I just saw a comment on one of my daily YouTube videos that shook me.
It’s not that it was particularly scary or outrageous… it just reminded me so much of me.
How do you get huge while nursing your body? Is it even possible?
How do you treat that nagging shoulder/elbow/hip/back/etc but still have fun in the gym?
How do you sweat and make your muscles burn when you feel indefinitely injured?
This post is probably the most existential topic I’ve ever covered. It addresses the questions I’ve been pondering the most for the last decade.
Have you seen asymmetry in heavy lifts? The bench press where the sternum turns to the right. The squat where the left knee and left elbow stick out to the side. The deadlift stuck over on the right foot.
These happen. Often. If you haven’t noticed them, look out for them. It’s actually pretty cool.
But as a trainer, it’s frustrating. I can’t train you into that asymmetry. I can, but… what good could that possibly do? Now I have to stop you when I start to consistently see that.
But I’ve seen people shift over there almost immediately. I mean, like, rep two out of twenty. They know how to do the exercise, they just can’t. Their brains won’t let them. Why? Because ‘dey scared.
Humans are complex, and movement can be complicated. Why does your client always bend over when they do squats? Why do they do that weird thing with their back on some days? How can they understand it more simply?
Fixing movement is simple: make the wrong stuff look right.
Okay, smart guy, but how do I know what is wrong?
THAT’S the hard part.
On my way to the gym. Running late. Got out of the office late. Then forgot something and had to head back really quickly. Stopped at seemingly every traffic light that has ever existed.
Surely you’ve experienced that. Do you ever skip your warm up when that happens?
How much of it do you skip? Do you even have a warm up?
There are some parts of a warm up that are absolutely essential. Then there are some things that you can use to “stack the deck”, so to speak, to ensure you’re optimizing your session.
A good warm up sets you up for a great workout.
Doing any one thing in particular is unnecessary for your goals, no matter what they are. But doing something is necessary for progress.
- Find a direction.
- Figure out what steps will get you towards there.
- Re-evaluate monthly.
- Stay the course.
- Make every day a win.
Fitness is a bit of an amorphous target. It’s generic. Does it mean cardiovascular fitness? Weight loss? Relative strength? Absolute strength? Weight deadlifted? Flexibility measured? Workout done in x number of minutes?
Is your goal a fitness goal? Or are you just trying out a new training method?
Most people I work with — at least the “regular” people with day jobs — want to be more fit. It would always be nice to be skinnier, stronger, leaner, toner, healthier, smarter, more muscular, more patient, more even-keeled, less anxious, less depressed, less neurotic, less unstable.
But if you want these things, we have to talk about goal setting.