I'm about to teach you in ONE blog post... how to learn OVER 1000 exercises that you can choose from.
Get a note book out.... I'll wait... Seriously.
Here we go... Basically all strength exercises can be divided down into:
- the body part(s) they work,
- the plane/angle they work in,
- the equipment used,
- whether you're using both sides or the body at once or just one,
- the tempo you work at.
- and you can also focus your mind on using one muscle over another, with foot pressure, hand pressure, grip pressure, etc... effecting which muscle gets emphasized.
If we change just ONE of these variables, the way the body experiences the exercise changes. Effectively, as the "stimulus" changes, the "response" changes also. A very slight shift in angle, or leverage, or even pace will change which muscle fibers within the muscle are called on, how many, and in what sequence... to move the weight. To your body, that small change results in a "new exercise". Too many people HUGELY LIMIT the number of movements/angles/exercises they do, always moving their body in the same pattern, and as a result SEVERELY limit their potential for muscle growth, and potentially set themselves up for injury. Why? Because a joint trained in only one plane (direction and angle), only get stronger in that plane. If real life takes you out of that specific plane, it's a force your body isn't use to coping with... injury!
But by simply changing one or more of these variables (in an exercise you already know) you can change one exercise into dozens of "new" stimuli... DOZENS of new exercises.
Let me use an example... One of the most basic strength exercises, a dumbbell bench press:
DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS VARIATIONS:
- Rotator Cuff Muscles.
- Decline, Flat, Incline, and any combination of 15 degree increments in most benches.
- Elbows close to the side, or elbows out.
- Full range of motion or shortened
- Dumbbells Only
- Dumbbells Supplemented By Bands
- Drop-Sets with Multiple Weights of Dumbell
- Bilateral Presses (both arms at once)
- Unilateral Presses (presses using only one arm)
- Alternating Unilateral Presses With a TOP Isometric Squeeze (Dumbbells held at TOP of motion between reps)
- Alternating Unilateral Presses With a BOTTOM Stretch (Dumbbells held at BOTTOM stretch between reps)
- Constant Tempo (1-1-1)
- Explosive Concentric with Slow Eccentric
- Slow Concentric with Slow Eccentric
- Pause Reps (Full pause at the bottom stretch)
- Tight Grip (emphasizes triceps involvement)
- Loose/Open Grip (Emphasizes chest involvement)
THAT'S JUST ONE EXERCISE!!!!!
If you take every exercise in your current repertoire, and consider every possible variable, and combination of variables... You just turned a few dozen exercises into 1000.
Now... To further blow your mind... Every movement (horizontal press, vertical press, 45 degree angled press, horizontal pull, vertical pull, 45 degree pull) can be done with body-weight, multiple machines, barbell, dumbbell, cable(s), bands, bands combines with free weights, etc... etc... Lunge movements, pushups and other body-weight exercises can be done on multiple levels of boxes, benches, steps... using added free weight or not. The primary movement can be "pre-exhausted" with another movement.
IF YOU OPEN UP YOUR MIND... you could never train a muscle group in the same exact pattern for hundreds of consecutive workouts!
THIS IS WHY YOU HIRE AN EXPERIENCE PROFESSIONAL PERSONAL TRAINER!!!!!!
True professionals know THOUSANDS of ways to get things done... around existing injuries... for infinite variety.