"Crawl Before You Walk" (Blog #136)

When you own a gym and work seven days a week, sometimes you just don't have the urge to stay after a shift and workout there. It's nice to go to a different gym where no one knows you and you can just get a good workout in with very few distractions. I've been training at other gyms for a long time now, and I really like seeing how people move and how trainers train. Unfortunately, most of what I see at these places is pretty dismal. There seems to be a huge lack of understanding when it comes to what training is and what it should be.

Training should make you feel good, it should make you feel strong, and it should make you feel better. The only way this happens is if you follow the proper progressions. Seeing a person attempting walking lunges that mimic a new born baby deer is brutal to watch, or watching a guy who has the posture of a one-hundred and seven year old man try and bench press too much weight, makes you cringe. Some could make the argument that, "At least they're doing something, good for them" blah blah blah....But they're potentially doing way more harm than good in the long run. Training for an ego boost and skipping the proper progressions leaves you hurt and frustrated.

When a person gets the idea to do a run, they don't (or shouldn't) go for a ten mile jog. Starting out with a one mile jog or even a 5k jog would be the way to start. Depending on how out of shape the person is, starting out with a half mile walk may be the way to go. As the days and weeks go on, they slowly increase their milage. The same type of progressions should be used in the weight room.


Step Ups should come way before Walking Lunges...

Face Pulls should come way before Chin Ups...

Med Ball Slams should come way before Olympic Barbell lifts...

Bodyweight glute bridging should come way before Maxing out your Dead Lift on a Barbell...

You get the point!

These examples/exercises are just Generalizations / These progressions may take YEARS, but they will lead to healthy success.

Skipping steps can also lead to a long, strenuous road for many gym-goers. If you've been working on your push up for years and it still isn't coming a long, chances are you've been skipping steps. We would have to look at what type of issue are you having: Is it a mass issue? (are you too heavy to perform a proper push up), Is it a strength issue? Have you mastered the basic movement of a Push Up from a modified position (off of a 3" Box or on an elevated surface like a Barbell in the squat rack)? Just repeating poor form, although commendable, is just wrong and it will not get you any better. Take a step back and master the movement until you can progress with good form.

There's no rush when it comes to getting better with your overall health. Learning how to control your breathing during running can takes years to master, but once you get it, you got it. Being able to perform all the basic movements in the gym can be a never ending pursuit to shoot for. Personally, I've been lifting weights for over a decade and I still get better every week (and some weeks worse). Slow things down and make sure you're not just pushing out crappy reps, push out fewer, better reps each time.

Some weeks won't be your best week when you're in the gym, and that's totally normal. Some days when you're ripping out 225 on the Hex Bar it feels like you're lifting 135, and other weeks that same weight may feel like it's a small elephant. Take a look at your sleep, your hydration levels, your fuel intake, your stress levels, etc., they all play a roll in your performance. But most importantly, aim to be better at your next workout, don't stress about the past...

"We don't need a lot of reps, we just need a lot of good reps"

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