Truths about the lifting/training world

Some lifting truths I have noticed over the years:

  1. Most people do box squats horribly wrong
  2. Chances are if you need to “bring up weak parts of the lift” you just need to do the actual lift more. If you can’t lockout 315 on the bench and you are 200+ pounds, board presses aren’t gonna help you son.
  3. You can never have too strong of a back. Every single compound lift is made better by a strong back. If you think you haven’t done enough back work for a session, do one more set.
  4. You only need to be as flexible as needed for your “sport”.
  5. The best way to increase your grip strength for deadlifting is to pull double overhand until the grip fails, then switch to over/under with each subsequent set. Magic, isn’t it?
  6. Your body can handle a lot more volume than you think. We are built for heavy usage. Undertraining is just as real as overtraining. Obvious to some, not so obvious to others.
  7. 5×5 programs are unnecessary torture.
  8. Three things are vital to keep mobile: shoulders, hips, back. When one of those three goes south, your lifts and progress follow fast.
  9. Simple programs are the best.
  10. Tempo training is annoying. If I have to count the descent of my reps, your mind isn’t focused on smashing the weight.
  11. If someone discounts high rep training as a quality training tool, immediately discount them as a giver of advice.
  12. Same goes for people who mock arm training. Like its a crime to want to have big arms.
  13. I don’t care about high bar v. low bar. Squat and shut up.
  14. Strength coaches who specialize in Powerlifting have zero business trying to give advice on Olympic Lifting. Its two different animals and two different methods. Stick to what you know and let the experts in OL worry about their sport.
  15. Try as you will, SPP is always on the field, GPP is what we do. Period. Unless you are a coach of a said sport, don’t try to mess with that sport, stick to getting them ready to excel at RECEIVING coaching in said sport.
  16. Sales is as important as actual training. You can be the best at what you do, but if you suck at closing the deal, you will be a broke ass trainer.
  17. If you can’t give a client a solid workout in 30 minutes, you suck.
  18. Never underestimate the power of the internet to turn average coaches into great ones and great coaches into people who you never heard of. Marketing is amazing. Education is better. Marketing with and education is unstoppable.


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9 thoughts on “Truths about the lifting/training world

  1. what are your thoughts on static holds with heavy weight?

    great observation about 5×5. i was institutionalized with that for way too long.

    1. 3×5 is better for novices… better recovery, better results and leaves more room for other stuff like sprints, bodybuilding work, conditioning, etc. which is a must in any solid strength and conditioning program. If you want to just lift without worrying about leaving room in the tank for other work, by all means do 5×5, but I’ve known a LOT of people who burnt out quick doing 5×5 for an extended period of time.

      1. Thanks. Your insight is most helpful. I was looking for strength and conditioning programs for my sons who were just starting out. I found the 5×5 program first and later I found Starting Strength. I didn’t find any discussions regarding their differences. By the time I found Rippetoe’s work I had already started them on the 5×5. I’m doing it with them so I get first hand experience how it works. Being 50 I assumed the recovery issues I was running into as I increased the weight on my lifts were age related and due to me not being in top conditioning.

        1. I don’t think a 5×5 program at 50 is a wise choice for starting out. Recovery will suffer for sure. Starting Strength is a 3×5 program, so its a much better choice for a novice lifter IMO.

          1. I’m actually doing fine. I’m not a novice, but I’m not a pro. I’ve been working out to some degree more or less since age 13. In college my workout partner and I did pyramid routines and such. Those workouts were more body building oriented, at least that’s what we thought. As for now, the squat is becoming taxing at 315lbs on 5×5 and it is a full squat not a squat above parallel. I think the 3×5 would help my recovery which is borderline for a MWF schedule. Know any good sources for strength training at 50+? (it’s not just about my kids anymore *grins*) BTW I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my queries.

          2. I am sure it is taxing… I would google Charles Staley, he’s an older lifter, like yourself, and he will have a wealth of information to choose from.


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