Leg Day if I didn’t skip it.
Arm and Ab day because I would NEVER skip that!
My o my, what a solid plan I was on.
Men’s Health said it was a good plan.
The big dude I wanted to look like was training like this. When I “web crawled” (they didn’t have google back then) how to put on more muscle, become more athletic, and make girls like me this is the plan that was suggested.
That and eat about a dozen chickens and eight pounds of brown rice each day.
The gains were great at first. I remember measuring my biceps like every day, three times per day. I couldn’t wait to hit the gym.
I would do ALL the machines.
I would do ALL the exercises in Men’s Health.
Heck I would do all the exercises in the MAY issue AND JUNE issue in one session. I was getting stronger, growing muscle, and yes even had a lady take notice.
Heck, I decided to become a Personal Trainer!!
Then came the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I tore my Anterior Crucial Ligament, otherwise known as your ACL – a party in your knee; uh NOT.
While rehabbing I went hard on my upper body, until the point that I pinched a nerve in BOTH shoulders. Here I was; a 23 year old personal trainer, who had a blown out knee and had two worthless shoulders.
Not only that but my body composition hadn’t changed in like 5 years.
Where had I gone wrong?
I was training muscles instead of movements.
Let me explain.
Each time a muscle contracts there are basically 2 messages being sent. The 1st message is your brain waves going to the muscle telling it to “just contract”. The 2nd brain wave is initiated by your muscles asking “how should I contract?”
My body parts were learning to work independently of one another instead of as a cohesive unit.
In short, my muscles were confused too much!
I DON’T WANT MY MUSCLES CONFUSED. I WANT MY MUSCLES TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO AND WHEN TO DO IT
I propose a new paradigm.
When planning out your exercises and program think about movements instead of muscles.
Instead of leg day, chest day, and back day and gauging by the sick pump you are getting; we can think push day, pull day, hip dominant day, quad dominant day and concentrate on quality of movement and weight being moved.
It may seem like a subtle difference but as they say the devil is in the details.
By thinking of and training movements our definition of success will change. We will focus on the quality of the movement instead of how veiny the arms are or tonedness of our legs.
This will teach our body to be much smarter so that we can avoid injuries instead of being All Show and No Go. Big and bad until you blow your back out sneezing; kinda like Sammy Sosa.
We will track our strength gains so that we can have an objective view of our success and progressions instead of simply looking at selfie’s we took last week. This will help us stay on track longer and create greater consistency.
The tortoise always wins the race.
By focusing on movement quality and making our bodies smarter instead of aesthetics and having a very confused body we will stay injury free longer. Therefore we will be in the gym longer.
This consistency will lead to a healthier, better looking, and moving body in the long run.
Life is a marathon and not a sprint folks. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
Til next time,