring, I totally appreciate the mix of the three disciplines of max strength, relative strength, heart and lung and grit strength.
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
Also agree with @Kettlebelephant on the SFL standards. The SFL standards are beyond "strength" for even most gym-goers. I'm a big believer in walking the walk, and if you're going to instruct you should show good knowledge and skill yourself (barring physical limitations) but there is no reason a healthy individual looking to live an active lifestyle and delay aging needs to come anywhere close to those numbers.
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
If you want to make it complete rather than 80/20 I still believe Mark Sisson’s original (before you had to buy all kinds of stuff) movement related rules are about as good as it gets:
Move around a lot at a slow(er) pace
Lift heavy things (about 2-3 times a week)
Once in a while run really fast (hills, sprints, HIIT, etc, around once every 7-10 days)

No need to make it more complicated than that
I think Pat Flynn had something similar that I love (paraphrasing off the top of my head here):

frequent high quality, low rep strength work
less frequent metabolic conditioning
as much low level aerobic activity and joint mobility as possible
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I suggest to anyone who’ll listen that a good first fitness step is to lie on the floor on your back then get up until you’re standing. Return to the floor and repeat for 10 total.
That's actually a pretty interesting thing to do. It also lends itself to progressions, such as eliminating use of hands, arms, etc. Also starting on ones stomach. Whenever I get up from floor work I strive to use as few points of contact as possible.
Has anyone of you ever done Dan Johns "Get Back Up"-drill?
It's so simple and yet very humbling.
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
It is one thing to ask whether the SFL standards are too high. I think my life got way easier after I started deadlifting 200kg or something like 500lbs, so I personally find the standard level appropriate. But I'm not sure how much it was just getting used to the regular lifting instead of meeting a certain goal.

But the question I meant to ask is whether the SFL standards are really that hard to obtain? I can understand them maybe being too high for most uses in our everyday life, but is the demand in training really that big that most of us couldn't achieve those standards in a reasonable time frame? I would be inclined to say no, they're not.
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@somanaut
to get back to your original question.
We can only speculate why strength training isn't up there with cardio/endurance type of training when it comes to recommendations for health.
AFAIK heart function and health is still a better indicator for mortality than total body strength. The heart is still the most important muscle in the body. Under optimal conditions you would strengthen your body and your heart, but if you had to chose between the two it would be better to focus on strengthening the heart.

Then we have the huge influence of companies (food and especially pharmaceutical) in politics, which seeps through into everyday life. Maybe that's also a factor in this.

It is one thing to ask whether the SFL standards are too high. I think my life got way easier after I started deadlifting 200kg or something like 500lbs, so I personally find the standard level appropriate.
Appropriate for you, but do you really think the recommendation for the average human (average!!!! = not us women and men here on the SF forum) should be able to deadlift 2x your bodyweight?
Sorry, but that's ridiculous.
My 87 years old grandma still lives by herself and does all the things that come with that (cleaning her house, washing, cooking, walking/bike riding to the super market/bank/etc. and all the other stuff you could think of). She raised 4 children, was a full time housewife and most of the times had a job on the side aswell.
She's still free of diseases and is in good shape.
I bet you even at her very best at e.g. age 28 she couldn't deadlift anywhere near 1x bodyweight or do just a single pullup. I even doubt that she was able to do a single proper pushup in her life.
Yes, this is the StrongFirst forum and we all pursue strength, but people need to understand and accept that for the goal of just living a healthy, enjoyable life physical strength is not needed except for a very bare minimum.

Tim Anderson gives the best definition for strength there is IMO:
Strength is the ability to live life the way that you want to live it; to be able to move, think, work, play, love, and laugh throughout your entire life, regardless of your age.
and continues...
My definition of strength is extremely hard to quantify. In fact, only one person is qualified to quantify it: you. Ultimately, you are the one who determines whether or not you are strong enough to live the way you want to live. No one else should be the judge of your own personal strength; no one else can live the life you want to live.
Most people in the western world (and I say western world, because as sad as it is, but the rest has to think about where to get the next meal or clean water and not about how to be still healthy at 80 years old) just want to be healthy and maybe play some catch or pick-up basketball with their children or grand-children. That's all they want and for that they don't need much strength -> see my granny (and I could give many more examples just in my own family).
So when they go to the doctor to get advise on how to be healthier they probably don't need to hear "get stronger".
Don't make the mistake of thinking that you fall into the "average" category.

EDIT: I feel I need to further clear this up to avoid misunderstandings.
Like always it's about context.
@somanaut asked why physicians and similar professionals don't "prescribe" strength training for health.
So this is the context.
Think about what physicians do. They make (or try to make) unhealthy people healthy.
What they don't do is making healthy people even healthier.
When we talk about standards in this context the standard must reflect what is needed to be just healthy and not what is needed to be "healthier than healthy".
To be healthy you simply don't need a 1.5x, 2x or 2.5xBW deadlift. Having those numbers will make life easier in some ways, but that falls into the "healthier than healthy" category.
The numbers you need to just qualify as healthy are very small.
Don't mistaken what's needed with what makes things easier.
Here's an example:
You are in town A and want to get to town B, which is 5miles away.
What you need is the ability to walk, because that will allow you to get to B.
Having a bike will certainly make it easier to get to B.
Having a car will make it even easier.
A bike or car will make it easier yes, but you still don't need either of them.
The only thing you really need is the ability to walk. That is the standard! Because if you can't walk you won't get there on your own.
So when you talk about 2xBW deadlifts you are in the bike or car category, which is too high for a standard.
 
Last edited:

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Perhaps a good metric for the general population is 1 rep of what we test for 5 reps at the SFL. That’s 1.5 tines bodyweight for the DL, if memory serves.

-S-
 

mprevost

More than 500 posts
Thank you for the link. Will read through it later. But a couple of things allready caught my eye...they say two times a weeek, not one, but TWO times. I specifically stated ONE time per week. I don't mind being wrong, but I said one time per week because I meant exactly one time per week. I might be wrong about the effects of one time per week, but as far as I can tell, for a quick glance, they write two times per week. Did I misunderstand?
About the daily training. Ofcourse I am in favour of a little per day for the general public.

edit: would like to add, that if a weekend warrior approach has health benefits I would be thrilled. I have a lot of clients that work construction 12+ hours for 4 days away from home, and I have been at loss as to what to tell them.
One vs two days per week....not so important and nobody has sorted this out completely. The research (and there are tons of studies on longevity and activity) seems to indicate that the threshold for benefit (minimum effective dose) is very low. It is likely that even one day per week will make a difference. How much difference? It depends on the person and what they do during that day.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
But the question I meant to ask is whether the SFL standards are really that hard to obtain?
For a motivated individual I'd say no, they are in the realm of what one should expect even if not training to SFL expectations. But if we're talking about society at large I'd say the motivation to reach those standards isn't there, neither is a compelling reason for so many. And while useful they are somewhat arbitrary. You could easily create a standard of moving five or six tons of tubesand from point A to point B within X amount of time. You'd be darn strong but still maybe not able to do all the barbell standards and vice versa. That's the problem with standards - they're based on specific training means.

This speaks back to @ somanaut, original thread line of thought. What would be a conservative measure of strength that society at large might be able to reach with a wide variety of motivation levels. Or another way of thinking - what is the strength training protocol with the largest compliance rate and the best performance metrics in one.
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
@somanaut
to get back to your original question.
We can only speculate why strength training isn't up there with cardio/endurance type of training when it comes to recommendations for health.
AFAIK heart function and health is still a better indicator for mortality than total body strength. The heart is still the most important muscle in the body. Under optimal conditions you would strengthen your body and your heart, but if you had to chose between the two it would be better to focus on strengthening the heart.

Then we have the huge influence of companies (food and especially pharmaceutical) in politics, which seeps through into everyday life. Maybe that's also a factor in this.


Appropriate for you, but do you really think the recommendation for the average human (average!!!! = not us women and men here on the SF forum) should be able to deadlift 2x your bodyweight?
Sorry, but that's ridiculous.
My 87 years old grandma still lives by herself and does all the things that come with that (cleaning her house, washing, cooking, walking/bike riding to the super market/bank/etc. and all the other stuff you could think of). She raised 4 children, was a full time housewife and most of the times had a job on the side aswell.
She's still free of diseases and is in good shape.
I bet you even at her very best at e.g. age 28 she couldn't deadlift anywhere near 1x bodyweight or do just a single pullup. I even doubt that she was able to do a single proper pushup in her life.
Yes, this is the StrongFirst forum and we all pursue strength, but people need to understand and accept that for the goal of just living a healthy, enjoyable life physical strength is not needed except for a very bare minimum.

Tim Anderson gives the best definition for strength there is IMO:

and continues...

Most people in the western world (and I say western world, because as sad as it is, but the rest has to think about where to get the next meal or clean water and not about how to be still healthy at 80 years old) just want to be healthy and maybe play some catch or pick-up basketball with their children or grand-children. That's all they want and for that they don't need much strength -> see my granny (and I could give many more examples just in my own family).
So when they go to the doctor to get advise on how to be healthier they probably don't need to hear "get stronger".
Don't make the mistake of thinking that you fall into the "average" category.

EDIT: I feel I need to further clear this up to avoid misunderstandings.
Like always it's about context.
@somanaut asked why physicians and similar professionals don't "prescribe" strength training for health.
So this is the context.
Think about what physicians do. They make (or try to make) unhealthy people healthy.
What they don't do is making healthy people even healthier.
When we talk about standards in this context the standard must reflect what is needed to be just healthy and not what is needed to be "healthier than healthy".
To be healthy you simply don't need a 1.5x, 2x or 2.5xBW deadlift. Having those numbers will make life easier in some ways, but that falls into the "healthier than healthy" category.
The numbers you need to just qualify as healthy are very small.
Don't mistaken what's needed with what makes things easier.
Here's an example:
You are in town A and want to get to town B, which is 5miles away.
What you need is the ability to walk, because that will allow you to get to B.
Having a bike will certainly make it easier to get to B.
Having a car will make it even easier.
A bike or car will make it easier yes, but you still don't need either of them.
The only thing you really need is the ability to walk. That is the standard! Because if you can't walk you won't get there on your own.
So when you talk about 2xBW deadlifts you are in the bike or car category, which is too high for a standard.
For a motivated individual I'd say no, they are in the realm of what one should expect even if not training to SFL expectations. But if we're talking about society at large I'd say the motivation to reach those standards isn't there, neither is a compelling reason for so many. And while useful they are somewhat arbitrary. You could easily create a standard of moving five or six tons of tubesand from point A to point B within X amount of time. You'd be darn strong but still maybe not able to do all the barbell standards and vice versa. That's the problem with standards - they're based on specific training means.

This speaks back to @ somanaut, original thread line of thought. What would be a conservative measure of strength that society at large might be able to reach with a wide variety of motivation levels. Or another way of thinking - what is the strength training protocol with the largest compliance rate and the best performance metrics in one.
I never said that I expect anyone to lift anything based on my weight. I simply talked about the standard, which for men, is double bodyweight, or 205kg, whichever is smaller. I also thought I made it clear that I can see how most people wouldn't expect to need that kind of strength, or need it rarely.

But if we take as a given that strength training is something that a person would do, say two or three times a week, would it really be that difficult for such a person to reach the SFL standards? What would be the better thing for them to train for? If we take the SFL standards to take about six months of training to achieve, how would a layperson spend that six months of their training life better than achieving the SFL standard? I think six months is a short time in the grand scheme of things, and the SFL standards level strength is useful, so I really don't see why the average person couldn't try to achieve them.

When it comes to health and old age, I think the recommendations are changing a bit. For example, grip strength has been shown to correlate very well with ability and living well to an old age. And we should know that the grip strength is chosen for this metric just because it's something that is practical to measure, the real thing behind it is strength. Strength and muscle mass help one grow old, or old better. There are some doctors who take it further, like the one who thinks that blood pressure and the deadlift are the best metrics to see how well one is doing with aging.
 

somanaut

More than 300 posts
We can only speculate why strength training isn't up there with cardio/endurance type of training when it comes to recommendations for health.
AFAIK heart function and health is still a better indicator for mortality than total body strength. The heart is still the most important muscle in the body. Under optimal conditions you would strengthen your body and your heart, but if you had to chose between the two it would be better to focus on strengthening the heart.

Then we have the huge influence of companies (food and especially pharmaceutical) in politics, which seeps through into everyday life. Maybe that's also a factor in this.
Fair point, however I would offer this as a "counter" argument: If you can't get out of your chair, of if getting out of your chair is close to max effort, then how you can train your heart? And when you train your muscles, your heart is also being trained. Now we can discuss how much, and which modalities are most effective for cardiovascular health. But I don't see (I do not mean this retorically) how one can train ones heart, if they can't get out of a chair or if it is close to max effort. An idea floating around on the internet, seems to be, that leg strength is a better indicator of longevity and health, than other metrics. Wether that is true or not, I have no idea. But I don't think, that one can dismiss it out of hand.
 

jca17

More than 300 posts
I suspect most men, if you clean up blatant movement disfunction, should be able to deadlift bodyweight. It's the strongest human movement.

Are we talking about a strength standard or like a health/mortality screen?
A screen is something we expect someone to pass and are concerned when they don't, in that, not passing is already a red flag.

If we mean like a reasonable, low hanging fruit goal that gives many benefits, then 1.5x bw dl for men is very reasonable. Less than 90 days training unless one is very overweight, which means that their weight loss also ties into reaching the goal.

I like Steve Freides suggestion of using the SFL 5 rep weights for one rep as a common person minimum goal.

If you're willing to put a year into barbell training, then all the SFL goals are very reasonable.

The original numbers listed (2.5x DL, 2x SQ, 1.5x BP, 1x MP) are Dan John's point of diminishing returns game changers, as Shahaf mentioned. If those are the point of diminishing returns for professional team sport athletes, then the point of diminishing returns for the more common person must be lower.
 
Top Bottom