Differences of Opinion
Which is best and who is right-- machines or free weight, Olympic
lifts or not, periodization, one set or multiple sets? What's all
the arguing anyway? It's time that we stopped looking for
differences in philosophies and start concentrating on the
similarities of training principles-- because there are many more
similarities than there are differences.
Intensity, Overload, and Progression The goals have always been the same-- train to stay healthy, get
stronger, and perform more effectively on the field. All these can
be met and have been met over the years, using machines and free
weights, doing one set and multiple sets, and doing a variety of
exercises. In fact, there are numerous variables in strength
training (sets, reps, equipment, exercises, and others). The
factors, however, that are not debatable are components that must be
satisfied for a strength program to be successful:
- There must be intensity.
- There must be overload.
- There must be progression.
That's it. Nothing else. If your program doesn't have these
elements, there is no philosophy, no equipment, no methodology, and
no supplement will make the program effective. The flip side, of
course, is that if your program implements progression, overload,
and intensity, you will get good results. Don't blame the equipment
and don't blame the fact that an exercise is absent. Remember, the
same workout given to 10 people will get 10 different results. You
must work hard for every rep, every set, and do it every day you
Follow These Guidelines -
When designing a program, ask the following questions:
- Is the program safe?
- Is it effective?
- Is it efficient?
- Is it practical?
- Is it purposeful?
- Is it balanced?
If you can't answer "yes" to each of these questions, then exclude
it from your workout. Make your decision objectively and don't lose
sight of what we're doing-building strength. In order to do this you
should never feel "comfortable" or "complacent" in a weight room. It
is impossible to reach your strength potential if you train within
your "comfort zone". If it's comfort you want, go some place else.
There are no secrets to success. Choose only productive exercises
that are chosen for their functionality to sports performance, and
not for "cosmetic" purposes. Always do perfect repetitions with
maximum effort, as you should train 'hard but short' and not 'easy
and long'. Remember, as the intensity of your workout increases, the
duration and frequency of the workouts should decrease. Make sure to
adjust your workout accordingly.
Above all, be aggressive during your training sessions. Don't fall
in love with rep schemes or particular exercises, and make sure to
add variety in your programs when adaptation occurs. If you must,
add weight, add reps, and intensify sets, but don't ever, I mean
never, be complacent in the weight room.
Keep it Simple and Safe In summary, there are no gimmicks to successful strength training,
just hard work. Keep it simple and safe, that's what I say. In
addition, plan all your workouts and be accountable to every
training session. Make sure to sleep and eat enough to enhance your
growth and strength progress. And finally, have fun and enjoy your
workouts and appreciate the opportunity that you have to train hard
and to challenge yourself.
That's something both sides can agree on.