Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do what you don't feel like doing......

I love deadlifting.  I hate doing split squats (they suck).  I like to think I am fairly good at deadlifting, and I think I can use a decent amount of weight while keeping respectable form.  However, when it comes to split squats, the load is significantly decreased and I have to really focus on keeping my body in alignment and concentrate on proper technique through the movement.
Elevate the front foot for an increased  range of motion or add a barbell in front or back squat position for more FUN!
I also like to Bench Press (but not on Monday's), but I have a strong dislike for the Incline barbell press.  Guess which lift I am better at?  You guessed it, the one you'll catch me doing on a weekly basis, the world famous bench press. I can handle far less weight with the incline press than a flat bench, and to be honest,  that's mainly what keeps me from including it move in MY lifting routine (lame, I know)

When it comes to conditioning work, performing sprints of roughly 60-100 yards is pretty easy for me, I actually enjoy doing them.  But, a 200 meter sprint is like a nightmare.  For some reason I always put off those damn 200m sprints and you'll find me on the field doing what I enjoy, sprinting end zone to end zone.  Maybe tomorrow I'll actually toughen up and do a few 200's, gotta practice what I preach- right???

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way about the exercises that I've mentioned.  Actually, I really don't know too many people who enjoy split squats, except for maybe Ben Bruno (who can do these with an OBSCENE amount of weight).

We all have our favorite lifts that we can do with a VERY respectable amount of weight and various conditioning work that  we enjoy and feel like were are "in great shape" when it's completed.  Taking those movements out of our weekly routines might effect our intensity that we bring to the gym which can affect the results we set out to achieve.

We need to take a step back and analyze what exercise we "dislike" and think why we avoid it like the plague.  If it is for a good reason, such as me doing a one arm dumbbell concentration curl, it's pretty much a waste of valuable gym time- so that would be a valid reason to avoid that specific exercise.

If your reasoning for not doing pull-us is because you suck at them and can only do 1 1/2 without squirming like a crying infant- that would be a GREAT reason for implementing pull-ups into your routine.  You can do this by:

1. Using Bands to assist the movement, perform multiple sets and reps before ANY other exercise.
2. Perform (1) pull-up between every movement through your routine, every time you lift.
3. Put your tail between your legs and migrate back to the Lat Pulldown, and use momentum to move the weight so you look strong.

Another suggestion would be to implement a "Things I need to get better at day".  Devote one day (training session) a week, perform a total body workout and do things that you just never feel like doing.  Maybe start with pull-ups, then do split squats, followed by glute/ham raises, and finish with some single arm pushing/pulling movements, or some timed exercises.  Doing an exercise for 30 seconds is much more of a pain in the ass than knowing you have to get a set of 8 or a set of 12.  

Once you start to perform an exercise that is on your "I should be stronger at, but I don't do, because I don't want to look weak list"- you might actually get better at that movement and start to love it!  Who knows, within a few months that could be one of your "go to" exercises and you might even gain some muscle in those areas of the body that are a little underdeveloped.  In some cases getting stronger at some movements might help prevent some injuries from occurring (pull-ups=healthier shoulders, glute/ham raise=more hamstring activation, healthier lower back).

These are just a few examples with such a large range options.  Today as part of my conditioning work, I am going to throw in Front Squat to Shoulder Press (these kill me) as part of a circuit that will include Inverted Rows, Med Ball Slams, and Push ups (all for time).  I am going to do this after a primarily upper body lifting day, so I am going to include the stuff I like, with the stuff that sucks!  It's kind of a win-win, almost........


BillBoz said...

You're right. I've been slacking on my pull ups because I didn't see enough progress. But, slacking won't make the numbers get any better, Thanks for kicking me in the butt.

Damon Brobst CSCS said...

Pull ups are one of my favorite exercises at this point. Seeing what is done at Cressey Performance with athletes doing a 3 rep max of pull-ups with 100lbs around the waist kicked me in the butt!