With most things in life we tend to equate more of something good as being better and more of something bad as worse.
When we get to the gym the same principles tend to apply.
The exercises we enjoy we do more often. We do them first. And we use more load. Consequently we see better results from our favourite exercises.
And the ones that we don’t enjoy get cut from the program when we’re short on time. Or we do them at the very end of our workout but only for a few minutes. And we use less load and results seem to take forever to develop in these areas.
Want some examples?
For guys this list of favs probably includes bench press, biceps and maybe an abdominal exercise thrown in there between sets.
On the cutting room room would be stretching, energy system work (which many think of as cardio) and leg training.
The ladies tend to like their cardio as well as exercise that will tone the back of the arms, flatten the tummy and give them some glutes.
Women will tend to stay away from lifting heavy weights and challenging upper body exercises such as pull ups, chin ups and push ups.
So what happens when we train in this way?
Well for starters we develop muscular imbalances.
Imagine if a guy put his body weight on a bar and measured how many times he could press this weight. Next if he went and attempted to match this number on pull ups. How do you think he would do?
For 95% of guys that workout they would be able to be bench a lot more than they can pull.
And for ladies that love the treadmill and especially the ones that are fond of 60-90 minutes runs, how many times could they push all out for 30 s and make a certain distance? Or how heavy could they go if we tested their max deadlift?
Because here’s the thing…
If we simply train at what we’re good at.
If we simply train what we can see in the mirror.
If we eliminate the exercises which are most challenging for use….
We will get average results + burnout + injury.
Nobody wants that, right?
Case in point…
Last week while I was in Southern California I connected with Robert Dos Remedios. Coach ‘Dos’ is one of the best collegiate strength and conditioing coaches anywhere.
But he doesn’t assess his players.
That’s crazy! How can he skip such a valuable step?
Because he knows to put each player on the football team, about 70 guys, through an FMS (type of screen) would take about an hour per player. Times 70 players.
And then he would have to spend 3-5 hours per player trying to correct their imbalances.
And he only gets to work with these players a few hours per week.
So he would be way behind where these players need to be when the season starts.
But he gets results.
The football team have won the National championship. All the players can clean 300 lbs. And they manage to keep their injuries to a minimum while achieving excellence.
So what’s the take home message for you?
Look to make sure your program has balanace. Make sure you can push as much as you can pull. Make sure your knee dominant movements are balanced out by your hip dominant ones. Put emphasis on the areas of the body that you aren’t able to see in one mirror. And lastly make sure to prioritize the things that are the hardest for you to do.
Because if you do this you’ll get better results, in less time, with fewer injuries.
In the comments section tell me:
1. Your least favourite thing to do when you go to the gym but you know you probably need to be doing.
Chris okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’