Here is an excerpt from the “Strength for the Streets” Program Manual by Frank DiMeo:
What separates “Strength for the Streets” from other programs is that we focus on the most difficult 15 seconds to 15 minutes of your life. We’re not
worried about making you pretty or slim, or helping you to lose weight. This is not a program to look like a body builder. We are going to build your strength
so you can move something heavy. We’re going to build your power to give you that explosive speed, and muscle endurance as well. The program also
focuses on flexibility and balance.
“Strength for the Streets” builds the kind of strength that can help you survive in a crisis or attack, and function more effectively in everyday life. It is effective
for everything from carrying groceries and babies, performing better in martial arts or boxing, lifting heavy objects at work, and preparing to rescue
victims or apprehend criminals (e.g., firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement). The program can help prevent injuries in sports with twisting, turning,
jumping and that place high demands on the body and joints. It also can be a wonderful cross-training program for all sorts of athletes. The end goal of the
program is not elite athleticism, but it can help elite athletes enhance their capabilities.
Here are some quick definitions that are important for this program:
Strength. If you are going to move a heavy object regardless of the time frame involved, that is strength.
Power. If you are going to move that same object quickly, that’s power. Power is strength plus speed.
It is the ability to apply force quickly.
Endurance. Muscle endurance is your ability to do repetitive motions for a long time, without depletion. How many punches can you throw in a minute? How
many times can you lift a heavy object in 30 seconds? For how long can you hold somebody in a bear hug? That is all endurance.
In the Strength for the Streets workout, most of your clients will be tapped out in 30 minutes or less and yet still get the benefits they need. In my experience, real-
world crisis situations require fast-moving, hard-hitting, explosiveness – and traditional workouts on the treadmill or with a circuit of machine weights don’t prepare you.
In a real world confrontation, when the adrenaline begins flowing (an “adrenaline dump”), you begin to shake, your heart beats quickly, your fine motor skills deteriorate to
almost nothing and your gross motor skills are all that are left. That’s where you survive. It doesn’t matter how many triceps extensions you can do in a crisis, or what
you can push on a bench press. Those exercises have their place, but not in this program.
As Bud Jeffries says, “We have become so afraid of lifting anything heavy or really putting out any serious effort that we’ve started to accept idiocy as mainstream
Zach Even-Esh puts it this way: “Training like a body builder is one of the biggest mistakes you can ever make as a combat athlete.”
When we move from “la la land” to the real world — or “the street” — our training tools are different than for traditional training.
– Frank DiMeo
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