Empowered Strength

From the Blog

What Does Strength Look Like? (AKA: Do You Even Lift?)

Let’s face it.

While it may not always be our main concern, we’re all interested in strength training for at least one of the following reasons:

  • To do cool stuff
  • To show gravity who’s boss (AKA: Lift heavy shit)
  • To gain muscle and look hot as hell
  • To lose fat and look hot as hell

That’s a pretty comprehensive list of why people get started with strength training. Did we miss anything?

With that in mind, there’s something that we enjoy communicating to all newcomers and veterans alike. Which is simply:

“What does ‘Strength’ look like?”

“When will I look like I lift?”

Or, what can you expect to see in your bodily aesthetics once you have achieved all-around Strength?

To answer that question, look no further than to both of our Coaches, John and Aaron.

Both of these men are pretty strong, but they both represent two different camps of strength. One is a world-class athlete with multiple world records and medals to his name. The other is a dude that enjoys exploring his body’s capabilities and is satisfied with feats of Strength that range from, “Decently alright,” to, “Well, that was impressive.” Each has their own motivations and levels of achievement, but each can legitimately be called “Strong.”

As with all things human, there are certain limitations and varying factors towards achieving a specific look. No matter how hard Aaron trained, he would never look exactly like John because, well, he’s not 6’2″, Caucasian, or endowed with the same bone structure and muscular attachments. Genetics, although they’re not the ultimate deciding factor, do determine quite a bit of your end-game superficial sexiness. Sometimes, the best exercise towards achieving a certain look is making sure to choose the right parents.

We’re only half serious, of course.

The Look of Strength

So, how strong do you have to be before you’ll start looking like one of these guys?

While it’s not so cut-and-dry, it would make sense that in order to have a similar look of overall fitness that Aaron has, you might need to first be capable of doing at least a few of the things he can.

Here’s a list of what Aaron can do or has done:

  • Run a mile in less than 6 minutes
  • Run a marathon
  • 20+ pull ups
  • Turkish Get Up with a 48kg kettlebell
  • Deadlift 2.5x bodyweight
  • Squat 2x bodyweight
  • Weighted chin up with 50kg extra
  • 101 reps with 24kg kettlebell for a 5 Minute Snatch Test

That’s a relatively decent list. By themselves, those accomplishments may not be the most amazing, world-class level feats, but being able to do all of those is definitely a rare sort of all-around strength. However, it’s definitely achievable for most individuals who are willing to be consistent with their training for a few years.

When you start getting to the level of Aaron’s strength capabilities, you’ll probably start looking a little something like him. And, depending on your genetics and food-related habits, you might even look even better! Just don’t tell him that.

But, what about John? What about his ultra beastly aesthetic? How can you achieve that?

Here’s a list of what John can do or has done:

  • Deadlift 500lbs +
  • Front Squat 400lbs
  • Beast Tamer: 48kg Press, Pistol, and Weighted Pull Up
  • 99 reps with 32kg kettlebell for a 5 Minute Snatch Test
  • Top 10 finisher in the StrongFirst Tactical Strength Challenge
  • Thrown multiple World Records in the Highland Games
  • Former Heavyweight Pro of the Highland Games

Similarly, just because you may be able to do these these things, does not necessarily mean you’ll look the way he does. And, the opposite is also true. Just because you can’t do any of those things, does not mean you can’t look the way he does.

Some individuals will look absolutely fantabulous by doing less, some individuals will need to accomplish more to get the same.

Which brings us to the overall point of this article:

How to Look Strong

First, in order to “look” look strong, you must be strong. Second, in order to get strong, you must spend a significant amount of time developing that strength. Third, once you’ve developed actual strength, you must spend even more time making that your “new normal.”

Because it’s only after you’ve done these three things that “you” and “strong” begin to be synonymous.

So, what sort of strength should you be trying to develop? Glad you asked! Oddly enough, we actually have a list of those exacts standards:



We’ll be talking about these in greater detail soon, but this list of standards is what we help all of our members work towards accomplished.

The Empowered Standard is what we feel allows any man or woman to have the solid, base-level of strength that then allows them to do anything he or she wishes to pursue.

The Game-Changer Standard is exactly that. When you’re that all-around strong, you’re a rare breed. You’re “that guy.” You’re the one that everyone wants to pick first for their dodgeball team. It’s an awesome feeling. Yet, it’s challenging without being outside the realm of achievability. This Game-Changer Standard is also when individuals really begin to look like they lift, in our experience.

Here at Empowered Strength our main concern, as our name suggests, is to help you gain the strength that empowers you to live the life you want. Once you’ve achieved that, we can help you become even stronger than you ever thought was possible.

And, hey, if you look pretty great after achieving that, then that’s just an awesome bonus.

Do you want to find out how strength training can fully empower you in ways you never thought? Maybe even achieve a certain look that you’ve never had?

We can help.

Make today the day by taking part in our FREE Intro Assessment:

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