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Life is Not 'Relative,' Maximal Strength Matters

First off, what is Relative or Absolute Strength? Relative Strength is strength measured against a person’s bodyweight; Ex. If you weigh 200lbs and squat 400lbs, your relative strength is 2x Bodyweight. Absolute Strength is the just the number itself, 400lbs in that example. You also need to know that smaller dudes and female dudes will ALWAYS have higher levels of Relative Strength, even if the two people have the same bodyfat %. This is simply because the bigger the individual, the more their bones, skin and organs weigh compared to smaller people.

Why does this matter? While in the field of athletics and Strength & Conditioning it is considered good/necessary for a guy to be able to Back Squat 2x BW, Bench Press 1.5x BW and Clean 1.5x BW; life tasks are not and never will be ‘Relative.’ That M240g/b that you have to hump will always weigh 25.6lbs, that Jerry Can of Fuel or Water will always weigh 45lbs regardless of how big or small, weak or strong you are. Applied to athletics its the same in many cases; I have a 171lb Wide Receiver who squats 2.7x BW but put him nose to nose with one of my D-Tackles who weighs 260lbs and 'only' squats 2x BW and we know what the result would be.

Having said that, don’t misinterpret this to mean that only training maximal strength is important, there are plenty of fat ass powerlifters out there who can squat 800-1000lbs but couldn’t run 100m under fire and under stress without being totally exhausted and worthless. Strive for balance and the ability to handle numerous tasks but NEVER EVER forget that life doesn’t care about weight classes and certainly doesn’t care if your relative strength is good while you’re failing at a task requiring strength.

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