Don’t follow blindly!
During a recent trip to Arizona, I found myself lacking literature half way through the trip. In an effort to remedy this, I stopped by one of the many airport news stands to see what they had to offer. As I was reading from title to title nothing seemed to tickle my fancy. What did stand out to me, however, were the many claims on the covers of the fitness magazines. Things like “Gain 20 Pounds of Muscle in 8 weeks” and “The Ultimate Summer Fitness Plan” are all over the covers of these magazines. It all sounds appealing, true, but who is to say that what is written in that program is actually going to get YOU to improve?
It reminded me of when I began to train athletes. I often had people doing the same exact programs, with some results, yes, but we didn’t start to really see huge gains until I began to address the individual needs of each specific athlete. This is not to say that I began to have people do entirely different programs as the big movements (deadlifts, squats, presses, and pulls) are nearly always a part of my athletes’ programs. I began to place the changes in between sets, so for a runner with limited ankle mobility, I may follow a set of rack pulls with some active ankle mobilizations. With a baseball player with a GHIRD, I may follow the same set of rack pulls with a sleeper stretch or a set of light band external rotations. This allows me to work with multiple athletes with multiple needs at the same time, while still providing them with an optimal training effect.
Consider your needs before jumping into any program!