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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Building a Better Workout

There are thousands of gym protocols and equally a thousand urban myths about how, when and why to train. Some are actually based on science and principle.

That’s why the grouping of ideas found in this article leapt out at me. In short the five are:-
1. Train for Strength, not size. Work for functional fitness.
2. Progressively overload your system
3. Balance your movements (up with down, pull with push, movement with stability)
4. Work in unstable positions that challenge your core (e.g. do one armed bicep curls standing on one leg)
5. Do it all explosively- as fast as possible with control.

It rings true with my personal rationales on training with its focus on functional exercise. Look at anyone engaged in physical labour, I mean heavy labour; they don’t go to gym to get a great body, they go to work. Some of the best physiques I have seen are on manual sugar cane cutters. Functional exercise also incorporates your body as a whole and helps build for strength not just for size.

The idea of balancing exercises is also key. As a physio I have seen my fair share of shoulder injuries caused by guys overtraining their chest and biceps at the expense of their back and triceps. The imbalance is bad for you.

The only idea in the article I would modify is the one of doing it all explosively. Sure do explosive work but mix it up sometime with a bit of the slower stuff. That gets your slow twitch muscle fibres working more and an even bigger gain in bulk.

Oh and the coach that is featured in the article has a blog-check it out.

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