Sadly, one of the common threads running through most answers is that these guys have been taught, and programmed, any number of virtually pointless exercises.
The source of this pointlessness is varied, sometimes fitness rags, sometimes the internet or social media, often Personal Trainers.
This happens because the need to be entertained, and to entertain others, all too often surpasses the commitment to achieve. The path to results, be they improvements in strength, conditioning, or body composition, is a simple one.
It’s not easy, but it is simple.
If your programme is complex, chances are it’s not effective, and you’re the victim of an entertrainer (see what I did there?)
Why does this happen?
Because simple seems too good to be true, hence all too many people are no longer trained, instead they’re entertrained.
How do you know if you’ve fallen into this all too common trap?
Just because basic movements are the key to success, that doesn’t mean your programme has to be boring. If you want to improve your overhead lifting ability, you don’t have to simply do Military Press every workout. You do, however, need to progressively move heavier and heavier weights over your head.
Sadly, the Entertrainer, be he (or her) a magazine. ‘celebrity trainer’ or the PT at your local chain gym or private studio, often lacks the depth of knowledge and experience to programme effective different overhead lifting variations, and instead resorts to increasingly bizarre movements to create the illusion of progress.
Fortunately for you, this makes it relatively easy to identify whether or not you’re a victim of this growing trend.
Great Craig, so how exactly do I identify if this is happening to me?
I’m glad you’ve asked.
Firstly, there should be a discernible pattern in both your individual workouts, and the long-term programme you’re following. If you’re given a programme that seems to be a random collection of exercises thrown together in no logical order, that’s a warning flag.
Secondly. If you can identify a pattern, does it correspond to your goal? Using the example of overhead lifting I used earlier, let me illustrate what I mean.
A non-boring programme to improve your overhead lifting prowess could (and indeed should) include most,if not all, of the following exercises:
Clean & Press, Military Press, TGU, Windmill, One Arm Press, Snatch, Double KB push-press, Clean & Jerk… you get the picture, right? Off the top of my head there’s a non-exhaustive list of effective overhead movements that would easily see you through several months of programming with plenty of variation to keep you motivated, but no redundancy.
The entertrainer, however, may have you doing various things with cool sounding names that, when you google them, don’t actually exist. He (or she) may have you balancing on a bosu ball or gym ball like a performing seal, lifting weights lighter than my grandma’s handbag. (I’ll elaborate more on this last example in a future blog, but for now suffice it to say that making an exercise ‘harder’ by introducing a balance element will improve your balance, and nothing else).
Remember, effective programmes are like this blog – simple, but not boring.
Stay away from the entertrainers, and have a great week!
Next Week: The Proof Of The Pooding