Between non-competitive and poorly programmed versions of Crossfit, Bootcamps, HIIT DVDs and the Biggest Loser it seems that everyone is preaching constantly varied training that has no structure and seems to be designed more to keep people entertained rather than to progress their skills in the weight room. Disciples of these methodologies preach the shock and awe treatment where your body is always trying to adapt to a totally different workout offering no consistency or ability to achieve a high degree of motor learning.
The truth to all of this is that once you investigate this style of training you will notice that after a few months those that seem to jump from program to program, idea to idea seem to always be stalled out and not moving forward. If you are back squatting 100lbs and one year later you are squatting 105lbs it’s not because you didn’t add enough variety into your program but rather you simply haven’t learned how to squat very well.
When you look around the gym most people are not failing to make progress because of a lack of exercise selection, instead they are failing because they do not allow themselves to master even the most fundamental of movements. They never experience true strength because they never give themselves enough time to actually develop it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not saying that we should never add fun and varied training challenges into our workout schedules. If you take one look at the programming at Stone City Strength & Wellness you will certainly see your fair share of “challenge” based workouts but these all relate to the global purpose of our current training cycle and they do not represent a huge portion of our training volume.
In the end gaining strength is very simple but requires a lot of hard work and a commitment to the process. Next time you are writing a program try to remember that rather than adding exercises that are simply “cool”, “unique” or “different” try and use a bit less variety, focus on the basics and you will see huge improvements in everything you do in the weight room.
Consistency is key and simplicity is king.