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Training for overal fitness...

Partner Up!

Today was the first day in about 3 years that I had a training partner. I usually just workout alone because trying to track down training partners can be a real pain. Sometimes they are late, sometimes they don't show and flake out, sometimes they want to hang out and chit chat and not work, etc. The phyiscal therapist that I work with wanted to start training with me and the gym is right on the way home for the both of us so I said okay. It was a good time. It is funny how you sometimes push yourself a little harder when you have a training partner. You get a little motivation. A little "fire under your ass". Hopefully we can make it a regular thing for awhile. It was nice to have a training parter and someone, especially someone knowledgeable, to watch your technique and give you some feedback.

Training for overal fitness

The gym we were at is a real "meat-head" place. You know, a real chest and bi's gym. Some big guys doing bench press and hammer curls until their arms fall off....lots of what I call "non-functional hypertrophy". As big as they are, I would never want to be like that (at one point in my life I would have loved it though). Don't get me wrong, I am always happy to put on some more size and get a little bigger. But, I wouldn't want to be "non-functional" like that. These guys have terrible posture. Shoulders that are rounded forward. No mobility in their hips or shoulders. Weak core musculature and are just not well rounded at all.

I prefer to be more mobile, fast, strong (as strong as I can be at least), explosive and have a good work capacity. It is funny to see the looks we get when we are training. It is rare to walk in a gym (especially a gym like this) and see guys doing things power cleans or Db snatches, snatch grip deadlifts, and cable chops. The program was brutal and we moved pretty quick. We got some real looks when we first showed up and began by warming up on the foam roller. I don't think anyone there knew what it was for! We finished our workout with some 400m repeats, which was brutal, and again, really looked strange to the gym regulars (what are they doing on those treadmills?).

I think for most people....athletes, general population, etc.....training for overal fitness is much better than banging out 3 sets of 10 on the preacher curl. I think most guys don't really want to look like the bodybuilders anyway. They want to have an athletic look. They want to be lean, muscular, have good strength and a good aerobic capacity. If this is you, you really need to consider ditching that body part training split (chest on monday, bis/tris on tues, legs on thurs, back on fri, delts on sat.) and look to doing something more well rounded. Aside from the fact that body part splits don't make much sense to me from a biomechanical standpoint, the well rounded approach offers you the most bang for your buck. You can work on several differnt things (flexibility, mobility, strength, power, endurance, etc..). This type of training is much more efficient and, if you have been doing the body part split thing for a long time now, your body will welcome the change!

So get to it. Don't be scared that your arms will shrink. Chances are they are already pretty small anyway. Write out a program, set some goals, and take action. Train for overal fitness. Train like an athlete. Reap the benefits.

Patrick

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You are soo right dude, its really, really difficult to find a good training partner. My brother and cousin are not consistent with their workouts, and my friend is not on the same level as me. So, I train alone. Wish I had a gym partner who shared the same goals as me.
Anyhow, what did you mean when you said train like an athlete? Do you mean you randomly rotate between exercises or what? You’re not an advocate of the split routine then? I’m following Tom Venuto’s two day split workout. Care to write your next blog entry about why this is not good and also what kinda “athlete’s training” you do? I’m under the impression that you target all kinda random muscles in your workout? How often do you hit the gym then?

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