This is Your Quick Training Tip, a chance to learn how to work smarter in just a few moments so you can get right to your workout.
If your training goal is hypertrophy, it’s only natural to focus on specific body parts in your workouts. After all, there’s a reason why many of today’s top bodybuilders still employ the classic strategy of split training in their periodised programmes: it works.
Organising your weekly routine by muscle group (e.g., back and bis on Monday, chest and tris on Tuesday, etc.) can help you not only fast track muscle growth and move more iron, but also develop the kind of definition that turns heads both on stage and in everyday life. But if you’re not a physique athlete and you like the idea of developing strength that translates beyond the gym, you should consider focusing your training on something more functional: movement patterns. (continued below)
There are six essential ones: hinge, squat, lunge, push, pull, and carry. If your workouts also include rotation, cross crawl (think: bear crawl), and triple extension exercises, you’re ahead of the game—but only if training those patterns is the goal of your program and not a fringe benefit. That’s because when you focus primarily on body parts, you’re exponentially more likely to play favourites. That's the reason “mirror muscles” are a thing, why wear and tear injuries are prominent amongst the gym set, and why so many weightlifters walk around with rounded shoulders and poor postures.
Your move: Train each of the movement patterns mentioned above at least twice a week, making that the focus of your workouts rather than the body parts you target. If you have any misgivings about how that might affect your physique goals, don’t worry—you’ll still hammer all of the muscles that will turn heads.
But when you focus on movement patterns, you also align your training with how your body was designed to function, and in so doing, you develop the only kind of strength that really matters: that which improves your performance in the real world.
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