Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Train like a man

Been waiting for a series of articles like this for a while...

For the last decade or so the term "functional training" has dominated the fitness industry.  Thousands of trainers... myself included, took a break from their old strength and muscle building training methods to experiment with these new techniques designed to load the body in multiple planes of motion.

Just like everything, I've found that some of the new techniques and products has changed the way I think about strength, conditioning, fat loss & fitness... and of course there are others that are absolute garbage.

Personally, from a Strength Training Perspective, I like performing exercises I can objectively measure and see progress over time.   Although a cross over, lateral jump squat might translate over to sport (i guess) a deadlift creates a whole lot more tension in the body, trains infinitely more muscles, induces more hormonal change, and is much easier to measure progress. That's not to say that the exotic pattern earlier doesn't have its place in your training, but depending on your primary needs...

  • If your goal is to build strength, focus on the core lifts... and do a little bit of movement pattern work.
  • If your goal is to improve movement patterns, focus on movement patterns... and do a little bit of core lifts.

Long story short, I think we have strayed away from some of the tougher core lifts like the bench, squat, press, dips and of course my favorite... the deadlift...

Martin Rooney put it best...
"Back in the good old days, I was one of the gym outlaws. I'd strap on my lifting belt, chalk up my mitts, crank up my Walkman, and then hammer every muscle fiber for two hours of gut wrenching heavy lifting.
A decade later, I'd become a lifting law abider. I trained for just under an hour, chalk-less and belt-less, with safe "cutting edge" programs that were more complicated than the fancy iPod that had replaced my old Walkman.
Training like a law abider might've been "smarter" or "more advanced," but was all this progress just holding me back?"
Funny Video on the topic...


Check out the Train Like a Man Series Links:
Train Like a Man Part 1
Train Like a Man Part 2
Train Like a Man Part 3

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