Jan 5, 2013

2012: Lessons in Lifting Part II

Prevail Strength Coach Jacob Goodin

This is the second in a three-part series outlining the lessons I learned while lifting and coaching in 2012. In Part I I explained the difference between primary and secondary goals and suggested how those differences affected my 2012 training schedule. Part II will focus on the most important aspect of program design: consistency. 

Consistency is Everything 

Last semester I instructed 50 college students between 2 weight training classes. I knew from the start that I didn't want to teach the class like a traditional PE weight training class--with little attention to program design, movement patterns, or individual needs. Instead, I taught the students the basics of constructing and implementing a practical lifting regimen that included the following: 
  • 5 part warm-up (soft-tissue work, HR elevation, mobility work, muscle activation, movement pattern technique work) 
  • multi joint but beginner-friendly lifts (think goblet squats, single leg hip thrusts, single arm floor press, etc...) 
  • specific corrective exercises (clamshells, wall angels, rotator cuff work, etc...) 
  • exercises from each of the 7 basic movement patterns (push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, twist, carry) 
  • metabolic finishers (loaded carries, treadmill or bike sprints, tabata intervals) 
Within each of these parameters I gave 3-4 options of exercises to choose from and stick to for a 5-6 week period. So, for example, if the program called for a quad-dominant lower body lift on Monday, some students performed split squats, others rear-foot elevated split squats, others barbell back squats, and most of them goblet squats. 

Click on the link to download the template they used: Westmont Weight Training Template 

Muscles only grow when in a confused state
At first, many of them questioned the need to "do the same program for 6 weeks!" claiming that the media and P90X said you needed "muscle confusion" to get anywhere. These same students were pleased and a bit surprised when a month-and-a-half later they had increased their 5 RM by 20-50% in their lifts across the board. 

They achieved these results by learning the nuances of each lift, practicing and paying attention to proper form and the verbal, tactile, and visual cues I gave them. Once they mastered the basics, appreciable load could be added and away they went, making incredible gains. 

How Consistency Applies to You   

You wont get anywhere with silly things like program-hopping or "muscle confusion". Instead, consult a knowledgable Prevail strength coach and create a plan that you can stick to for the next year.  Make 2013 the year that you actually achieve your goals and arrive at the end in better physical, mental, spiritual shape then when you began.

For a hands-on look at how you can set and achieve your fitness or athletic goals, check out Prevail Conditioning's new website for information on how to experience the best Private, Semi-Private, and Group Training sessions in the Santa Barbara area. End this year better than you started.

This post originally published on Jacob Goodin's blog coachgoodin.com

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