Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let's talk about training effectively.


My clients follow different versions of the same movement based program. There are certain movements that we want to cover, but the choice of exercise can vary depending on what equipment is available, or the client's confidence & ability level.

The way I've designed the program and the way I have set it up to be so versatile and customisable is a bit unique. But at the same time, it is just one example of how a competent and knowledgeable training might design an effective program.

There are probably unlimited options for designing an effective resistance training program, but for the most part they'll all have certain movements in common. Specifically we're talking about heavy ass compound lifts, and a suitable balance to recruit and exhaust all of the major muscle groups.

In addition to those, I like to include what I describe as "precision" movements that might target a more specific, smaller muscle, or which might be like an extra coat of polish after we've done the more utilitarian type stuff like grunting neanderthals.

Sometimes there are other movements that we might incorporate for very specific reason, for example to recruit and activate a very specific supporting muscle that doesn't seem to be doing it's job effectively while performing those major compound movements. These exercises aren't really going to make much of a difference to your body composition, but a trainer with a good eye and a good understanding of movement and anatomy will utilise them for the purpose of better preparing you for safe & effective execution of the important stuff that really does make a difference.

Now... click through pinterest for a while and have a look at some of these "cellulite banishing butt and thigh workouts" posted up, for example. What you'll find is a lot of very elegant and dignified looking calisthenic type exercises, precise movements that may target a specific muscle. You'll feel a burn while performing them, possibly some Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness the next day... but does this mean it is an effective training program consisting of suitable exercises to delivered the desired result? 

Nope.

You'll feel a burn because you're recruiting a small muscle in isolation, in a way that it is not used to being activated. This is something that a good trainer might proscribe to address an imbalance they perceive in your movement patterns, for example. Addressing that imbalance will allow you to perform the compound movements that will really change the shape of your body more safely and more effectively... but only performing these exercises while omitting the "big" stuff that really makes a difference will be mostly inconsequential.

If you want to change the shape of your body, you need to target the muscles that make up the greater part of it. Not just the smaller ones that are actually hidden deep within your anatomy.