When it comes to fitness fads of equipment such as Bosu balls, styles of working out such as Crossfit, and crash diets are all the rage. Everything must be made complex or new, with each next new thing better than the last.
While many of these new technologies and methods can be effective, most individuals overly complicate all things fitness related. I constantly must remind and teach clients that there is nothing wrong with mastering the basics—this simple approach does wonders to minimize stress and get awesome results. Regardless of what a training goal may be, improved sports performance, improved body composition, or improved health and longevity, mastering the basics and will yield optimal results.
- Quality OVER Quantity. Quality movement is much more important than reaching a certain number of reps or sets in a workout. Focus on each individual rep and great technique.
- Ask questions and learn from others…. knowledge and implementation is key to consistent improvement.
- Perform recreation exercise on weekends whether it is hiking, rafting, games with friends
- Learn how to do pull-ups, using a long band or…. GULP… an assisted machine
- Pick exercises based on movement. Overhead press, squat, deadlift, lunge (multiple directions), row, chin up, jump, sprint
- Perform deadlifts and squats (correctly), they are the most natural movement for the human body
- Include SOME core work such as planks, rollouts, lifts, chops, and palloff presses. Pick one exercise and hammer it with great form.
- Stop performing every movement on the Smith machine. The Smith machine does not train any stabilizers and will lock your body into unnatural positions, free weights are better and safer.
- Find a training partner and utilize a spotter, you will be safer and stronger
- Perform soft tissue work via foam rollers, tennis balls, and soft tissue massage
- Use both static and dynamic stretches, you will feel better and prevent injuries
- Use barbells and dumbbells for the majority of your exercises
- For most individuals 3 full body resistance-training days will provide enough stimulus to reach your goals.
- Do at least 1 hard conditioning day per week, whether it is intervals, hill sprints, sled work, or complexes.
- Use your body weight to perform exercises. Squats, lunges, push-ups, chin-ups, and handstands are awesome exercises; use your body weight or implement tools such as the TRX.
- 5 exercises per session MAX, this will allow you to focus on major movements and not hitting your arms at every angle imaginable.
- Keep your workouts short, this will force you to focus on what you are doing and improve workout quality. Besides…who really has a life to spend more than an hour in the gym? Get in, Get out
- Stick with the same exercises at least 6 weeks. Changing exercises every workout or even every 2 weeks does not allow for proper adaptation time to the exercise necessary for improvements.
- Lift heavy and explosive (1-6 reps) at least one exercise per workout
Fitness doesn’t need to be complicated; it just needs to be effective. Focus on the basics and get very good at them; leave the Bosu ball squat curls to the guy not getting results. Implement these tips and start making the gains you deserve!