One rep gym strength or functional conditioned strength.

So what is more important one rep strength or functional conditioned strength?

I have an opinion, from  the time I was 12 until I 30 I was a hard- core weight
lifter. Getting big and strong was the only thing that mattered. All men have
egos but not as big as men that throw around weights. Lifting big weights mean
pushing as much weight  as possible at all times.

I thought that pushing the big weight, gaining weight, taking supplements  meant
big time fitness. I was wrong. One rep strength makes you strong for one rep but
functional conditioned strength keeps you strong for a long time.

Look at the laborer, he lifts, bends, squats, climbs. Do you think it really matters
that a furniture mover can bench press 400lbs well it doesn’t. Take the squat
how many laborers do you think carry a bar across their shoulders while
carrying a load, they use one shoulder and if they have to squat down and
pick something up can they do it while being off balance? Probably not.

In everyday life you are better off having functional conditioned strength
then having  one rep gym gym strength. There was a time when I was working
on the loading dock when I had to pick up 25 – 55 gallon drums weighing 500lbs
up off their side and stand them back up, flipping 25- 500lb drums was tough
I had to squat ass to the floor, grab as low as possible and explode. This was
tough.And there is no rest in between sets you have to get these up before
they start to leak.

Now go to the average one rep lifter and see how many he could do before
his muscles began to lock up on him. So think about the way you train, is it
for functional conditioned strength or one rep max.

Toughness Builds Winners

Johnny Grube


  1. Bill Cookson says

    Hello Johnny,

    I’ve browsed your site a couple of times and here I am again. This article hit home for me. Nine days ago I was doing a push/pull meet and tore my rotator cuff on my opening bench. This after not competing for 2-1/2 years. Anyhow I’m officially retired from powerlifting competition. I’m 45 and in The Army National Guard currently deployed to Egypt. I do well on my Army Physical Fitness Tests but pay for it days after the run because I usually weigh between 225 and 240. My conditioning is pretty good but I’m too heavy. I appreciate your straight forward and simplistic approach. I have been doing a mix of training since re-enlisting over two years ago but now I’m cutting out the heavy weight training and will be concentrating on bodyweight training. Which of your materials would you recommend for this transition. This injury was my wake up call. You’ve been a competitive lifter so you know where I’m coming from and the difficulty with transition. Any feedback you give is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bill

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