PSA – or how to progress in the gymThis isn’t a public service announcement, although it sort of is since I ll be helping many to achieve their physique goals. You know what really matters when training for a better body?
Not sets, reps and weights- yes these metrics matter too but not as much as we would like to think.
Here is the big secret!
Side bar , here is the podcast for this newsletter
You need to check the following three boxes if you want to get anywhere with your training.
What does it all mean?
if you are not positioned properly to train the muscle you are after , the set is basically useless.
Examples would be
A. Sitting too high in a shoulder press, thereby forcing the rotator cuff into a dangerous position. The motion starts at the ear level, not lower.
B. Not having the shoulder blades pulled back when training chest. Now you are doing a shoulder press without much chest engagement.
C. Standing too low in a hack squat, it will put unnecessary strain on the knees and very little work on the quads.
In short, always take the time to make sure you set up in a way that allows you to bring the two ends of the muscle together.
This simply means that your body needs to be rigid and anchored at all times. Stability should never be the limiting factor of training, If you are struggling with standing exercises, sit down.
Cable flyes are an exercise where most trainees move the upper body way too much. They would be better off pulling a bench to the cables and perform the exercise seated.
Once you start involving other muscles, you have moved into the realm of weight movers ( the gym equivalent of busy work)
In order to survive, the body will always register intention and will mainly use the muscle that was used first.
When doing a biceps curl, make sure you are not moving the arm forward which would make it a front raise.
Start by bending the elbow!
Lat pulldown: push down first, then pull. Otherwise you are doing a heavy biceps curl.
Leg curls: do not flex the feet as it gets the calves involved
Once all elements of PSA are in place, we can focus on adding more weight, doing more reps etc.
But without being set up properly and making a conscious effort to move the target muscle, you become the guy at the office who is always there but never does anything productive. Don’t be that guy!