Regardless of where you are training at the moment, whether at home, outside or in a gym, there is a common issue that we need to address. You are probably guilty, as I am, of mostly doing what you are good at or what you enjoy the most.
I’m not going to lie, in the gym I would be quite happy deadlifting and benching most days. I like doing these 2 exercises and they would make a pretty good workout if I did nothing else. But there are gaps and progress would stall. And that would make me sad.
The same is true of you too. Typically, if you are a guy, you would be pretty happy pressing every day. If you’re a woman, you’d be content with either lots of lower body, or lots of ab work in each session. And both you and I would be leaving a lot of potential progress in both body composition and performance on the table if we only stick to what we want to do.
What you need to do, is start filling in the gaps. And here’s a simple way to do it.
Let’s look at the list of potential movements available to us.
The big 4: squat, hinge, push and pull. We’ll assume the pushes and pulls are horizontal, so db presses, bench, pushups and any kind of row that pulls a load at 90º to your torso.
Add in vertical movements: Vertical pushes and pulls.
Then single arm or single leg work: Single leg squats, SL hinges, single arm pushes and pulls. This group includes lunges, sl deadlifts/RDLs, 1 arm presses (vertical or horizontal), and single arm rows in either plane.
That gives us 10 groups of exercises that you can choose from to build your training plan.
You need to audit your training program, and assess where your bias lies and what you are missing from your programs. For ease, we can look at my first 2 sessions from last week:
Session1 – KB swings and rollouts. Hinge movement ✔️
Session 2 – Goblet squat, single arm Kb overhead press, pike pushups, bentover band rows.
Squat ✔️ 1 arm press ✔️ vert press ✔️, horizontal row ✔️
That leaves single leg squats, SL hinges, single arm pulls, vertical pulls and horz pushes out of the loop.
So in order to fill in those gaps, I did the following session:
Banded pushup (horz push), RFESS -SL RDL (both single leg movements), Straight arm pull downs (vert pull) bentover KB 1 arm rows, (1 arm row).
That way I rounded out my sessions to make sure I left no gaps and didn’t just train my preferred lifts.
So when you look at your program, spend 5 minutes to do a quick movement audit and see what gaps you are leaving. You can then pick some exerdise options that fill those gaps. And, yes, you may have to take out some of the 12 db press variations you have in there everyday.
But that will make you a better, stronger human. It will make your body more resilient and you’ll stay injury free for longer.