I Actually Have Something Important and Reflective To Say Today. Who Knew?!?!
if you’ve been reading my blog for any length time, you’ll know that there are a few on-going “themes” or ideas that I tend to address:
1. Hot girls are hot
2. Leg curls suck (sorry, you will never convince me otherwise)
3. Kim Kardashian’s badonkadonk should have its’ own zip code.
4. People have a hard time stepping outside their comfort zones
While you can look at any given aspect of our lives and apply the last point; perhaps there is no other place that we fail to step outside our comfort zones than in the gym. I mean, you can walk into any fitness club in America and find the same people doing the same routine day in and day out. Similarly, how many people do you know who perform 500 sit-ups per day, yet still don’t have a six pack? Or what about the guy who does leg extensions instead of squats and wonders why his legs haven’t grown? Better yet, how many women do you know who take three yoga classes per week, and are still dumbfounded why they haven’t lost any weight?
What’s more, I’m always getting e-mails from people asking any number of questions pertaining to strength training, program design, supplements, nutrition, etc. Not too long ago, I received an e-mail from this guy who explained to me how he just wasn’t getting stronger, and asked me if I had any advice. I replied back with an e-mail with a few follow-up questions, one of them being “What does your weekly split look like?” He replied back with this long e-mail on how he would like to increase his pulling strength and broke down all these set/rep schemes, and then dropped the bomb: Day 1: chest/back, Day 2: legs/abs,accessory work like serratus/SITS, Day 3 or 4: Shoulders, arms.
After pouring battery acid into my eyes, I responded back with one sentence: “stop doing body part splits.” Haven’t heard back from him yet. But I’m hoping I had some sort of influence.
JackedGunz22: “Yo Tony, love the blog. I recently read something you wrote about single leg work and how important it is for overall strength. Thing is, I suck at them and don’t know how to get better. Any suggestions?”
Me: How is not doing single leg work going to help you get better at them? Here’s a novel idea: make it a point to implement some form of single leg work in every training session. The only way you’re going to not suck at them, is by doing them.
As human beings we tend to be creatures of habit, and as such, always revert back to what’s familiar and/or easy. I’m certainly no exception to the rule. For years I’ve avoided the Olympic lifts like the plague. Not because I have anything against them or don’t believe in their efficacy; rather, I’m just not used to them. In other words, I suck.
I’ve been reading Dan John’s new book Never Let Go, and while there are an infinite number of knowledge bombs contained in it, one of the main points I have picked up thus far is: “if it’s important, do it every day.” As such, I’ve made it a priority to include more overhead squats into my daily warm-up (with nothing but a PVC pipe). Likewise, I’ve also started to incorporate a specific day towards nothing but working on some variation of the olympic lifts. Last weekend, I took a simple workout suggested in Dan’s book and did the following:
Clean snatches 3×8, 60 seconds rest
Whip snatches, 3×8, 60 seconds rest
I only used 65 lbs (don’t laugh), and to be honest, my traps haven’t been that sore in a looooooong time.
The point of all this? Step outside your comfort zone. Whether it’s ditching the body part splits and following more of a full-body routine focusing on the compound lifts, making it a point to work on your weakness (every day), or I don’t know, taking some intiative and cleaning the dishes in the sink to appease your girlfriend- I think you’ll be surprised at the results.