“Complexity of drills and apparatus often seems to replace optimal simplicity, technical correctness and elegance.” – Unknown
The bottom line upfront: I am known for my bias towards training that makes use of relatively simple methods. Further, I am also known to leave no stone unturned and am open towards learning new techniques and material. In the beginning and end, I must be able to shape my training around the needs of the individual client, and meet them at where they stand.
Optimal Training is defined by the client.
The basic barbell. Historically proven effective at building strength in fundamental movements,Infinitely loadable and something that has stood the test of time. One of the five major tools I use with a broad clientele and nearly as simple as simple gets in the gym. That said, not every client picks up a barbell nor is every client confined to only five tools. It’s always a case of “which tool works best for this individual, right now?”
I’ve written numerous blogs on the value of simplicity in training, and on the attraction of flashy workouts. I’ve also stated that “training” and “working out” are different things and that some trainers cannot separate the two.
My training is anything but flashy. If anything,I believe it would be closer to an educational course at the University of You.
I believe everyone should engage in exercise. I also believe that exercise (or working out) is good enough for a portion of the population. For others, this won’t do, at least not in the long haul.
Properly structured training as defined by the individual is the most efficient path towards a given adaptation. Depending on the goal and starting point this could be a long journey. Properly structured training means that everything being done fulfills a need and is in step with the clients present status.
Further,that there is a defendable reason why an exercise is there. That its not an arbitrary listing of exercises, sets and reps. When I say defendable, I mean defendable against high bandwidth trainers,not against an unknowing public that automatically assumes all trainers are highly capable.
Case in point: I’m old enough to roll my eyes every time I see “Death by Burpees” as part of the days training requirements. I have coach friends that have personally lost high double to triple digits in weight, I have several that are competitive lifters, many with standing records and others that are stronger and move better now that they did more than a decade ago.
None got to where they are now solely due to “Death by Burpees”
Are Burpees inherently bad? No, they are not without purpose.
Have I ever programmed Burpees? Yes,quite selectively and infrequently.
Can they be programmed intelligently? Yes, but I have yet to find a time where another exercise wasn’t a better/more efficient/safer choice on a client defined basis.
I can almost forgive the high rep Burpees if they part of a better constructed whole, with the remaining 90% of the session being composed of exercises with a greater return on investment. It’s when the high-rep Burpees are the cherry on top following exercises that defy logic, biomechanics, client prescription or the old school smell test.
It’s in those scenarios where I start questioning the trainers ability, or at lest their dedication to their craft.