The Number One Way to Screw Up Your Strength Training

thLet’s make one thing perfectly clear right away-there are a lot of roads that lead to Rome. Any strength training program will work, for a little while at least, if done consistently and safely. The problem with this though, is that in today’s information overloaded world, every program we see is the new magic bullet and we can’t wait to try it. 8 minute Abs? Cool, let’s do it. 3 days later, boredom creeps in and we see “8 Weeks to a Herculean Chest,” so we switch over to that. 4 weeks in our shoulders are killing us and we see the Russian Volume Training Protocol so we decide that’s a better option.

Look at a strength training program as a means to reaching a goal. If you constantly change your goals, and thus your program, then you’re just spinning your wheels and wasting your energy. Program hopping is the single fastest way to destroy your efforts in the gym!

What’s important to understand is that “muscle confusion” is utter bullshit. We want our bodies to get used to what we’re doing. When it does, we push it just a little bit past that and force it to adapt again. That’s what getting stronger is all about. If our incline bench press 5 rep max is 135, then we need to push just past that and force our body to adapt. When we can do 140 for 5, we’ve acclimated to the stress we’ve placed on it, so we add 5 pounds and so on. In geek exercise science terms this is what’s called the S.A.I.D. principle.

Specific 

Adaptations to

Imposed 

Demands

What this means is that what you train for is what you get. The body adapts to the specific types of stress you place on it. If you are constantly switching what types of workouts you’re doing, then you never have the chance to get better at it!

The goal is always to get stronger and more powerful in the gym so that when we get on that mat, we can apply it and make our techniques more effective. You should always be striving to improve either your reps or weights on the big compound exercises like presses, rows, chin ups, squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifts, and their variations. Pick a small handful of these at a time and dedicate 8-10 weeks to improving them, then slightly adjust the lifts, rinse, and repeat the process.This leads to a balanced, functionally strong, and athletic wrestler. .

Remember, you’re only as strong as your weakest link, so following any specific program geared to some individual movement or body part isn’t an optimal way to prepare yourself for wrestling. Focus on the basics, and get brutally strong on them by sticking with them and setting weight and rep PR’s. Over time, you’ll be far better off than just bouncing around haphazardly from one program to the next.

Train with Intent,

Scott