I’m not one to insult others and I’m not meaning to sound judgmental but I’m a human being and, well, sometimes your mind just naturally has a WT actual EF moment…
Many of these moments can be experienced in the gym setting and I happened to witness one such performance a few days ago that inspired the topic of today’s post.
Quality Over Innovation
Specifically, you don’t need to show your skills of multitasking in the gym…
We have all seen them.
#GymFail memes are everywhere.
I can’t say there isn’t some truth in some of these because there are some very creative individuals in the gym where many of these have originated from.
Take the incident I mentioned earlier. So try, try very hard, to picture this:
Guy on exercise ball.
He is in the smith machine rack.
He’s doing leg lifts. Yes lying on the exercise ball..
While ALSO holding onto 135 on the bar unracked.
Is your brain cramping yet?
Mine was spasming just a tad and then watched as a personal trainer looked at him and then continued to keep walking…
#PTFail for real.
Anywho, my point with sharing this is I wanted to understand what he was trying to accomplish.
Was he thinking this was a new and inventive way of training his core?
Working on stability?
I really have no idea.
Whatever he thought, it was clearly not working as he was rocking all over the place whichever option above was his motivation, it was not successful.
The thing is you have to think about when training is what you’re trying to accomplish. Yes inventive can be great sometimes, but just as often (or more often..) it can just get out of hand and really not work the muscle group you’re targeting at all and simply make you look like an idiot (…not that you should care what others think) or worse, cause you to injure yourself.
So on the topic of quality, I think that when you see or think up an interesting new exercise, think about how they are working towards your goals. To better explain this, let me give you some examples.
1.Benching while holding a static leg lift.
I think this can be okay if you’re looking to burn out and/or add a bit of challenge to a lift later on in your workout. If I bench with my feet on the bench or off the floor at any point it’s not when I’m benching my max. Instead, it’s to add a bit more challenge to a superset or burnout set.
You cannot possibly hit your max with your feet off the ground. Your focus is not on the chest, you’re slightly off balance and the lack of grounding really hinders your power. So if your goal is to hit a new PR, keep those feet on the ground.
Great exercise for a burn out! It works the whole body and is a great core stabilizer and strengthener because you have to hold a plank while doing a dynamic movement. Like I said, this is great for what it is, a compound to increase the heart rate while challenging the core and maybe exhausting the back once it’s fatigued a bit first.
This is not the exercise to start off with to increase your ‘back gains.’ Once again, with all that is going on, you won’t be able to lift as heavy as you would if you were to take that stability component out. Stick to barbell rows to build that back and burnout or work stability using this exercise.
But more core activation is better!
Take this from the “core queen,” you don’t need to add a balance and/or core component to everything you do. As I have mentioned, if strength is your goal, then don’t limit yourself with adding movement and instability. You need to be tight, braced and have full concentration on that lift to reach maximum strength.
If you want to be more functional then perhaps some of these may be a good option for you as they mimic everyday moments better. Do we bench with strict form in real life? No.
But then again, the more functional and compound kinds like squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, etc all have core activation built right in, so are these inventions really necessary?
Different goals means different exercises. Always remember that.
And please, PLEASE. Safety over everything!
Happy Friday Friends