Let’s talk about lifting some weights! I’m going to broach the subject of Compound Lifts. The Animal definition of a true Compound Lift is as follows; “a badass exercise that utilizes multiple muscles and has a substantial energy output resulting in massive Real Fitness Results!” So I’m not a scientist and my wording isn’t perfect but you get the point…Compound Lifting Rules! In this essay I promise to explain some of the major factors as to why these lifts are far superior to a bicep curl or a chest press, and why doing Compound Lifts will keep you Safe & Sound in this crazy thing called life:)
Single joint movement exercises are definitely not a waste of your time, and totally have their place in an effective exercise program but compound lifts are just so much better:) You see lifting weights is essentially “trauma” on the body. I know it sounds weird to think that you are traumatizing your body when you exercise. You should see the looks I get from my new clients when I tell them that we are going to “safely traumatize” their body as much as their torso’s will allow. The most fundamental truth in all weight lifting, heck exercise in general, is that muscle needs to be torn so it can heal and grow. Henceforth in order to get the biggest bang for your buck in the Gym, we need to traumatize as much muscle as possible. Compound lifts allow us to tear 4-10 times as much muscle fiber, and that makes the body Stronger & Leaner, which is exactly why we want to be in the Gym in the first place.
I work with a LOT of people who have injuries. I also work with a lot of people who have been injured due to lack of physical activity in their life. Most of that is age related, but not all. Some of my clients who are in their 30’s and 40’s have spent zero to very little time in the gym throughout their lives. Because of their inexperience in the Gym and lack of physical activity in general their overall muscle strength, as well as their balance and internal stability has gone to..…well you know not good:( And because of this they have had, or are extremely susceptible to a fall. Now if “falling” doesn’t sound scary to you, then I would like you to really think about what falling means. It can ruin your life for months or possibly even years. For example I had a client who was getting on a bus in downtown Seattle, and because of her lack of torso strength and stability, she fell as she was taking a step to get on the bus. She proceeded to fall and tore her ACL as well as fracturing her hip. She was 32 years old. She had a family to take care of and a full time job. Needless to few years of her life were not easy. She was not an uncoordinated individual by any means, but her ability to do physical activity was just not there. Before this injury she had no interest in spending any time in a Gym or working on her torso strength. Her story seems unique and incomprehensible to most 32 year olds. Most of whom unfortunately still have that feeling of invincibility that so many teenagers are beaming with. Unfortunately I have so many stories like this and they come from people of ALL ages who until they started training with me would be susceptible to life altering injuries.
So how do we make sure we are not someone who is vulnerable to a life changing fall? We lift weights…Yes! but more specifically we “Become More Athletic!” This seems to be a novel concept when I explain it to my clients. My primary clientele are not competitive athletes. I define a competitive athlete as someone who is getting paid to perform an athletic endeavor. A lot of my clientele will run races, compete in biking events, or do other physical activities in a competitive environment, but they aren’t getting paid to play basketball, football, etc. so I don’t consider them “professional athletes.” So when I tell my clients that my goal with them is to make them as athletic as possible I explain it this way. I want them to be Fit enough to do ANY physical activity that they want to do. I also want them to build enough torso Strength and Stability that they never have to worry about being injured from a fall, tripping, or any related potentially painful event. I want them to be athletic enough to be able to get through life physically unscathed and do Any and All of the Fun physical activities that their heart desires!
Now the easiest and most simplistic way to make someone more athletic is to get as many of their muscle fibers firing as possible. Balance work on a bosu ball has it’s place, as well as many other stability exercises. BUT the fastest way to make someone more athletic is to get them doing Compound Exercises, and the more dynamic the better! I have some truly Amazing 30 through 80 year old men and women doing Squats, Deadlifts, and Barbell Clean & Presses:) Do you think they have to worry about breaking an arm or hip because they fall at home or the grocery store? No way!!! Their bodies are ridiculously Stable and Strong! They have to be if they are able to correctly execute the myriad of compound lifts I have them doing. Can they run a 5 minute mile or dunk a basketball….who cares:)!!! Their bodes are athletic enough to lift a heavy weight from the ground and press it over their head, or hold half of their body weight over their head while they are performing a set of perfect Walking Lunges. That is what I call being “Athletic!”
If you are a part of Fitness with Animal’s Email List then I will be sending you an actual Compound Workout that will absolutely help you Build serious Torso Strength and Stability:) If you would like to be a FwA Email List Member please go to my website @ http://www.FitnessWithAnimal.com and fill out the form on the right side of the front page and we’ll get you Rocking & Rolling!!!