Thursday, April 28, 2016

Exercise Selection

It's interesting to see how trends wax and wane.  

Example that prompted this: the (apparently to me) laziness and lack of emphasis on good exercise selection in training. 

You can do squats on a BOSU ball, 

but it's... Well.... Stupid. 

Sure everyone wants things that glimmer in the light, and I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing.  

But it's not the only thing.

I see many trainers and coaches these days write programs with great care and attention paid, but when it comes to exercise selection, the same care is not applied. In fact. It's lazy exercise selection for the sake of something "different" in lieu of things that actually work. 

The right movement can make all the difference. I've had situations where a client shows a weakness at the bottom of the squat (like nearly all squatters do). 

They should theoretically respond to either Pause Squats or Pin Squats since both emphasize force production in the bottom of the movement.  

But once in a while, for certain clients, they will respond to one movement but not the other. 

Of course we could attribute this to they mystical "everybody's different" mantra.  
But that's usually a lazy excuse when someone doesn't feel like explaining something. 

There's a reason. And if you look at the way they move in the lift and buttress that against the skills taught (providing they're correct) in each movement, you can get a good idea of what the lifter will respond to.

The fundamental skill here is weakness analysis and correction. 

But before we even get to that point, we have to have a good understanding of the available tools. We need to understand training effects of different movements. We need to know that Pin Squats *can* teach a lifter to lead with the chest a bit better when coming out of the hole. 

We need to know that pause squats help fix a lifter's issues when they get "mushy" in the bottom under heavy loads.

And the more detail we can know these things, the better and more specifically we can prescribe work. 

So if you're getting those fundamentals right, that's great. That's STEP 1 to reaching your potential. It's the first thing you should pay attention to. But it's far from the last.  

The same goes for technical fundamentals and pretty much everything else.

And when you can train productively and efficiently, when you continually build momentum from training session to training session, and you get stronger at a faster pace. 

Then PR's are only a matter of time.

Patrick Ciera

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