What are Your Training Principles?

Chris and I don’t have the luxury of owning our own facility, YET!  That’s in the works.  So, in the mean time I have to train out of the gym at my graduate school, other local facilities, high schools and occasionally in a treaturous mountain pass while battling disgruntled moutain goats (it’s happened twice and it has earned me the nick name “Goat Master Flex”). 

Even though I would much rather be in a facility owned by Beyond Strength Performance, being in these different environments exposes me to a lot.  It gives me hope, because I see a lot of people doing great things with their time at the gym.  At the sametime, it also depresses me because I also see a lot of antiquated training ideas being used haphazardly, as well as fad training techniques being used by an army of people clad with Vibram 5 Fingers.  I don’t have a problem with the 5 fingers, they actually seem like great shoes, it just seems that their use is dominated by a population hell-bent on training “functionally” while not considering that a step-up/inverted row/swivel hip/push-up/squat-thrust/back flip might not actually be all that functional.  While these folks are making movement far too complex, there is also an army of bicep curl and tricep kick-back fanaticals doing curls in the squat rack.  In between sets, I always catch a few conversations with the same resounding opening comment, “Dude-bro, I haven’t gotten bigger in forever!” 

It might seem like I am scoffing, but I am not.  A lot of these guys have a genuine interest in getting bigger, stronger and in better condition; they have just been so indoctrinated with 1990′s Muscle and Fitness programming that they can’t move forward.  At the other end of the spectrum are those that are so worried about staying on the cutting edge of training that they miss the point to a certain extent.  The problem is, they don’t have any training principles to stand on, and developing training principles is a definite must for continued progress.

If you’re a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach or just an avid gym goer develop training principles that are meaningful to you and are based on something that makes sense.  Chris and I adhere to the jump, lift, sprint and throw principles in our programming, and depending on our goals at the time, we balance them or lean more heavily toward one or two principles.  Having these principles in place gives us a solid base to work from and helps us become bigger, stronger and infinitely more attractive men.  Not sure where to start with your principles?  Here are some ideas you can use to jump start the thought process:

1) Think movement, not muscle (unless you are a competitive body builder).  If you train movements properly, you will grow and get stronger.  What movements are meaningful and applicable to you?

2) Think about your experience.  What has absolutely worked for you?  What has just made you spin your wheels?  What has been fun and motivating?

3) What would make you big enough, strong enough, athletic enough and conditioned enough to survive if you were faced with circumstances that required you to be a bad ass for the people you care about to survive.  It sounds silly.  But, it’s fun and can really spark your imagination. 

Get Stronger,

Todd (850)

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Chris Merritt

Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ FMS/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance and Beyond Strength Performance NOVA

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