Last Sarcopenia post we detailed a technique to make an exercise feel harder without making it less safe. The point there was to show this is possible because we think too many people either exercise too lightly just going for a sweaty, out of breath feeling but lacking strength gain OR go too heavy and risking the kind of injuries which sneak up over time. This post we will back up a bit and get into the meat of exercise program design.
So just how should you organize your workouts? Copy something, try different stuff until you find something you like (or that works ;n) ? Technically we consider ourselves weakness trainers more than strength trainers because our job is to target your weakness as a primary. This rather than let you play to your strengths all the time possibly developing even greater imbalances for your efforts. This means workout structure should be founded on self-awareness.
By effectively identifying your weaknesses you can create workouts that stimulate an abundance of change within a very tight timeframe.
Example 1: You note that your legs are not your strong suit and your upper body is the area you most rely on to do physical things. You don’t like to climb, run, squat or bend down and lift with your legs and aren’t much of a walker or bicycle rider. You then make sure to spend the first half of your workout training your legs while you are freshest. Next you move on to your upper body which you are more comfortable with and this will allow you to keep things intense even though you are halfway fatigued.
Example 2: Conversely you may have decent legs but lack good posture, have weak shoulders possibly no pectoral muscle what to speak of. In this case as much as training legs first might make you feel warmed up and ready you are better advised to work your weakest muscles while you still 100% sharp because its gong to feel awkward and counterintuitive at first. You will want to learn to find and control weak muscles before you get too hyped into your session.
In time, as you develop balance and symmetry in your body you will be able to vary your routine structure more but confronting weaknesses should always remain a top priority. You will find some of your abilities will develop quicker than others and you must fight the urge to run too far with those. We see it all the time where a person gets in to a honeymoon phase with workouts and ends up derailing their gains over time.
Thus workout routine tip number 1 – don’t design your workout just for the person you want to become, save the ‘star’ routine for after you have solid balance and proper proportions. Prioritize your weakest traits then fold into the stuff you are more natural at to keep the momentum from fading as you burn and fatigue towards the latter part of your workout.
Until next post, be well, be strong,
Andrew and Tierney