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Bust Strength Training Plateaus

strength training

DVRT Master Ian Vaughn (Creator of DVRT Obstacle Course Program)

Strength is my passion.

I believe becoming stronger is a key element in building a better quality life, strength empowers us, strength is something that we can all possess and gives us more than we could ever imagine. However, like all things in fitness, there is no shortage of ideas of what becoming “stronger” actually means.

People often get confused on terms what strength training is and what to do exactly to get stronger. I want to breakdown some of the most ridiculous myths that are being thrown around today in social media and the fitness industry itself. Strength is a skill, and is progressed with consistent practice to keep that skill. So strength is not something that happens over night. Strength is not a function of becoming huge or having to become a professional bodybuilder.

This is where and why most these myths come about because some want the quick fix over actually sticking to a plan:

More Reps, More Sets, More load, More mileage…..MORE injuries:

For whatever reason people seem to think if they do more in volume, it somehow translates to self value. This is very typical in runners that judge they’re training solely in distance while at the same time they are having a knee injury getting worse or a powerlifter deadlifting & squatting heavy every inspire of their increasing challenges with back pain. This also becomes a terrible habit especially if you do more volume as a form of punishment from eating unhealthy food over the weekend.

Fitness should be about self love (which in my terms is simply prioritizing yourself and what is meaningful in your life and not doing what makes others happy). Don’t look to impress anyone but you’re self. Focus on your own goals in a healthy way where you have a plan and having workouts based on quality of movement, not quantity. You’re body will thank you in the long run.

A great example is the lateral plank drag. The goal of this movement is to keep your shoulders and hips stacked over each the entire exercise (you can’t tilt to shift side to side). This requires more muscle tension from the quads, glutes, core and lats to all fire. You’ll find it very hard to do a lot reps with is one. You really don’t want to be doing no longer than 20-30 seconds to keep quality intact:

Putting Fitness First:

Many fail before they even workout because they never focus the body’s basic needs.


-Nutrition & Water


Notice how fitness is LAST. Try having a good workout not getting quality sleep and not drinking/eating appropriately. This is what I tell any person before I design any program it’ll be all for nothing if your priorities are not straight. If a client comes in at 7 pm for example, and tells me before the workout he or she hasn’t drank any water and “had a small salad”. Do I need to do the math? This person will either be a zombie from low blood sugar or end up dehydrated during the workout. These actions can easily be avoided and if not, just send the person home because I don’t need to be the next fitness professional in the news getting sued. Get your sleeping and eating habits together….then we will talk fitness and get strong.

sandbag training

“You Gotta Be Sore to Know if the Workouts are Working”:

I always reply with this:

“If you want to be sweaty & sore, get in the sauna and I’ll beat you with a stick”

If that’s you’re goal…that’s the ONLY result. It won’t get you stronger; in fact it’s likely making you weaker from overtraining. No professional athlete will ever show to a event sore and beat up from training. When you first introduce a new type of training to the body it will get sore because it’s adapting. So in the start yes, you will be sore the first couple times. However, this quickly reverts back the “more, more, more person” thinking if you’re not getting sore anymore you need to add more reps and overtime quality of movement disappears.

What people need is more restoration to maintain/and or to increase range of motion within the joints and spine to keep up with the training program. The Ultimate Sandbag Shinbox Getup and kettlebell Arm Bar to Get Up is one of my favorite to keep everything moving well. It’s great warm up to get the core strong, stable, and ready so the hips and limbs can be more mobile.

Check out more about how DVRT is changing how people train HERE

Training for Everything:

When training for multiple events, performing horrible in each one is inevitable. If you’re training for a obstacle course race, marathon, bodybuilding competition all in the same month for example, you’re not focused. There’s a difference between training and going through motions with no plan (likely using the next event as a excuse to get out of the original event because the going got tough). To perform at your best, you need to be focused on ONE goal. Usually a goal should consist of something you’ve never done before or a known lagging weaknesses.

Imagine if you had 3-4 majors to study for in college? Police and firefighters are both first responders, but have completely different training methods in their own fields. Same goes for strength goals, pick something and then stick with it; when it’s all said and done move on to the next goal.

So I hope I shed a little more truth to all these myths toward strength training. Educating yourself is the biggest part of becoming better at your goal instead of believing these myths. If you wish to wish see more Ultimate Sandbag workouts for strength training I have a entire DVRT playlist of workout videos here if you wish to see more here.

YouTube Subscribe: Coach Vaughn HERE

FB Page: Viking Valhalla Training Center HERE