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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stuff people make way too big a deal about

I had to edit typos out of this today. Kevin graciously told me that I was a blind moron and needed a new prescription for my glasses. He was right. I can hardly read my screen. Here is another re-post from

This could definitely be a series. I don't feel like making promises though. I already committed to discussing training variables for the foreseen future.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Friday, and looking forward to a great weekend. Here are some things I am sick of people making a fuss about:

1. OVER TRAINING: "Dude I think you might be over training"

Dave Tate once said when asked about the de-load: Most people need to re-load. I tend to agree. Most beginner's: a) don't think they're beginners, and b) read training information that is not applicable to them. I use deloads in my training, and in most of my client's programs. Notice I said most, not all, and a deload is relative. It basically means do less. Less of not a lot is pointless...see where I'm going.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but has anyone received significant gains in the gym and not done a lot of hard work? You are going to have to put some volume in, some effort in, and show some mental fortitude. When you do that you will need to reciprocate with sleep, food, and better decision making (i.e. not going out 4 nights a week). If you aren't doing the latter you are probably under recovering, not over training. RELOAD.

2. ACCOMMODATION: "You gotta shock the body, keep it guessing, you know?"

I think I do, wait no, I don't think I know what you're talking about. If this is the basis of your training philosophy, congrats, you did it, your body has not accommodated to anything. It also hasn't positively adapted to anything because you never gave it time to. This is why you look the same and are weak.

Your body is going to be pretty shocked by moving hundreds of pounds. You only do it for a total of maybe 4 hours a week. It's also going to be shocked when you do one more rep, one more set, add 5lbs, or give it a break (not you point # 1 guy) only to pick back up and smash it again.

Cut the crap with a different workout every week. Honestly, you are more intelligent than that. Give things time to develop. Give the things that have a ton of transfer (big lifts) a lot of time to develop.

3. PERFECT FORM: "Nice set, but I think you put a little too much body English into that"

Disclaimer: I am not an advocate of stupid things that get people hurt. I hoped we could just assume this, but once I heard the thing about ass, you, and me, it makes me uneasy to even use the word. Additionally, as a coach you must progress with more caution and patience than you may choose to do for yourself. Your body is yours, your client's body is theirs, be careful.

Now that we got that out of the way. Please don't let perfection stand in the way of getting better. I have a video of myself pulling 455 with a back position that would make a chiropractor weep. I didn't hurt myself, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. My point is this. What you can move today, with a little less than perfect form, you will move in a few months with grace.

Additionally, on an exercise like the one arm DB row, a little body English, and a DB that is heavy as crap, is still going to make me stronger. What's not, is doing the same weight for 2 years and judging the guy next to me for moving a little bit.

I will finish this topic with one important concept. Movement in some places is ok, while movement in other places is dangerous. Using our two examples: Deadlift and the upper back rounds, ok, it's heavy, keeping working on it. Lower back rounds, check your ego, and your technique. DB rowing and the shoulders / upper back rotate a bit, ok, it's heavy and over time that weight will not warrant the rotating. Lower back and hips rotate, check the ego and technique. This is true with many exercises. Bottom line, a little break in form when pushing the envelope is ok, get over it.

4. OTHER PEOPLE: "He is squatting wide, she is doing crossfit, they are eating paleo"

Stop worrying about other people. When you do, you might actually do something positive for yourself. A lot of things work, maybe everything in some way. Waste your energy on continually dissecting what everyone else is doing, and little energy worrying about what you are doing, and you will get nowhere. It's true for training, it's true for life. Worry about you, and find solutions that work for you.

Keep an open mind, consider advice, but stand for something. It all works, your commitment, and undying effort towards a chosen approach will be more important than what that approach is.

...I'm doing another one of these.

by Greg Robins of TPS