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Get The Basics Right!

Renown trainer, Ross Enamait, says, “We have to work hard with the basics.” Likewise, every now and then, gym clients comes and asks me, “Why is that I don’t change the strength training regime?” I have said this numerous times and will say it again—you cannot change the basics. Some compound movements are fundamental. For example the squat, deadlift, clean and press, etc. Fancy looking movements are attractive. However, such movements rarely give the biggest bang for the buck. Basic compound movements have stood the test of time. Don’t tamper with them.

On a similar note, when I started lifting weights in the mid 90’s there was a saying, which circulated like wildfire. The first time I heard it, I was surprised. For, back then all I performed was isolation movements. However, when I read the scientific finding in its entirety I acceded though it contradicted my views. It said, “Want bigger arms? Squat big!” Well, you better believe this. In order to get bigger and muscle-bound, bigger arms, one of the important factors is to produce more testosterone and growth hormone. I am not suggesting injecting these hormones exogenously. However, know that deadlifts, squats, pull-ups – multi joint movements that involve large muscle groups are essential to build bigger arms. The article suggested that we need to perform compound movements rather than executing isolation movements. Your body undergoes stress from these movements and produces more testosterone and growth hormone to overcome the stress, which in turn builds muscle. Moreover,the body is meant to be interconnected, not isolated. Just like you shouldn’t try and lose weight in one specific body part (spot reduction—an undying myth) your training shouldn’t be focused on singular body parts.

Thereafter, I started emphasizing on compound movements. However, I didn’t stop training arms, as it was illusive. But later when I embraced functional training, I had to let go isolating my muscles. My perspective towards training changed entirely. Though I embrace many other functional movements, the basic compound movements are still the cornerstone of my training.

When I was young, I had to learn the fundamentals of basketball. You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals.
Micheal Jordan

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