When it comes to changing your body, maintaining your athletic abilities, and/or getting better physically in what you do…everything you do should be structured around great STRENGTH TRAINING principals.
I’ve worked with so many clients that engage in different physical activities and the reason I work with them is because they’re not fully satisfied with the results of their training and are bewildered as to why. Aside from there being so many benefits to building strength (which I’ll get to in another paragraph), everything we do on a day to day basis revolves around the principals of strength – If you have no strength, everything is performed poorly and possibly painfully. If you’re strong, everything is easier. Period.
As an observation at the gym, I always see women that aren’t highly conditioned performing exercises better suited to bodybuilders for the purpose of detailing their world class physiques (i.e. very big, muscular bodies). These movements include side lateral raises, cable exercises in various angles working multiple smaller body parts, topped off with endless metabolic workouts or mind numbing cardio.
Building a solid foundation for the purpose of i) increased strength, ii) Enhanced mobility, iii) Improved posture and increased core strength, iv) Enhanced coordination, v) Improved work capacity, vi) and Improved body composition should be strategized by performing and mastering bigger compound movements first before progressing to movements designed for detailing muscle. As I don’t want to beat around the bush…you can’t detail what you don’t have.
For someone that has been inactive for months, or even years, concentrating on building up the larger muscle groups is key. Just think legs, back, chest, arms, and shoulders. No need to get into terms like “latissimus dorsi”, “gluteus maximus”, “rhomboid major”, or even “obliques”. I like to keep it as simple as possible and concentrate on Compound Movements such as Deadlifts, Squats, Bench Press, Shoulder Presses, Rows, and Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups. Throw in some bicep curls and tricep extensions for arms and we are off to the races. By concentrating on these simple movements, we build strength within the major body parts resulting in a profound change in body composition and overall functionality. Furthermore, the smaller muscle groups will always benefit from stronger and better conditioned bigger muscle groups.
For the record, I’m speaking directly to all women. Yes women. It goes without saying that most men understand this already.
For someone that is highly active or athletic, I still highly recommend a Strength Training component. I’ve worked with many clients that excel in particular activities but are prone to injury and, most importantly, are also unhappy with their body image because of a lack of lean muscle tissue. By simply adding in Strength Training, my clients vastly improved in their chosen fitness pastimes.
When it comes to changing your body composition, keep things simple and concentrate on heavier push and pull movements first with your bigger muscle groups before progressing into detailed movements or simply just relying on metabolic work. If you’re active with sports, compliment your activities with Strength Training to improve performance and to excel.
There’s no other way to say this…STRONGER IS BETTER in every single aspect.