Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What is the Simplest Way For You To Progress?

There is a strong temptation in fitness to overcomplicate things.

Lack strength? Get on a program of squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and pullups - and then mix up the sets and reps, incorporate back-off sets, do negatives, throw in chains, add variable rest, and top it all off with a wide variety of exercises changed on a weekly basis.

Lack of endurance? Get on a simple progressive walking program - and then mix in sprints, sled drags, high-rep sets of leg exercises, and more.

Posture issues? Grab some simple daily stretches and strengthening exercises for those issues - then add in every possible variation, add yoga, add breathing, add hanging from an inversion bar, and so on.

That's not uncommon. In fact, it's more common than the opposite - a simple program followed until the gains stop showing up.

Instead of asking yourself, "What are all the possible things I can be doing to get better?" ask yourself this instead:

"What is the simplest, least complicated way I can get better?"

Then do that. Don't change it until it stops working, even if you find something new.

What is the simplest thing?

Strength? Find a beginning strength program, or an intermediate one if you are beyond beginner, and work on that.

Endurance? Same thing. Pick the kind of endurance you want, and work on that.

Posture? Again, find something to work on and work on it.

If you do find something new and interesting, great! File it for when the program you are on peters out. Let it run its course before you move on.

One thing about the body is that it adapts to what you've put it up to. So just use the simplest possible stimulus to make progress. Don't get cute until cute is the only thing that will work. And don't quit on the simplest solution until that stops working.

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