Can You Be Too Strong?

Remember most gyms do have limits. Stacks are only so big, dumbbells only so heavy etc. So when you do come to problems like mine give pre-exhaustion a go or you could use it on any exercise by performing a isolation exercise.
This sounds like a dumb question but it really isn't. For bodybuilding purposes, you can actually be too strong. For some people, this may sound like an article written on pure ego, but it is a problem I am faced with each week. Let my tell you my story...


Bad Knees

I have (and have always had) very strong legs. I have very large bones which I think may have contributed to this, but my quads are strong. But my legs also have a weakness - my knees.

As a result of a basketball training session when I was about 11 years old, in one of my knees I tore the tendons and had my knee cap and the bone behind it rubbing together. As a result, I can't squat heavy.

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I can squat, but not at the weight or intensity I desire. You may be thinking, hey cut your losses and use the leg press for those grueling heavy sets. Well, that is where the issue of strength comes in.


Rugby Tryouts

When I was 15, I was trying out for my school's first 15 rugby team. Part of the preseason training was strength testing on bench and leg press. I was always ahead of my peers on the leg press.

The idea was to do a three rep max (3 RM). At one test, I did three reps of 400 kgs (880 lbs) while the rest were doing about 300 kg. However, at the next session I had nowhere to go. The coaches would not let more than 400 kgs to be put on the leg press (mainly for safety reasons).

What Does "3 RM" Mean?
Three Rep Max. An "RM" specifies the maximum number of times (reps) you can lift a weight before hitting muscular failure. Click here for more information.

3 RM CALCULATOR

Enter the amount of weight you can lift (in pounds) and the number of reps you can lift it for.

It was loaded. Every bar was full loaded with 'wheels'. So at the next session, I warmed up at a level most were maxing. At this stage, about 5 other guys could do the 3 reps of 400, I couldn't let my crown go, so I did 10 reps of 400 kgs (880 lbs).

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This was the intensity which I now desire to train at. However I set this 'record' with very little training over two years ago and now I am much stronger. Since I left school and began training at outside gyms (I have used three), I have been unable to find a leg press which can hold 400 kgs, let alone more.


My Solution: Pre-Exhaustion Training

I now load the press with as much as it will hold but before I do a set, I do a set of leg extensions or squats - then straight on to the leg press.

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Remember, most gyms do have limits. Stacks are only so big, dumbbells only so heavy, etc. So when you do come to problems like mine, give pre-exhaustion a go, or you could use it on any exercise by performing a isolation exercise before a multi-joint one (e.g., flyes and bench). Pre-exhaustion is a great way to new muscle growth.

Until next time, train hard!
Callum