Best Exercises vs Program Design

Deano 07/04/2012 1

Good evening,

I was just getting changed in the bedroom following my training session and my girlfriend asked me what some of the best exercises were? Which got me thinking, is there such a thing as a best exercise or group of best exercises or is it more to do with correct program design?

You see your overall goals and aims will dictate what exercises you do in your program and a good personal trainer (in my view) should be able to provide you with a periodisation training plan that focuses at the start of base conditioning. Whether you’re an average Joe or an athlete, as this is of vital importance.

Base conditioning or the preparatory phrase ensures you learn the basics in order to do the more challenging movements correctly and to be able to adapt through the learned movement (motor engrams) to an optimal performance level. It’s no good lifting 120kg in a dead lift if you have not been taught how to dead lift as it can result in injury and set you back further from your goal! It’s also no good lifting 120kg dead lift if there is no call to in your everyday living or sports performance.

Further investigation and research shows that once the correct exercises are chosen, choosing the correct number of Reps, Sets, Loads, Tempo and Rest Periods is even more important but we can investigate this at a later date in another blog.

So I think that program design by a good personal trainer/strength & conditioning coach will take into account what you do for a living/lifestyle/sport/fitness levels and how you need to function for this at an optimal level of performance. They will also be able to choose exercises that ensure functional movement for your lifestyle or if you’re an athlete then your coach will be able to replicate what you do in performance for training in order for you to have greater success during performance.

Something that Paul Chek and many other people have stated is that lots of program designs for people all look the same and only a very small amount of people take into account all of the above.

I do believe that experts have identified movements in many sports that replicate what athletes do in performance, and what normal run of the mill people do in every day to day life activities and do not dispute this at all. Even when some people do manage to identified these movement they get it wrong with the Reps, Sets, Loads, Tempo and Rest Periods by not taking into account that the individual is an individual.

Even though a left wing back is a left wing back, each left wing back will have different body and skills attributes, lets take Roberto Carlos and Steve Guppy for example.

What do you notice about both players legs, in particular the quadriceps?

In it’s simplest terms Roberto Carlos clearly has bigger quadriceps and thus would have had a different exercise routine than Steve Guppy, even though they’re both left wing backs playing the same game in the same era.

So did Roberto Carlos simply do the best exercises in order to get the biggest muscles or did he simply have a great program design that took into account his body type and playing position demands?

Do big muscles mean you achieve the best results and if so how did Steve Guppy mange to do so well as to get into the greatest Leicester City 11 ever as picked by Steve Walsh?

I’ll leave the post like this, bigger muscles or smarter muscles?


One Comment »

  1. Mick 08/04/2012 at 7:02 am - Reply

    This is a great post and it’s got me thinking about my own fitness plan. Thanks Deano.

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