ONE: London's exclusive personal training studio, in the heart of the city.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Add some spice...

Spice up your life!

All of us like a little bit of variety in pretty much all that we do. Doing the same thing day in and day out can lead to boredom and stagnation. Our bodies as well as our minds need variation and new stimulus in order to grow and develop.

For best results from our training we need a certain amount of consistency mixed with the right amount of variation in order to get the results we are looking for. Results however are task specific. If we want to lift heavy weights we need to lift heavy weights, if we want to run far we need to run far.

However with this acknowledgement of specificity we must realise that doing the same thing day in and day out will not always yield results. In fact the opposite can occur and the body may suffer from pattern overload and overtraining. This is where mixing our training up with the right amount of variation can be really beneficial. It can be the just what the doctor ordered to break training plateaus.

I mentioned both specificity and variation above and both are extremely important and getting the balance right is crucial. As discussed earlier if you want to lift heavy weights you need to lift heavy weights- this is the specific bit. However always bench pressing the same way for the same numbers and the same sets and reps with the same hand positions isn’t the only way forward, in fact doing the same thing may even lead to regression and injury as discussed above. If you make small alterations; which can include changes to sets and reps, hand position, incline or decline of bench as well as weight your progression will continue.

Changing exercises is also important. Now this doesn’t mean that if you want to get stronger in the Squat you need to start doing Pull Ups (you should be doing them anyway!). You need to keep performing the Movement. For example if you have been Back Squatting for a number of weeks, start performing a Front Squat, or a Sumo Squat, or an Overhead Squat or a Squat from Pins, or a Squat with Chains- you get the idea. Alternately completely mix up your sets and reps try a 20rep Squat protocol, try a Russian Squat Programme, try a Powerlifting template varying maximal and dynamic Squat days. Changing your footwear while you Squat can also be useful. Wear lifting shoes for a block then try Squatting bare foot for another.

Obviously specificity and variation doesn’t just apply to Squatting and Bench Pressing. This can apply to Bends, Pushes, Pulls and Rotations. For every major movement the list of exercises is endless. As long as safety is considered why not give something a go.

As long as you stick to sound training principles and as long as you keep progressing add a little spice and mix it up! Don’t reinvent the wheel just make enough changes to keep that wheel spinning faster and faster! Your body will feel better for it and so will your mind!

What does this mean to clients at One PT? Be prepared to go outside!!!


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