Sunday, August 19, 2012

Something to Remember - By Tom Edwards

Originally posted on NaturalStrength.com on January 1, 2004

With so much written-material available, both in print and over the net, on range of motion, locking-out, holding each rep at the top if pressing, pausing between reps, and changing exercises to make them harder, amongst other things, you would think they are topics worth discussing in exhausting detail. The truth is, they are not.

Once you can master safe training, and work hard at each set so that you can effectively train each muscle group, without taking liberties, and pain-free, you can train that way for years. One does not need to concentrate on locking out at the top of a dumbbell shoulder press if that causes the individual harm. One hardly needs to squad at a level below what is comfortable, and to do so in order to make the exercise harder, is foolish and silly. If you can squat effectively by going down to parallel, and are able to progress by continuing that stance, in complete safety, why change things? Neither should you concentrate overly on pausing for any longer than a couple of seconds in between reps unless this is your consistent training style. Getting bigger and stronger in the vital exercises means getting everything consistent, and progressing in much the same way you did as a beginner.

Introducing a cable fly just to pump the chest muscles after your bench presses will only waste time and cut into your recovery. I know, as I have done it, and so have many fellow trainees. With so much incorrect and even dangerous training advice abound in the glossy magazines, it isn't easy to keep focus on what really is important when you step into the gym. The very few things that are not important to you in 2004 where the very same things that were not of any use to you at all in 2003, 2002 or any year before that. That's why when I hear of fellow gym trainees talk of advancing in the New Year by changing and chopping exercises, introducing new techniques, new supplements, more training days, trying new machines, and so on, it leads me to believe that by the time 2004 comes to and end, they'll be as frustrated and weak in their training as they are now. In hindsight, I don't think I have learned anything new in 2003 with regards how to train effectively. What I have observed is that despite claims of any advances from the mainstream training hoopla with regards new supplementation, better training methods and new exercises, the hype-free, infrequent and progressive way is best. Few exercises, worked as intensely as is humanly possible, alongside plenty of rest and good food in between, is best.

Get your priorities right in 2004 by making this the best year yet for improving your physique and getting bigger and stronger muscles, and a healthier heart. This means sticking to the big compound exercises that are hard to do, eating well and frequently, resting just as well, whilst delivering what is required in the gym. You may not need to change any exercise the entire year, as long as you are consistent and safe with your form and can progress with it, which of course is always possible. More than anything, enjoy your training and remember what a great privilege it is to be able to work hard, for your results. Exercise, health and strength is a passion that comes from within.


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Bob Whelan

Bob Whelan

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