fitness myths

This Old Strength Training Rule is Holding You Back

The Fit Rebel All Calisthenics Posts, Methods & Success Mindset, Suspension Training 4 Comments

I don’t know many people who consider themselves body builders yet they follow many rules strait from the body building hand book.

Not that this is a bad thing. The principals of body building are wonderful for anyone looking to improve the appearance of their body in any way.

The problem is when body building and body weight training¬†sometimes collide. Here’s such an example.

Conventional body building wisdom says that you hit, bomb, workout or torch a body part and then give it lots of rest.

The reason is sound. You don’t get stronger through doing exercise. You get stronger through recovering from exercise. ¬†Therefor you work an area and then let it sit for a while.

It’s a good idea, and it works but does it work very well for the calisthenics enthusiast?

I ask because calisthenics is a very skill intensive form of exercise. Not only are you working your muscle, but also your coordination. ¬†And last I checked it’s really tough to make strides in a skill when you only practice that skill once or twice a week.

Don’t get me wrong, you can improve, but anyone who is learning to juggle, pitch a baseball or do magic ticks will tell you that you have to practice for much more than 15 minutes on a Saturday.

So maybe we should question the body building rule. I used to struggle big time with single leg squats, hand stands and U-shape pull ups. That is until I practiced the moves at least 4-5 times a week.

I know the threat of over training is strong, but such negative effects are not guaranteed through doing hand stands 6 times a week.

The key is to practice the move without driving yourself into the ground with fatigue. If you can do 10 single leg squats then do 5-6 before each meal for a week strait.

The objective is to get the nervous system used to the move so it starts to feel second nature. If each rep you do feels funky and awkward the chances of progression are slim to none. But if you feel confident and well rehearsed you’ll be amazed at the progress you’ll make in a short time.


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Comments 4

  1. Laurie Mackeson

    Matt:- Yet another comment from ‘left field’.

    For particular aspects to my formal routines, I find I enter into a ‘cycle’ whereby the better I get, the ‘quicker’ I can complete the task and thus the shorter the workout. After a while of ‘shorter’ workouts, I usually ‘add’ (weight/time/technique) back ‘into’ the session but only in a manner which (a) is safe (b) doesn’t result in more than my maximum ‘free’ time used and (c) doesn’t push my body into higher than desirable fatigue levels.

    How does this relate to the blog topic? Well…What ever results (Body Building/Kalisthenics) are produce are what I live with because I find it much much easier to do what I like and enjoy those results than ‘intentially’ try and ‘build’ a (lean and/or muscluar) body. I seem to loose some of my focus when I get caught up in the (either) results and ‘strive intentionally’ for more.

    I might have blown a fuse. Interested to hear your thoughts/comments to this. Cheers – Laurie

    1. Post

      Yea I know what you mean. but it’s not at all a bad thing to strive for more there Laurie. It’s usually a sign that you’re doing something right and the universe is encouraging your actions by giving you positive feedback.

  2. Paulius

    Gaah, then I and my convict conditioning
    program ( good behaviour: thrice per week) are doomed. I still find it pretty intensive though.
    On the other hand I am NOT striving to
    achieve (say) Bruce Lee level.

    1. Post

      I love that program.
      Not doomed though Paulius. You’re rocking the CC then you’re doing something right for sure.

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