Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Well That Was A Long Break

It's been a while, huh? I apologize to my loyal readers for not posting anything for a while but I've got a good reason. I started a new Weightlifting program that pretty much leaves me feeling like I got cockstomped by a herd of angry water buffalos every day. After my lift all I want to do is eat a stupid amount of food and melt into a chair or bed. When I've tried to sit down and write, my fingers just lay gently on the keyboard. But now I'm back.

Me after training.
Why the sudden bug up my ass to write again? Because I'm so fucking sick of reading article after article after article about new variations of variations. Why am I so sick of it? Because it's just not necessary. Sure, it's a great way to get published and cash another check, but do any of us actually have clients that we would use these with?

There are officially 5 contested lifts: squat, bench, deadlift, clean and jerk, and the snatch. (Add in strongman comps and CrossFit comps and you can get a lot more, but for this purpose let's stick to the classics.) In order to help iron out imbalances and injury-proof the body, we have a ton of accessory lifts. DB presses, all rowing variations, vertical pulls, and your "anti-" core exercises. To help strengthen the actual contest lifts, people developed secondary lifts to target specific weak points. Close grip benches, hang snatches, behind the neck jerks, RDL's/Good Mornings, elevated deadlifts and squat/lunge variations (to name a few).

If you follow the two-barbell rule then a lift (for someone looking to get stronger and all that good stuff) should look something like this:

A) Barbell Bench
B) Close-grip board press
C1) Chinups
C2) 1-Arm cable row
C3) Stir-The-Pot
D) Go the fuck home and eat something

The famed Klokov Complex

My current training sessions appear like this:
A) Snatch until you dry heave
B) Clean and Jerk until you hate yourself
C) Squat and drink a protein shake
D) Snatch pulls while puking in your mouth

Yup, I only do 4 exercises and I've got a bar in my hands the whole time. Now, in fairness, I'm training for a weightlifting competition. But you see my point, right? Why do we need variations of variations of an exercise? If you want to get better at RDL's, do more fucking RDL's. Don't spend your time worrying about regressions for it, just fucking do more. Bored of it? I don't care. Super strong at it? Then start doing something with your strength. Train for a powerlifting meet or start training strongman events. Even if you have some imbalances that need to get fixed, you don't need a ton of variation.

What happens with too much variation? You never get good at anything. If you're always doing a different row variation or single-leg squat variation, how are you going to progress? If it's too easy just add more weight or change the tempo. If you changed the ingredients every time you cooked, your food would always taste like shit.

Enough with the variations, stick to the basics and get really fucking good at them.

Have a great day, and go lift some heavy shit!