Simplicity in Weight Training

Simplicity in Weight Training

Simplicity in Weight Training

We are all guilty of it. You see someone at the gym doing a new exercise or variation of an exercise that you have never seen before so the logical thing to do is add it into your routine. This is how training has evolved and it is not necessarily a bad thing, there are some great exercises that are discovered in this manner! When does it become a bad thing? When you add every known exercise into your program and become mediocre at a lot of exercises and great at none. You will never see large gains in your training cycle unless you stick to the basics, at least at first.

In early stages of training (first couple of years) simplicity is key. The most important part of trainings is seeing improvement. The basics allow for individuals to build a foundation of training and to begin getting stronger. For example, you wouldn’t have a basketball player that is unable to make a free throw practice three point shots, hook shots, and fade away jump shots would you? No, you would drill them with the fundamentals of shooting until you felt that they were strong enough to advance. The same applies in the weight room. When you add complex exercises into the mix beginners get overwhelmed and have a much greater risk of being injured.

Monotony is an issue that every person and trainer has to deal with when it comes to training. When I say to keep it simple, it doesn’t mean to take it down to bare bones and stick with just those exercises. The idea is to not spread yourself too thin. Switching up exercises is never a bad thing, but maintaining focus on the important lifts is crucial. Keeping a small list of exercises that you like to perform and find important is a good idea so that you can keep the simplicity but not get too bored with training.

Simple does not mean easy. One example of very simple programming stems from Olympic Weightlifting. Anyone who knows anything about the sport of Olympic Weightlifting has heard of the Russians, Bulgarians, and Chinese when it comes to the sport. Lets start with the Chinese and the Russians. These two countries account for numerous medals every four years at the Olympics (except when the Russians are banned) They have children at a very young age start into the sport and may have the best examples of simplistic programming. The idea for them is to make the kid proficient in the lifts (snatch/clean and jerk) and to make them brutally strong. Everyone knows that the top Olympic lifters from these two countries are incredibly strong. Well that lies in the fact that they keep it simple and focus on the lifts that will help them reach their goal of the Olympics. The Bulgarians on the other hand follow the most bare bones simple program that there is, Squat, Snatch, and Clean+Jerk. They do each lift up to a max attempt every single day. That’s it. So there is definitely something to be said for simplicity!

In most cases people do entirely too many exercises and overcomplicate training for what there goals are. Im not saying that complicated programs don’t work, but it takes years of training for you to be able to understand were to add complex movements and how to swap them in and out in order to reach your goals. As one of my mentors always told me “ Master the Mundane” and that is tremendously important. If you haven’t mastered the every day thing how can you excel at the more complicated things? Try and make your squat a little bit stronger before you add in the Weighted Single Leg Banded Deficit Box Jumps to your routine.

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