This article is authored by Doug Scott. Opinions expressed may not be that of SMARTER Team Training, STT sponsors or constituents. Coach Scott has been a member of the Pingry faculty since 1999 and has served as a Physical Education teacher and Strength and Conditioning coach since that time. Doug designs workouts for both male and female student athletes competing on a variety of Varsity and Junior Varsity athletic teams, including many county, state, and conference championship teams. Listen to Doug’s podcast on iTunes by clicking here.
With the advent of the Internet, and being in the midst of the “YouTube” generation, exercise has become a “best of times, worst of times” scenario. There is more access to training information then ever before, unfortunately, most of it is not appropriate for anyone seeking improved strength and fitness. Rather, it serves as an exhibition of skill in various circus like antics. Exercise does not need to be exotic or “never before seen” in order to be productive. Getting stronger and developing your body is a very simple and natural process, therefore your training program should also be very simple. Simple does not imply easy, each training session should be challenging and physically demanding, but your approach should be basic and easy to understand. So, take a look at your workout plan, are you K.I.S.S-ing the weights (Keeping it Simple and Systematic) or are you falling prey to the “it looks cool” mantra?
1. Choose basic exercises:
Your exercise selection should be based on how the body moves and how that exercise will target the intended muscle group (barbell curl, chest press, chin ups, dips, squats, leg curls, leg extensions are all great) They should also be readily available and easy to set up and do. Remember, the exercise itself does not cause your body to change, the effort you put forth does.
2. Be Systematic and accurate: Develop a set and repetition pattern that you enjoy and can perform consistently, and establish a plan for when you will be increasing the weight. For example, have a range goal of 10-15 repetitions, and increase the weight when you reach 15 or more repetitions for two consecutive workouts. This is the most important aspect of getting stronger! Use a workout card to track progress.
3. Have a Routine: Once you’ve decided on your exercises and repetition scheme its time to set your routine. The whole notion of muscle confusion is bunk. Having your exercises in a set routine holds your fitness plan together and gives it structure. It also allows you to keep better records and focus on improving on each exercise. Stick with the same routine for at least 4 weeks and watch how you develop.
The body knows how to get strong; it’s our brain that gets in the way. Don’t over think exercise, keep it simple, keep it basic, and keep it systematic. If you do that, exercise will change you for the better.
Doug Scott believes that strength training is a “means to and end” and should be a part of every athlete’s lifestyle; and it’s the coaches job to facilitate learning and put the athlete in the best position to get the most out of themselves and ultimately succeed. Mr. Scott has also worked as a personal trainer and has written a number of fitness-related articles and chapters. Coach Scott is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and hold the title of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You can contact him at [email protected].