If I Had to Choose What Would I Do?

I recently was asked if I could only pick five movements to train for the rest of my life what would they be? Of course there would be a squat and a pull up at the top of the list. The amount of muscle and neurological recruitment that is required is amazing for these two basic lifts and the really funny thing is many people can't perform them properly. So what else would I add? I would definitely add some kind of carry whether that was a farmers carry or some kind of front rack carry. The carry isn't about grip strength its about core and hip stabilization. Most of the lifts we do in the gym are bilateral, both feet stuck in the same plane such as a squat or deadlift. When we start moving/walking with weights things really have to stay tight. Just as an experiment walk while holding one 50# dumbbell and with the other hand feel your abs fire like crazy.

That's three down so now I have two more spots to fill. I would like to add to the list some kind of standing overhead press. I am biased I love to throw heavy weights above my head. It's my kind of adrenaline rush to hoist something that out weighs me by 100#'s over my head. If we take a quick look at what is involved to overhead press, wow, of course the delts and tris but the lats have to help stabilize the shoulder blade. The abs and spinal erectors have to be engaged along with the gluteus. I know someone out there is saying "why not bench bruh?" First I hate bench pressing and I always wonder how it became the yard stick by which strength is measured? I get asked all the time how much you bench. I honestly don't know in two years I've only benched 7 times and it keeps going up but that's another post in its self.

Finally I would add some type of weighted sled dragging. This is a phenomenal exercise, it can be loaded heavy for strength lighter for more of a cardio aspect and even for a rehab/recovery tool.

In thinking over the list: squat, pull up, carry, standing overhead press, and sled dragging it took me back to being a kid. Growing up we would work for my dad doing tree work, it's very labor intensive. You were always dragging brush or loading wood which required you to squat down pick it up, carry it, and many times since I've always been on the shorter side over head pressing it onto the trucks. This I know gave me a huge leg up on the other freshman that walked into the high school gym for the 1st time. I believe that these five lifts gave me the base that I have been able to build a very successful lifting career. So if you're not getting the five basic lifts maybe you should.

- Coach Ford