Random thoughts on exercise
January 18, 2011
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I see people splitting hairs about exercise and nutrition. Here is a reality check as far as exercise goes. Get your basics right first before you get into the crazy details.
- Exercise is meant to make you feel and perform better. If you feel like crap the day after working out (joint pains, inflammation, headache etc.) you’re doing it all wrong.
- Fatigue is not a sign of a good workout. Neither is muscle soreness.
- Running 10km everyday is hurting you much more than helping you.
- Deadlifts are meant to strengthen your back. Don’t do them with bad form and/or in high volume and mess up your back. If you don’t know how to do them, find a trainer who can teach you how to do them. If that’s not a possibility then you are better off without deadlifts.
- Dumbbell work is as effective (if not more) as barbell work.
- Most people can build impressive bodies, great strength and exceptional endurance with only body-weight exercises.
- Crunches/situps mess up your lower back. Enough said.
- Chinups work your biceps more than any form of curls would.
- A baby doesn’t learn to squat. He/she learns to stand up from a squat. If you can’t do a proper squat you are in pretty bad shape.
- Rest and recovery are underrated. The more you rest, the better you recover, the stronger/faster you get and the longer you live.
- If gaining strength is one of your goals, then there is no reason for you to not back squat or front squat at least once a week.
- It’s not about how strong or fast you are. It’s about how long you can continue to be that strong or fast.
- Mobility is king. Without mobility your strength and endurance won’t last long.
- Losing muscle in the name of weight loss is the same as chopping off one of your limbs to lose a few pounds.
- If you’re sick, take the day off. No good comes from training when you’re sick.
- Weight training does not make women bulk up. Women don’t have the required amount of testosterone for that to happen. There are guys in them gym beating the piss out of themselves all day everyday and even they don’t bulk up!
- Kettlebell swings are legit and awesome for your posterior chain.
- Aerobic training 5 days a week is detrimental to health.
- Working out 7 days a week is unnecessary and dangerous if you’re not a competitive athlete getting paid in millions.
- The fancier the exercise name the more waste of time it is.
- The more complex the training protocol, the less effective it is.
- Getting stronger and looking great is simple. Not easy. But simple.
- There is no magic pill.
- It’s not strength training if you’re not stronger. 3 sets of 10 reps with the same weight for 3 months is a waste of God given time.
- The only sure shot way to success is progression i.e. minimal load/distance/effort increase over time.
- Strong is the new skinny. Every self-respecting male and, especially, female should strength train.
- Cardio is overrated. Most people don’t need more than one sprint session and 2-3 days of 45 mins of brisk walking per week to achieve cardiovascular health.
- Plyometrics is one thing that isn’t overrated and is nothing short of awesome.
- More is NOT better. Better is better. Just 2 sessions of smart training per week is superior to 6 sessions of stupid training.
Stay sane folks!
PS: I’ll follow this one up with something similar for nutrition.