Tip: Drop the Fat, Chase Relative Strength

Don't settle for being fat and strong. Here's why relative strength should be one of your goals.

The constant chase to throw more weight on the bar with a progressive-overload-or-die mindset will eventually bite you in the ass. Especially when it causes you to lose sight of other things and you end up fat and unhealthy.

There are a lot of strong guys out there, but how many of them look and feel like crap because their body fat percentage more closely resembles the hospitalized obesity ward rather than an elite level athlete?

At least once in a lifter's career, the goal should be to get as absolutely shredded as possible, straight up. Sure, this seems like a superficial goal, but maybe it's not a bad thing.

If a superficial mindset allows you to drastically reduce body fat, improve general health (no one likes diabetic ulcerations, trust me, I wrote my dissertation on it) and get you the aesthetic of an athlete, I'm all for it.

This goes for the entire lifting population. From the old, hairy meatheads to the gym bros, no one is impressed by your size when it's mainly just fat. And the thing about fat is it doesn't make you strong. It makes you sad.

Sometimes shifting a mindset and breaking free of the absolute strength dogma is exactly what the fat lifter needs. When you chase health, leanness, and an injury-free body, you end up with more relative strength.

In fact, why not make that the goal to begin with? How strong can you get relative to your own bodyweight on the big indicator lifts? If you can keep that as the goal, you'll get ripped and enjoy not being a tub of lard that gets winded walking into the squat rack.

If your goal is to lift for a lifetime, better get your health on track first. And once you make the shift and achieve a pedestrian body fat percentage and relative strength metric, I guarantee you'll never want to go back to your fat boy days. And if you do, well, that's an entirely different story.