Not a week goes by that I don’t get a hearty chuckle out of what the fitness industry has become and where its headed.
Tabloids frequently feature detailed articles about semi-famous people who dropped 50 pounds and herald them as heroes as if shedding body fat were a miracle of some sorts.
Look, it ain’t magic… Dude just lifted his ass off the couch, started moving more and eating less. Simple as that.
In the same vein, contemplating the merits and drawbacks of undulating vs. linear periodization should be the least of your concerns if you can’t chin 1.5x bodyweight (preferably for reps).
And if you’re one of those people who follows the latest “celebrity trainer” on social media yet can’t tell me the last time you hit a new personal record on a heavy squat variation in the weight room, you need to get your head out of the sand and back in the game – pronto!
People get hung up on the minutiae of training, when they should focus on the stuff that actually matters.
Well, what really makes a difference in training?
I’m glad you asked.
Take this little trivia quiz comprising 11 questions and see if you can find the answers on your own…
Which exercise helps you gain full-body strength faster?
B) Leg press
C) Squats on an unstable surface
To get into great game shape, you will…
A) Run hill sprints
B) Jog 10 kilometres
C) Take a step class
D) Who has time to play sports?
What’s the best exercise for building upper body pushing strength?
A) Weighted ring push-ups
B) Dumbbell flyes
C) Pec deck machine
D) Flexing your pecs in front of the mirror
Drinking plenty of ________ keeps you energetic and helps performance.
C) Milk shakes
D) Jäger bombs
Which supplement should you take for improved gym performance?
B) Mass gainers
D) Whatever new supp they advertise in this month’s Muscle & Fitness magazine
You want to get faster and more explosive on the field. You will…
A) Do power cleans
B) Do speed ladder drills for “quicker feet”
C) Squat in the Smith machine
D) Watch Usain Bolt highlights on Youtube
How many hours of sleep should you aim for each night?
D) I’ll have time for sleep when I’m buried six feet under
Which of the following exercises has the greatest transference to the playing field?
B) Leg extensions
C) Calf raises
D) Riding a bicycle
What’s the best food for getting leaner?
A) Steak and salad
B) Big Macs
C) Chocolate cake
D) Skipping meals
Which training tool will build serious real-world strength outside of the gym?
C) Stability ball
D) Vibrating ab belt
What will help your progress in the gym the most?
A) Setting new PR’s as often as possible
B) Sniffing ammonia before a heavy set
C) Buying fashionable exercise clothing
D) Following Jay Cutler’s contest prep training program
It really doesn’t take a genius to get awesome results in the weight room.
If you picked A) on most questions you’re on the right path. Don’t veer off that and good things will happen.
Training for increased power.
Protein and fresh vegetables.
Advanced bodyweight movements.
Adding weight to the bar and getting stronger.
Do lots of those and watch your strength, body composition and athleticism improve more than you ever thought possible.
Cuz nothing else matters.
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Yunus Barisik, CSCS, is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for an elite junior hockey organization based in Espoo, Finland. He has trained hundreds of hockey players at the junior, college and pro levels, including NHL Draft picks and World Champions. An accomplished author, Yunus has had articles published on top fitness and performance sites, including STACK and Muscle & Strength. He also wrote Next Level Hockey Training, a comprehensive resource for ice hockey players on building athletic strength, size and power, while staying injury-free.