Welcome to the official home of STRONG Gym!

We are unique and radically different from every other fitness club/gym in the area because we focus on STRENGTH as the primary basis of functional health, body recomposition, and athletic and sport performance. We forge strength through basic barbell and bodyweight training that is simple and effective, but grounded in hard, yet rewarding work, impeccable form, and injury prevention.

STRONG Gym - 506 S. Jefferson - Springfield, MO 65806- 417-315-8034- StrongGym@gmail.com


Philosophy of Training

Our Goals:
First and foremost, we believe that helping each other is the key to our success. We are a gym who genuinely desires every member to succeed, regardless of what their personal training goals may be. We celebrate that success whether it’s a 100lb squat or a 900lb squat. When you walk into STRONG you’ll notice that everyone is always coaching, spotting, offering advice, and listening to one another. This is not an accident, but rather a very deliberate means to help educate our members so they can better themselves, and in turn, help others.

We believe that individuals must have goals to help them gauge success in the gym and to assess the quality of their progress. We believe the simplest and most gratifying assessment tool of these goals is the Personal Record (PR). We believe so much in its power that we focus a vast majority of our work around the PR and celebrate it no matter how big or how small.

We believe that competition with others as well as oneself is foundational to help an individual reach their goals. The competitive, but supportive atmosphere at STRONG is also completely deliberate. We know that a self-confident, mentally-tough man or woman is not the norm, but rather the exception in America. Our goal is to produce the exception. We believe training in a competitive environment is one step towards that goal.

Work Hard, Work Smart, Be Consistent
We believe hard work, smart training and consistency are foundational for success. We believe that most people don’t work hard enough. If there is one thing we can learn from the old Eastern Bloc countries, it’s that they worked harder than us, and that is why they killed us in the Olympics for nearly 40 years.

We believe that most people don’t work smart enough either. Spend your time working hard at the exercises and movements that will give you the most bang for your buck, rather than wasting energy on exercises that will never lead to real improvement. There should be a systematic, planned, deliberate reason for everything you do.

We also know that results don’t come overnight. They come after weeks and months and years and decades of dedication in the trenches of the gym. Consistency yields results, especially when you come to train on those days when the last thing you want to do is be in the gym.

Strength Training via Compound Barbell Lifts:
We believe strength training using the basic, compound barbell lifts is the single most important aspect of our training. We all squat, bench press, overhead press, and deadlift. These lifts are the foundation of our training and while we may do variations, we still stick to the basics. Add heavy rows, pull-ups, dips, barbell curls, pushups, and posterior chain work and those exercises should make up about 95% of what you do. The most effective training is simple and hard.

Posterior Chains, Abs, Upper Backs:
We believe that most individuals need to get stronger posterior chains, abs, and upper backs. The term “posterior chain” refers to the group of muscles up the back of the body – primarily the hamstrings, hips, glutes, and erectors. Strength lies in these muscle groups and it’s virtually impossible to get them strong enough. Additionally, the muscles you can see in a mirror have very little to do with strength or athleticism.

Weak Points:
We believe you must identify and strengthen your weak points. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We will help our members identify their weaknesses and teach them how to strengthen those areas.

Proper Form:
We stress proper form and full range of motion in all exercises. Correct form is crucial to staying healthy. If correct form is utilized, it is very difficult to get injured lifting. If it is not utilized, injuries are sure to follow.

Warm-ups and Restoration
We believe that you must include in your training a proper warm-up, as well as restoration techniques to keep the body healthy. Training is our passion, not just a hobby, and is viewed as a long-term lifestyle change that requires sacrifice and dedication. Techniques such as foam rolling, dynamic and static stretching, and cardiac output work as well as proper rest and nutrition are vital to staying healthy and continuing to make progress long term.

Conjugate Training:
We focus our programming around Concurrent Methodology (commonly referred to as the “Conjugate” system). That is to say that we work to reach multiple training goals at the same time; getting bigger, stronger, faster, and more explosive, and bringing up weak points. We believe it’s important to train multiple motor abilities at once so the individual gets the most optimal training response.   

Train like an Athlete:
We believe it is important for our members to consider themselves “athletes,” and train as such, even if they are not actively competing in a sport. This philosophy can take on different meanings and modalities based on an individual's own definition of athlete coupled with the individual's level of training and goals. However, strength training coupled with explosive work and some form of athletic anaerobic conditioning is usually foundational for our members. Explosive work is done via dynamic barbell movements (explosive squats, pulls, presses, cleans, or snatches) and/or upper and lower body plyometics (such as med ball throws, jumps, plyometric pushups, etc). Some of our favorite athletic conditioning training includes: sprints, hill running, prowler pushes, sled drags, tire flips, sledgehammer work, implement loading (sandbags, kegs, stones), and barbell/kettlebell “complexes.”

Progressive Overload:
Because of the human body’s incredible ability to adapt to the stresses put upon it, it is important that an individual continually increase the amount of work it performs. This can be done by increasing volume, frequency, or intensity of your training sessions over time.

Strength Training Methods:
As stated before, the Concurrent/Conjugate Method is one that works all facets of training at the same time, helping an individual become bigger, stronger, faster, more explosive, and bringing up weak points at the same time. Some (but certainly not all) of the methods used in the conjugate method include the following:
A)                 Max Effort (ME): Lifts performed above 90% of 1 rep max (RM), 1-3RM
B)                  Submax Effort (SE): Lifts performed in the 80-90% range of 1RM, 4-7RM
C)                  Repetition Effort (RE): Lifts performed <80% of 1RM, >8 repetitions
D)                 Dynamic Effort (DE): Movements performed as quickly and explosively as possible. 20%-80% of 1RM depending on the type of movement. Dynamic Effort could also include upper or lower body plyometrics.
E)                  Isometic, Isotonic-Isometric, and Eccentric Quasi-Isometric (EQI):

We believe in basic submaximal linear progression for beginners. In its simplest terms, that means that we believe beginners need to lift in the 4-7 rep range using 80-90% of 1 rep max (ie. submaximally) and add weight to each progressive training session (linear progression).

We believe this simple, yet effective type of training is the most optimal for beginners and will allow the greatest combination of neural efficiency (learning the movements), hypertrophy (muscle growth), and strength increases.

If a beginner eats enough food and utilizes proper restoration techniques, it is possible to gain large amounts of muscle (up to even 30-40lbs) in a 3-4 month period AND dramatically increase strength (squat and deadlift increases of up to 100-150lbs) before stagnation occurs.

Simple linear progression cannot last forever, however, and thus, when an individual reaches a certain strength level, progress cannot continue to be made linearly.  At this point, the trainee is usually placed on a “peaking” program and the barbell lifts are brought down to the 1-5 rep range. Additionally, periodization, containing planned periods of loading (1-3 weeks of really hard work where the Central Nervous System (CNS) is highly stressed) and planned periods of deloading (1-2 weeks of restoration and lighter training where the CNS is allowed to recover) must come into practice. A loading/deloading scheme allows an individual to take their body up to a breaking point (called “overreaching”) and then deload (or back off). This type of planning allows the body to make gains greater than if loading and deloading were not used. 

We believe that athletes should eat healthy, nutrient-dense food, and eat it often. Food intake should be focused around the consumption of high quality meats and proteins, nutrient-dense organic fruits and vegetables, and healthy nuts, seeds, and fats. We consume approximately 6 meals per day, all of which contain a healthy serving of whole protein. We believe starch intake should be relatively low and that all processed carbohydrates and sugars should be eliminated from the diet. We believe the majority of carbohydrate consumption (through fruits and low glycemic starches such as whole grains and potatoes) should come in the hours before, during, and immediately after training. We believe that caloric intake should support exercise/training needs but not excess bodyfat.

We believe that supplements can be an important piece of the athlete's repertoire, but that they are, in fact, supplemental to a healthy diet, and should never be used in place of wholesome nutritious food. 

Energy Systems Work:
We believe that energy systems training is fundamental to an athlete's program. There are two types of energy systems: 1) The aerobic energy system, in which energy (ATP) is generated from the consumption of the oxygen. And 2) The anaerobic system, where energy is generated from non-oxygen sources, primarily stored ATP for very short bursts of energy (<10 sec) and glycogen, for longer bursts of high intensity exercise (< 1 min). This is known as the anaerobic-glycolitic pathway. The majority of sports (including football, and the strength sport of strongman) utilize this anaerobic-glycolitic pathway. If you consider the work:rest ratio of football, players go as hard as they can during a play (approximately 5-7 seconds) and then “rest” for 30-45 seconds after each play, before the next play is started again.

The amazing thing about training in the anaerobic-glycolitic pathway, is that your body will burn an enormous amount of calories, both during and after exercise, while your metabolism remains elevated for up to 24 hours after the training. There will be an increased shift by your muscle fibers to a fast-twitch dominance. Additionally, there will be an up-regulation of aerobic, anaerobic, and ATP enzyme activity, meaning that all energy systems will become more efficient at generating energy and burning calories.

A very effective way to train and condition in this anaerobic-glycolitic pathway is to perform intense exercise for approximately 30-60 seconds followed by 90-180seconds rest. (1:3 work to rest ratio). Some of our favorite methods to use at STRONG are: tire flipping, sledgehammer work, dueling ropes, prowler sprints, heavy sled drags, hill sprints, and loading medleys (sandbags/kegs/stones).

We also advocate cardiac output work – work done in the 120-140bpm range for 30-60 min (1-3x per week) in order to increase chamber size of the heart and to bring down resting heart rate.

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