Movements vs. Muscles

This week I got asked a great question from a client and I wanted to share it with all of you, because chances are you have similar questions.


So a little background info before we start. This client has been here for 2 and half years and has made a boatload of progress. This client has consistently showed up, put in hard work, and made lifestyle changes that are now habits of his.


This client is ready for a new program and part of our system here at Core Principles is to check in with each client when they are almost ready for a new program and make sure they are getting the things they want.


This client came to me with the concern that he was working every body part each workout and was asking about why we do that and how we program. He was also asking about doing a body part split such as back and biceps one day, chest and triceps another day and legs a third. This is a style of programing used by a lot of people and it definitely has its benefits.


We program here at Core Principles using 5 main movements each day. Push something, pull something, squat something, hinge something, and carry something. If you wonder what I mean by that you can check out one of my past blog posts right HERE. For the purpose of this blog I am going to outline why we do it that way and how it may be more beneficial for certain people with certain goals.


First I want to outline a few pros of training the 5 main movements:


Higher workload = more energy expended


When you are training one of the 5 main movements you are working many different muscles at once which means your body is going to burn more calories overall. If your goal is to lose weight, than the more calories you burn the greater chance you have of losing weight. Not only will you be burning more calories during your workout but at the same time increasing your muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass will help increase your Resting Metabolic Rate, which again means  you will burn more calories during the day.


Allows more recovery time for areas of the body during workout


When you are training your whole body during one workout it is easy to allow your muscle to recover between sets. This will help you decrease the risk of injury in the gym and help allow you to feel better walking out of the gym than you did when you walked in.


Greater “Carry Over” into real life


Greater “carry over” into real life is an idea that can be argued by many people in the fitness industry. The reason for that is because there can’t really be a scientific study delving  into the concept of “Carry Over”. The definition of this term is too subjective and would require a great deal of parameters or would have to be so specific and control for the most minute detail.  For the purpose of this blog when I say “Carry Over”, I mean it’s going to mimic similar movements that you will do in your everyday life. Every person in the gym goes to the gym because of the effects it is going to have on their outside life and in the hobbies and sports they play. To keep this blog simple and short I am not going to explain how each movement helps you in your outside life, but you can check out another one of my blogs where I did that already right HERE.


Easier to get back into it if you miss a workout


Following a program where you perform the 5 main movements is much easier to work around a busy schedule. We know things are going to come up and you can’t always get to the gym when you expect to. Life is going to get in the way whether its work, the kids, weather or whatever else comes along. This way when you miss a training day or two, you are going to hit every movement the day you come back. If your training a split routine(aka back and biceps on monday) and miss a few days you may not train your legs for a week or so which will make it that much harder to get back into the swing of things.


Final Thoughts…


I want to finish this blog by stating that I don’t think split routines are inherently bad. I believe if you are a bodybuilder that has a specific physique goals, than split routines are great for you. If you know you can make it to the gym 5-6 days every week for at least an hour and want certain little muscle to pop out you’re probably best following a split routine.


However, if that is not you and you don’t want to stand on a stage half naked with a few gallons of bronzer on your body it may not be best for you.


If you’re like everyone else in this world training the 5 main movements will give you the most bang for your buck. If you can make it to the gym 2-3 times a week for just an hour, have goals you want to achieve outside of the gym, just want to lose some weight, have some fun and feel awesome about yourself training the 5 main movements is probably best for you.

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