Column: There is no need to focus on particular body part when weightlifting
September 13, 2017
Walk in to nearly any gym and I can guarantee you will hear a conversation amongst a group of people regarding what body part they're "lifting today." Most novice gymgoers, and unfortunately many who have been training for years, are lead to believe that the best way to achieve results is by following a split routine. Likely, it looks something like this: Chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, arms on Wednesday, legs on Thursday, shoulders on Friday.
Before I explain the fallacies of this method, I would like to confess that I myself used to train this way as a young high schooler influenced by magazines and body builders. For the uneducated, it is not their fault. They simply see a very large man such as Dwayne the Rock Johnson endorsing such routines, and they follow suit.
This type of training works for body builders and similar trainees because a) they could be enhancing themselves with illegal substances, b) they have extremely strict diets, training regimens, little life-training balance, and c) they have freak genetics. This is not to take away from anything that they do, because it's extremely hard work and not everybody can do it. If this type of training is not working for you, then you are probably wondering what changes you should make. Let me enlighten you.
Train like an athlete. Say it with me. Train like an athlete. Stop with body part split nonsense, it's likely not going to work for you. It is too much volume at once for your body, you will not recover nor see any strength gains. Instead I encourage you to train like an athlete. This means using compound movements and full body routines: squats, deadlifts, presses, carries, pulls and sprints. It is OK to use some accessory movements but do not dedicate an entire day to your biceps when you can't even do one chin up. Focus on getting stronger, taking care of your body and incorporating movements that will serve you better in real life.
One more thing I can't forget to mention is this not so little factor called nutrition. No matter how intelligently you train, you will get nowhere without eating properly. Stop complicating it, and as the wise lifting and throws coach Dan John says, "Just eat like an adult." I hope you find these tips useful and get more out of your training. Thanks, and have a great week.
Jimmy Pritchard has a B.S. from Colorado Mesa University and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is the Assistant Strength Coach at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. Pritchard's passion is to help others meet, and often exceed their goals in all areas of fitness. Contact him at 970-331-3513.
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