Friday, 20 April 2012 08:18

Do what works for YOU!

Was going hammer and tongs at my workout today in the park. I was doing pull-ups along with ab and grip work - one of my most enjoyable routines.  The sun was out, the birds were singing and there was a cool (sort of) breeze blowing in my face.  Long story short: - I was training hard and all was well with the world.

(OK, maybe all wasn't well with the world - but you know what I'm saying - when your engrossed in a tough workout - and if your applying yourself as you SHOULD be - nothing else seems to matter at the time!)

Anyway, I noticed this one seriously overweight dude with headphones on "checking me out" as I went through my routines. Wasn't annoying - and to his credit, he was being (or trying to be) discreet about it, but what made it completely obvious is that he discarded his own routine and literally started to ape what I was doing (when he thought I wasn't looking).

Now, being that his own routine was mostly lying down horizontally on the dipping bars and doing some sort of "stretch" in that position (I kid you not), that would appear to be a good thing. I was doing exercises that work - good, HARD exercises that produce results - so on the surface of it, it should be a good thing that this type of training was what he was apeing - right?

But it wasn't.

So there I was, doing slow pullups in sets of 5. Slow, hard pullups to really nail good form (there's a tip in itself) - and I was doing those in sets of 5.

Our guy waits till I'm done, and then leaps on to the monkey bars and tries to do much the same thing with a lot of "aah's", and "ouches" - and the mandatory "kipping", as in, he's literally using momentum to pull himself half way up and then dropping back down like a sack of potatoes. After doing a rep or two of this, he pauses, and continues staring at me working my way through my own set of pullups.

After that, I did some hanging leg raises, and hanging knees-to-chest exercises - two of the very best things you can do for all round core development. So our guy decides this is something else he likes, and attempts it. He gets his knees up about a quarter of an inch or so via pure "swinging" (NOT the right way to do them), and then larrups down from the monkey bars with more vocalizations.  Gee, no wonder it hurts, it's wonder the dude hasn't torn his lower back apart completely if this is what he does on a regular basis.

And it was more of the same as I proceeded on to other exercises. At the end of it all, he simply shook his head and walked out of the park - likely never to return again - and likely to harbor a grudge against the "tough exercises" he was apeing.

Now, I tell you this not to poke fun at the dude, but simply because there are WAY too many people out there who copy other people's routines to the letter, and then wonder why it doesn't work as well for them as it has for someone else. And this is a huge mistake.

Remember - your body is UNIQUE - and what works for you might not work well for others (and vice versa). Said dude wasn't even in any sort of shape to do pull-ups and had obviously never done them before; he'd be far better off working exercises that would pull his ponderous belly in - but he saw me doing it, so he had to attempt it as well. Bob Doe down the road reads that "so and so champion of XYZ bodybuilding contest" does "10 sets of 50 reps in the bench press", and attempts the same thing himself - and the next thing we know is that he's sitting at home nursing a sore shoulder or worse.

It might sound funny, but that's how it is for the majority of people. And they'd be FAR, FAR better off figuring out what works best for THEM as opposed to what the big guy on steriods does, or what someone with far more experience than them does. That is what I'd advise for YOU as well - figure out - and DO what works best for YOU!

And last, but not least, this is NOT to say that you shouldn't learn from others. Quite the contrary - you should - but there is a difference between "studying" someone's methods and blindly copying them. Study, learn, and then adapt said methods to your OWN advantage, and your on the right track. Other hand, if all you do is blindly copy - well, you're likely not going to get very far, if at all. 

And that, my friend, is that for the day.

Best regards,


PS: One of the very best sources of knowledge that you can study is right HERE.