Monday, October 26, 2015

Open Your Mind and Expand Your Horizons - By Burt Gam

People can be funny sometimes. We are taught from childhood that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things. That factual knowledge is undisputable. In weight training, like so many other endeavors, has its proponents, rebels and heretics. We have theories, principles and but a handful of facts to guide us. Look for example how body builders, power lifters and weight lifters have drifted apart. Much like the polarization of people for religious and political beliefs. 

As inflexible creatures as we are we adamantly live and die by these belief. We have become self focused and narrow minded. Instead of focusing on our similarities we focus on our differences. Learning can only take place with an open mind. While each area of focus has distinct goals, objectives and theories, it does not necessarily follow that our training methods are 100% exclusive nor should they be. The truth of the matter is that all three camps have useful things to offer each other. All three train with weights to achieve their goals. They even disagree amongst each other. Without getting into the strength or size issues, it might only be fair to point out that some of the strongest bodybuilders in history have been among the best bodybuilders of their eras. It is just as true that there are some pretty strong power lifters who carry an enormous amount of muscle density. And as for sheer power, and overall athleticism we have our Olympic lifters.

A case can be made for many different theories and training principles that each has its own merit. Why not take the best of all three and incorporate them in designing your program for a stronger, leaner and healthier you? Power cleans and push presses for power development. The "Big Three" Powerlifting Programs, and some attention to a few small muscle groups that need attention can all work together! By developing strength, power and flexibility and size you become a much more well rounded person. You have opened your mind to different ways of doing things.

Here is just one of many examples of a mixed program.

Monday                                        Wednesday                             Friday
1.Deadlifts                                    1. Power Cleans                     1. Push Press  
2 Presses                                      2. Bench Press                      2. Squat
3. Chins                                        3. Dumbbell Row                    3.Good Mornings
4. Narrow bench press                   4. Leg Press                          4. Dips or Incline Press
5. Leg extensions                           5. Pullovers                           5. EZ Curl                         
6. Lateral raises                             6. Leg Curls                          6. Calf Raise

Very basic and simple. The sets and reps can be tweaked for different emphasis of strength, power or size. Or perhaps the basic exercises (not assistance exercises) can be modulated on a linear periodization program with a cycles for each. The possible variations are nearly endless.

Remember above all, there are no one size fits all programs. Use your creativity, open your mind to new horizons.

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