Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Minimalism vs. Variety

Ever since I got myself a Blackberry, me and fellow fitness junkie and blog-o-buddy Adeline have been discussing incessantly about all things training related (we gossip too, but that's a different entry for a different day). Yesterday, we were talking about our training programmes. Adeline is used to doing a lot of different types of exercises per workout while I keep a pretty minimalist approach to my training.

So which one is better? I can't comment on Adeline's take on multiple exercises per training session. Because I have not used that technique in a while. Turbulence Training uses a lot of exercises per session. But then again, it was for fat loss. And I used TT when I was a relative newbie.

But back to the minimalism approach: in my case, simple does not mean relaxed. Yes I only do 1 or 2 exercises per training day: front squats and back squats for day 1, overhead press, backrows and pushups for day 2. Very basic stuff, but I try to go as heavy as I can. As a result, my workouts tend to be very short (20 minutes to 30 minutes on average). Strength is a skill and my objective is to train the brain and try not to fry my CNS.

The analogy I gave Adeline was like comparing 2 students: One studies for half a day and the other studies for half an hour and yet both students get the same result. It's all about doing things systematically. Quality over quantity, folks.

Plus, having a short training session gives you a positive psychological effect. We all have bad days, tired days, busy days. And if your training sessions tend to be long you also tend to make excuses not to do them because 'it takes too much time'. Can you really give a solid excuse if your training only takes 20 minutes?

What about you? How do you train? Does your training sessions last more than 1 hour or does it take less than that? Do you do many different types of exercise or do you stick to the tried and tested basics?

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