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, June 23, 2011


What are you prioritizing in your workout?

I don't mean your goals, but what are you making the most important factor in your training?

Maximizing the weight on the bar. This calls for more careful warmups (multiple sets leading up to the big sets). It requires longer rest between sets. Technique may get short shrift, here, if you're doing cheat reps or don't really care about form.

Maximizing your workout pace. This can result in lower reps and lower weight, but the workout never slows down. You may be doing this with an aim of maximum time, or maximum rounds/reps/miles in a given time, or just keeping moving.

Maximizing recovery. This involves less weight, less reps, and more rest time. You're probably doing more "active rest" or "rehab" or "prehab" exercises instead of intense cardio or intense weight training.

Maximizing a heart rate zone. Rest times come down, weight or intensity moderates a bit, and time goes up (often by a lot).

Maximizing your time close to that hot (guy/girl). Mostly a joke, but if your workout's exercises, rest, load, and location are centered around sticking close to someone else at the gym . . . you'll pretty much toss everything else by the wayside.

That's not an exhaustive list . . . it's just a start. What do you find yourself prioritizing, either by design or just naturally as you exercise?

Why you are doing these is another question. You need to see if your priorities match your goals. If your goal is maximum strength but you prioritize your recovery during the actual workout, you probably won't get there. If you're prioritizing standing next to that hot woman who comes on Thursdays, you aren't likely to be working consistently unless she is.

What you actually prioritize in your workouts will help you understand what you are actually working toward, regardless of your stated goal.

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  1. Heheh, yeah. You wouldn't want to be too specific about your priorities. :)


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