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
Then cool down and stretch
Give this principle a try for one month, and I guarantee you’ll experience both physical and strength improvements.
MEET SYLVIA PETRO — THE BROKE, FIT SINGLE MOM: As an athlete of over 16 years and a broke single mom for most of that time, I created this site to aid not only broke single parents to a life of fitness, but anyone who believes the road to fitness requires a lot of cash or time. In reality, the road to fitness is paved with knowledge and firm principles; informing readers about mastering both of those building blocks is my goal.