I am not going to pull punches and sit back and not admit that I do not like the direction that the world is headed. I am disappointed with how the mindset and ideals are perpetuated here in the US. It carries over into everything that we do and it keeps us from being great. We value entertainment over education. We do not value hard work as we once did. The same has happened in our training mindsets. We want to do those things that are deemed sexy and we want a quick fix to real problems.
The simple truth is, that it took many of us years and years to get into the shape that we are in (good or bad) and so it will take some time to change it (if we are in bad shape). It doesn’t happen overnight.
I believe in what I will call the Einstein Approach to fitness…everything should be as simple as possible but not simpler.
Let your training spill over into your real world work ethic. Start with the basics and get really good at those. I know that pushups, pullups, squats, and static holds are not the most entertaining or exciting things in the world, but they get you moving correctly.
Can you force yourself to do 30 perfect squats or hold a perfect squat position for 20 seconds one week, 30 the next, etc? It’s not entertaining, but it is valuable as a learning progression and keeps you safe. What about a perfect pushup, 10? 20? 50? Most of us would rather move past the pushups and the squats and pick up a barbell and move some weight.
I am all for moving weight but why put yourself at a risk for injury? I love moving weight (barbell poet…anyone?) but you miss the beauty of simple movements and their benefit to your body as a whole when you neglect them. You lose a piece of quality training when all you do is focus on moving big weights. Bodyweight work should be your foundation in movement.
Because it teaches you how to control the muscles in your body. It teaches you how to engage and release the muscles for a given response. Solid bodyweight movement will help you understand engagement better so that as you work on your lifts you know how to correct the faults that your coaching is instructing you on.
I love the basics. I believe in the basics. I believe in constantly perfecting your movements so that something that is difficult for the general population you can perform in a manner that looks easy. When it looks easy and beautiful, you have gained some mastery over the element.
Get back to basics, learn to hang from a bar for a minute, engage the core, hold a hollow, hold a plank, perform a perfect engaged pushup, execute a perfect squat. I promise your lift numbers will go up…and you will move better than you ever have before.