I believe that strength is the mother of all physical qualities. By balanced relative strength I mean that the body is equally as strong on both the left and right sides and pass normative strength data for in relation to your bodyweight its coinciding muscle groups. IE strive to full back squat 1.6-2.0 times bodyweight & deadlift 2-3 times & so on. Be as finite with your ratios down to how much your rotator cuff can externally rotate. Some know this as 'Structural Balance' created by Charles Poliquin.
Now, relative strength is not the tell all be all here. Absolute strength is the total amount of weight you can lift. Its fine and dandy to be able to squat bodyweight for 50 or be able to knock out 40 chins but as a respected CrossFit coach and colleague of mine puts it, no number of 135 pound cleans will ever equal one 315 pound clean.
Prehab injuries, have a lot of relative strenght, but even more absolute strength.
Strength legend Louie Simmons says a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Lets use a full body lift as an example. In the past century of strength training only a handful of people, three that I can think of, have ever successfully lifted the 'Thomas Inch Dumbbell', a 172 pound 2.38" thick handled dumbbell from the ground to overhead. Heres what I mean.
Successfully performing a standard 172# barbell deadlift is a minimum feat to say the least, unless you only weigh 40 pounds . But if you have the grip aptitude of sea lion, then holding onto an idea is a challenge and tying shoelaces requires a spotter. So then grip strength is important yes? Weak grip, weak upper body. Surprise, I'm bringing this subject up.
The interesting thing about grip strength is it directly reflects the bodies neurological health; brain, spinal cord & peripheral nervous system. Think of it as how well your 'computer' runs. In a study done on senior citizens the subjects with the strongest squeeze on a dynamometer, a device used to quantify hand strength. The individuals with strongest squeezer were in better physical health and lived longer on average. Make sure you don't take it out of context, the stress ball has made between zero and zero people live longer, okay maybe one, the guy that got rich over it!
WRITE THIS DOWN: Strength train. Train hard, thorough & proper. If you think you're strong enough, double it. Be a nerdy muscle detective and look for weak links in your chain, if you think you don't have weak links, thats one right there. If you don't have an olympic gold medal but can't find any gaps in your strength thats a bad sign. You can never go wrong in seeking qualified professional help for further insight and education.
Set Point Part 2 is next...Flexibility/Mobility
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!