Have you seen asymmetry in heavy lifts? The bench press where the sternum turns to the right. The squat where the left knee and left elbow stick out to the side. The deadlift stuck over on the right foot.
These happen. Often. If you haven’t noticed them, look out for them. It’s actually pretty cool.
But as a trainer, it’s frustrating. I can’t train you into that asymmetry. I can, but… what good could that possibly do? Now I have to stop you when I start to consistently see that.
But I’ve seen people shift over there almost immediately. I mean, like, rep two out of twenty. They know how to do the exercise, they just can’t. Their brains won’t let them. Why? Because ‘dey scared.
Types of Strength
Absolute strength is how much you can do. Period.
Relative strength is how much you can do… relative to your body weight. This type of strength is the most “functional” because it doesn’t come with the high cost of heavy bodyweight. This is what most normal people are looking for.
Barbell strength is generally measured by how much weight you can lift with a barbell. This is what most powerlifters are after: big squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.
Bodyweight strength is taxed by decreasing your joint leverage. If I want to move the most weight on a barbell, I want my joints to be in optimal alignment. If I want to do crazy bodyweight stuff, “optimal alignment” means something totally different. There is usually a strong mobility / flexibility component to this as well. High bodyweight strength is highly impressive.