Abide by the bucket hierarchy.

Jun 22, 2022

This article is an excerpt from Coach Brendon Rearick's new book "Coaching Rules: A How-To Manual for a Successful Career in Strength & Fitness" and a play on Coach Boyle's “Filling Buckets article written over 8 years ago Rule #45: Abide by the bucket hierarchy. 


The hierarchy is as follows:

Mobility > Strength > Power > Conditioning


Here's why:

People need to have just enough mobility to get into certain positions required by strength exercises if you don't want those movements to result in compensations and possible injury.

They need an adequate amount of strength to absorb the forces created during power work like sprinting, jumping and throwing. How fast would you drive your sports car if it didn't have brakes? Not very fast. Strength is the eccentric brake for power. People can't be powerful if they're weak.


Therefore, I don't care how high you can jump. I care how well you can land—then I care about how high you can jump.

Power is being able to perform one max-effort rep 10 times, with a recommended full rest between each jump, throw or sprint.

Conditioning, then, is repeated power under fatigue. People who can maintain power for longer are in better shape; they're more conditioned. Conditioning is being able to maintain max-effort power for 10 continuous reps over multiple sets.


Can you get into the position?

If yes, it's time to train strength.

Are you strong in the position?

If yes, it's time to train power.

Can you produce power from the position?

If yes, it's time to train conditioning.

Can you maintain power for the entire game?

If yes, let's keep it that way.


When filling buckets, abide by the bucket hierarchy.

How do you know when a bucket is full enough? Check out Brendon's last article “How Strong is Strong Enough” and his product Building Exercise Checklists for a deeper look into buckets and creating standards.

If you're interested in the other #104 Coaching Rules by Movement As Medicine co-owner and CFSC Coach Brendon Rearick you can read more at Coaching-Rules.com 

Brendon can be contacted at brendonrearick@gmail.com