My physique has gone through some big changes between 2014 and now. So what did I change from when I started working out in 2002 to now, 2016? Well, I used to focus on bodybuilding techniques. Now I focus on functional training and gymnastics strength. Not only has my strength and balance improved, but my muscle tightness has decreased, and a nagging shoulder issue I had has gone away. My shoulders, which I always struggled to develop in size, are finally growing and my legs have changed like night and day. Changed for the better!
I spent 11 years following techniques that got me to only 60% of my goal. But if I had started with more “athletic” training techniques as opposed to aesthetic (bodybuilding) training, I believe I could have reached my physical and strength goals a long time ago. I want to save you the time of falling into my old mistakes.
Train like an athlete
Here are the most basic principles of my current training technique:
Body weight and balance first (absolute strength)
Compound weighted exercises second (relative strength)
Cables and machines last (isolation)
What this means is in order to develop/improve strength, functional movement, and gain muscle mass, focus on exercise order and prioritizing the most effective and functional movements first. That is: 1.) body weight, 2.) compound free weight movements, 3.) cables and machines.
An example of one such workout for the back would be:
Pull ups – no assistance
TRX mid rows
TRX one arm rows
Ez bar upright rows
Weighted or non-weighted back extensions
cable pull overs
Then cool down and stretch
Give this principle a try for one month, and I guarantee you’ll experience both physical and strength improvements.