Our friends at GMB have done it again with another great program: Integral Strength gives you a comprehensive program for improving your strength for bodyweight training. And in the usual GMB style, they’ve put together a product that is detailed, easy-to-follow, and fun. I’m excited about this program for a couple reasons. First, one of the most common emails we get is from people seeking programming instructions for getting into bodyweigh training – and this will be a great suggestion for a place to start. Second, this program will provide you with an excellent foundation for our own Bodyweight Athlete program that we are releasing in January.
Why Focus Just on Strength?
A common thread that runs throughout all of our Global Bodyweight Training workshops and presentations (and in most bodyweight training programs in general) is Skill Acquisition. In order to acquire a specific skill, you have to invest time into performing a variation of that skill. For example, if you want to get better at handstands, you have to do handstands. In fitness lingo, this is known as specificity. You’ll never be able to do a Muscle-Up just by walking on the stair stepper. This is a result of your body’s eternal goal of becoming more efficient at any consistent and specific task. It’s the basis of all exercise programs.
There is however one “general” requirement that you’ll need to possess in order to achieve any of the big bodyweight movements, which is STRENGTH. It doesn’t matter how much you practice the technical aspects of learning a move if you don’t have the basic strength for it. This is particularly important in bodyweight training, where you need to be able to lift your own bodyweight for many of the moves.
There are different classifications and applications of strength. For example, a Handstand requires static strength endurance while a Pistol Squat is more likely to require maximal strength. Regardless of type, though, just having a baseline of strength in all of your basic body movement patterns (pushing, pulling, squatting, etc.) will be the foundation for any high skill level exercise down the road.
What’s in Integral Strength?
When GMB said they were coming out with a course to address the strength component of a bodyweght training program, we knew it would be good. We think pretty highly of Ryan Hurst and their whole team, and have collaborated with them on other projects. So, we’re familiar with the quality they put out. They offer an impressive list of skill-specific programs like Focused Flexibility, Rings 1&2, and Elements (animal locomotion). The Integral Strength program completes their line up with a more generalized approach to building full body strength. It’s a great supplement to any of their other programs.
The GMB team has an unbelievable ability to condense powerful information into easy to follow, systematic programs. This shines bright in Integral Strength. It looks great and it’s easy to follow. Most importantly, the content is real quality stuff. And, of course, Ryan does a great job conveying all the information while keeping it fun.
The 8 week course is perfectly designed for any fitness level. The expectations for the program are clear and concise, as there are videos each week that set up the goals and intentions for that week. Each week builds upon the previous as the exercises get slightly more advanced. The list of exercises is consistent throughout, although you’ll progress through harder variations of the staple moves.
You’ll find a combination of both dynamic strength exercises like a Pull-Up, Inverted Press and Shrimp Squat as well as static strength exercises like the L-sit or Hollow Body holds. The programing is extremely detailed on when to do what, even on your non training days.
Even better is that Integral Strength is a perfect foundational program to our upcoming Bodyweight Athlete program (to be released January 2016). Just like GMB’s Elements is a perfect lead in to Animal Flow, I believe the Integral Strength program will go hand in hand with Bodyweight Athlete.
How to Get Your Copy of Integral Strength
I could write a lot more about what’s in the program and why you should get it, but instead I recommend you click on over to GMB’s Integral Strength page – there isn’t much more I could explain that they don’t already spell out ON THE INTEGRAL STRENGTH PAGE HERE.
I’ll just end by saying that I highly recommend this program, especially for those who are just getting into bodyweight training or are looking to excel in their current practice. Check it out and begin your strength journey right away!