beginner-program/009/passable

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C3. Good enough

These patterns are common to basic barbell and bodyweight strength training, but the general idea of “patterns” is confusing.

The patterns listed above

(A) Don't apply to every style of training

With gymnastics strength training, for instance, there are straight-arm strength movements, which throw the pancake-peel (and color blueprint) in the trash.

For instance, planche-esque straight arm exercises are similar to upper body pushes, but they stress the biceps more than bent arm pushes.

Likewise, front lever-esque straight arm exercises are similar to upper body pulls, but they stress the triceps than bent arm pulls.

(B) Don't apply at the extremes

“Regular” arm extension is typically a movement driven by the muscles of the back. But arm hyperextension involves the chest.

The opposite goes for arm flexion.

(C) Don't represent “balanced” training

Both the squat and the hinge are more similar than different. Both pancake the hip joint during the eccentric (and peel the hip during the concentric).

A true opposite to either of these would peel the hip during the concentric.

Stand upright. Keep your left leg straight; don’t bend at the knee. Now bring your right knee to your chest without leaning forwards or backwards. This sort of movement isn’t typical of basic barbell and bodyweight exercise, even though it’s a pretty important movement. (Try sprinting without lifting your knee.)

This is the true opposite to the squat.

(D) Don't scale perfectly to the real world

The differences between the patterns show up most in controlled “laboratory” situations, like in the weight room. But on the field of play or in the real world (a horrifying place), the clean cut between patterns is a crap shoot.

If you are carrying a bag of dirt by hugging it, you're squeezing your chest together (press) and bending the elbows (pull). If you are lifting something from the floor, you’re going to use a combination of squatting and hinging. If you are using the missionary position, you’re going to be hinging and pressing.

(E) Don't pretend to be perfect

The patterns above may define most barbell and bodyweight exercises. But they only represent a fraction of total human movement ability, which is important to remember.

But we're here to train with a barbell, not train for the circus. Barbell training isn't complete “human” training.

Even though this pattern-muscle categorization isn’t 100% accurate, it works. Sometimes things just need to be good enough. This is good enough.

010 →

MAYBE YOU’RE A SUCKER


You can’t fool me.

I know this isn’t your first rodeo, trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of.

But you’re not a quitter, which is why you’re here.

You might be a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

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