In last weeks edition, we talked about what gets measured gets managed. That was in reference to scale weight. In this weeks edition, we will be applying that concept to strength training and finding your weak points. The great coach and author Dan John introduced a methodology for training that cannot be beat in terms of simplicity and effectiveness. When you are creating a strength program, it should have the following elements: Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge and Carry.
So how do you go about choosing the right exercises following that template? The answer is going to be goal dependent. For the example I will use today, it is going to be to "shrink the gap" between strengths and weaknesses. In my own training, I use a barbell and perform most exercises in a bilateral manner (both limbs used in unison to complete a task). The gap I needed to fill was the fact that my training was lacking unilateral exercises. With no unilateral training, asymmetries may present themselves and thanks to guys like Gray Cook and the FMS, we know asymmetry leads to injury. So, one day per week, I perform the following exercises for two sets of five: Single Arm Military Press, Single Leg Romanian Deadlift, Core Row, Split Squat, Suitcase Carry and/or Sled Push. 2 sets of 5 once per week checks the unilateral box for me and allows me to "shrink the gap".
Now, just like last week, we need to assess where your "gaps" lie. If you perform a lot of cardiovascular work, then a gap may be strength for you. Follow the five movement template (push, pull, squat, hinge and carry), take your time between sets to allow recovery, write down your exercises and weights, and try to add a little bit of weight each week. If the inverse is true, and your strength is good but your cardio sucks, spend less time in the gym by cutting rest between sets and go for a 20-30 minute walk after your strength session. In conclusion: find an area of weakness, improve upon that weakness through assessing and tracking, then, once that weakness is corrected, move on to the next area that needs attention and start all over!
You Still Haven't Met Everyone...
As I walked out of a cafe last month I came across a sandwich board that read, “You still haven’t met all the people who are going to love you”. Typically, I would not think much of this sign but this day was different. It was April 28th and on this day nine years ago, I received a phone call that I will never forget. I shook my head and thought, “I guess the world would not let me forget about my brother today“.