Sunday, April 11, 2010

Diverted by novelty....

This post follows on partly from the last one.

I keep getting diverted by novelty. It happened again this week. Thinking back over my training I was starting to realise a few things:

  • I made my best progress in strength and gaining muscle years ago on very basic routines, from Hardgainer magazine. Stiff Leg deadlifts, Dips, Press, Row. Not to failure stuff, but just weekly adding tiny bits of weight.
  • I am getting tired of being sore from exercise.
  • I do not want to be put at risk of injury - I've a demanding job and can't afford to be out of action from training. So Bill DeSimone's ideas will influence my exercise choice and range of motion.
  • I need to do some rehab / posture exercises - TGU, bridging, birddog, plank.
  • I want to be fit for the things I enjoy - Hillwalking and Krav Maga (Krav is fun but for me it is about learning a self defence - I am not bothered about grading, and there are better ways of keeping fit)
So I'd decided to get back to something basic. Two major exercises - Stiff leg / Romanian deadlifts & Dumbbell Floor Press - for 2x5 each building up weight over time. Lots of rest between sessions

Day 1 - Deadlift, then some easy pushups
Day2 - Floor Press, then some easy pullups or curls and some wall sit.

With posture exercises thrown in almost daily and lots of walking. All using Bill De Simone's prescribed ranges of motion

Keep it simple.

Then John Little publishes his new protocol and I start to get diverted into wanting to try the new thing. I am not going to. I am sticking to the basics for a while.


Todd Hargrove said...


I have some very similar thoughts sometimes. But I also wonder whether the search for novelty is a natural inclination that helps avoid injury by varying the types of stress you put on your body. Variety is also related to having fun and playing, which, as Frank Forencich points out, are conducive to learning and health. Right now I'm just going into the gym and doing whatever workout seems fun. This necessarily means taking it fairly easy on each exercise, so there's no "progress" in terms of lifting more in any particular exercise. But my body feels really good, I'm having fun, and feeling fit. And those are my real goals.

Chris said...

Thanks Todd.

Fun is important and it is a good goal.

Dr Dan said...

That routine seems really straightforward, intense and simple. Its exactly the type of workout I need to start doing now I am in Canada

williebr said...

You know the saying, "if you're a lawyer and you choose to represent yourself, then you have an idiot for a client."

That goes double for fitness programs.

I get $200 to write a single 4wk program for someone and I NEVER write my own programs. 'Cause I can't be objective and I'll just pick exercises that I like doing or that I think are cool. It won't be based on any sort of objective and scientific process of program creation.

It'll just be workouts. Workouts are just something that you do to take up free time, programs get you from where you are to where you want to be.

You need to find a extremely competent person locally and get them to write your program based on some sort of systematic approach to assessment and program design. (By the way, I only think .1% of trainers actually write programs. At best they'll scribble down a workout, but workouts are not programs.)

Picking stuff 'cause you think you need to do it is like throwing darts at a dart board with exercises on it.

There should be reasons why you do x # or reps in phase I, and why you change them in phase II, and III and IV, and how that impacts rest periods, tempo, number of sets, corrective exercise selection (that's got to be based on some kind of assessment - preferably one created by somebody else like Cook), which movement patterns - how much horizontal pulling, how much unilateral hip dominant work...?

These should all have logical answers based on your goals, the way you move at the moment (which should be based on someone else's assessment system), the time you have available, etc.

jleeger said...

Stick to your guns man. If you need motivation, just think about how Herschel Walker got fit:

Anonymous said...

The basics work and have always worked and really can't be improved upon. They should be the base from which everything else flows. Much of the rest of this stuff is merely for novelty and distraction. Nothing wrong with that, as and it can help maintain motivation, as long as you have that base from which to work.


olddude said...

There is truth in what you are saying but I have learned that you never, ever, let the lawyers and accounts run your your business, thats your job.They are a great resource for specifics. Be clear on what you want to hunt and kill and then let them off their leash but always keep them close or they start dragging home children and small pets...

Rannoch Donald said...

This is the classic conundrum. Death by boredom or lack of progress through lack of planning.

Fundamentals. An absolute mastery of fundamentals. Can you do the basics and look effortless. Cna you "adapt to your environement with imagination and ease".

Nail those requirements and your ability to progress and in turn perform will reach a level of maturity that requires less practice and more play.

I am writing about this at the moment. the ideal would be training that is as playful as it is effective. But if we can only choose one, brutal and effective is the way to go.

Chris, ditch everything except mandatory mobility and bodyweight basics. Let your body reset and then come back with a vengenace when you have the energy and clarity to go heavy. Always happy to get together and have a session is that help.

All the best