Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stick to the Basics

I'm constantly the "K.I.S.S." Principle to my clients.  The simple stuff will ALWAYS win in the end.  My colleague, Tony Gentilcore, recently wrote a post on this very topic.  He summarized keeping it simple better than I could, so I wanted to share his sentiments:

- Focus on compound movements that force you to integrate the entire body: squat, deadlift, chin-ups, bench press, military press, lunge variation, row, etc.
- For the love of god, step away from the Smith machine.
- And would it kill you to wash your gyms shorts on occasion?
- Stress QUALITY over quantity. I’d rather someone go to the gym and perform 5×5 deadlifts (making sure technique is solid on each rep) than spend an hour doing god-knows-what.
- 3x per week, full-body, is a solid approach for most people.
- Throw in a day (or two) of interval based training and you’re golden.
- Please don’t skip your soft tissue or mobility work.
- Walking shouldn’t be considered exercise.  It’s called life.
- How much weight should you use?  If you can easily hit all your reps, bump the weight up 5-10 lbs.  It’s not rocket science.  And no, you won’t get big a bulky.  Stop thinking you’re going to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger in a week.
- Just to mix it up a bit, save “bench day” for any day other than Monday. Trust me, the world won’t end.
- Training sessions should be no longer than 45-60 minutes (75 minutes, tops if you include SportsCenter highlight breaks).
- The bulk of your exercises should be barbell and dumbbell based.
- If you can’t perform at least five bodyweight chin-ups (man or woman), you have no business performing 46 sets of bicep curls.
- Do some push-ups (or TRX rows) instead.
- Find a good training partner.  It makes all the difference in the world.
- Less is more.  Try to limit yourself to 3-5 exercises per session.
- Don’t be intimidated to ask for help or to be coached.  Even the best in the business ask for help from time to time.

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