Variety is often a limiting factor for many new exercisers, there is just too much of it. To truly master exercise, your program has to be somewhat repetitive. How else would you get better at things? Do the same thing over and over until it becomes second nature. The issue is, changing your exercise program too frequently will never allow you to become proficient. In this post I will list 4 ways to become an exercise master.
1. Get an assessment: Regardless of what your goals or experiences are, you need to know your limitations. A movement screening is the first place to start. Are there any exercises that you shouldn’t be doing? And, could improving your weak areas be the key to progressing to the next step?
2. Do the same exercises for 4-6 weeks: This might sound crazy to some people… But, to become proficient you need repetition. It actually takes the neuromuscular system 4-6 weeks to learn movements before we see actual strength gains. This could be a big reason why you aren’t getting stronger, because you haven’t done enough repetitions of each movement.
3. Do what your bad at: The exercises we are really bad at are usually the ones we need the most. Say your shoulders are weak and unstable during shoulder pressing. Try to lower the weight, focus on good form, and build up the necessary strength and stability. By skipping these exercises altogether you are most likely continuing to improve your strongest areas, while neglecting your weaknesses. Eventually, this will lead to imbalance and very poor overall function.
4. Master the basics: The basics are the foundation of good function. In a society with so much information between the internet and magazines, it is easy to get distracted with complex exercises before mastering the basics. There is no shame at doing the basics very well. If there are a few exercises I recommend being perfect at, they would be the squat, push-up, pull-up, and deadlift. All other exercises will be enhanced if you can do these very well.
Garrett McLaughlin is an athletic trainer, personal trainer, and certified active release techniques provider. He is passionate about creating safe, and effective fitness and rehabilitation programs for the general population and athletes. ‘Like‘ Garrett’s Facebook page to stay up-to-date on related health, fitness, and nutrition information.