1000 Different Programs
There are thousands of different exercise programs out there that are designed to help you achieve your fitness goals. The problem with so many different types of exercise programs is that they are not for everyone. When starting an exercise program it is important to know exactly what you want to achieve. Are you looking to become a POWER LIFTER, BODYBUILDER, ATHLETE, FUNCTIONAL TRAINING BUFF, GENERAL FITNESS ENTHUSIAST, or are you trying to REHAB a particular injury?
POWER LIFTERS are all about lifting as much weight as possible. They focus on three main core lifts; bench press, deadlift, and squat. A power lifter's routine is based on developing power and strength. The workouts are often strenuous at times and could result in injury for those not accustomed to working with such loads. The power lifter is not concerned with having a look of a body builder, where proper symmetry and muscle definition and size are the main appeal, they are concerned with getting big and lifting heavy, heavy weight.
The look of a power lifter never appealed to me. The big bulky look with no symmetry and displaced muscle size (especially in the buttocks, traps, distended abdomin, and anterior delts) is of no interest to me. I am strong enough and don't have to prove to my ego that I can lift a thousand pounds. Power lifting is a young man's sport. When you get older the joints just can't handle the stress of the heavy loads.
BODYBUILDERS are all about lifting for developing a good looking physique with proper symmetry and balance between muscular size and definition. Body building is a difficult sport because of the discipline that is required. Every muscle has to be worked and shaped specifically to provide a certain look. Bodybuilding is not for everyone. Certain limitations and genetics play a part in the career of a bodybuilder. Those that have poor genetics will not be able to develop the right type of symmetry needed to have an outstanding looking physique. Anyone can power lift and weight train but to bodybuild is totally different. Diet and training have to work synergistically to create a desired outcome.
FUNCTIONAL TRAINING BUFFS are all about training multi-joint, multi-plane movements in a proprioceptive rich environment. Functional training is the buzz word these days in gyms. People are balancing on one leg, standing on therapy balls, doing off balance exercise. This form of training is exciting and new, however, it is just another form of exercise. Functional training is not the end all be all to training. Functional training is great for general fitness. Functional training can offer many different exercises to challenge all aspects of human movement, and central nervous system stimulation. Functional training programs are not designed to build mass and size and definition. The main objective of functional training is to teach and secure natural human movement patterns through the use of multi-plane exercises.
GENERAL FITNESS ENTHUSIAST are those that just want to exercise to boost immunity, reduce the aging effect, improve body composition and reduce risk factors. General fitness programs are geared to keep a person in overall good condition. Muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardio-respiratory fitness, flexibility and body composition are all balanced. General fitness is what most people want. The general fitness programs that are written usually take a little from many different styles of training. Power lifting, bodybuilding, and functional training exercises are incorporated into a general fitness program to provide the right amount of stimulation to achieve results. However, most of the time the weight loads and exercises are not as difficult to achieve as pure power lifting and bodybuilding. If you are not into lifting heavy, heavy weight like the power lifter and are not having a muscle bound body such as a bodybuilder then a proper general fitness program is your best bet.
REHABILITATION programs are designed to fix a certain dysfunction. Most rehab programs are only designed to work on one specific area. Once that area is fixed then the patient is able to perform other forms of training. If you have a dysfunction or injury it is advised that you fix this problem first before starting into other forms of training.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed