These days, many athletes are familiar with the movements we most often associate with strength such as the Back Squat, Deadlift, Overhead Press, variations of the clean, etc. Let’s assume that we’re working with a new athlete is a relative novice to lifting.
To first assess a new athletes strength, I prefer the deadlift. Why? It’s such a simple movement - simply stand up with a barbell. Purists may cry out on the intricacies of the deadlift, but at the end of the day it’s just standing up with weight and a great measure of basic strength.