By Dr. Andy Galpin
the more i move through my existence, the more i find myself circling back through thoughts; finding something i was certain of, trashing it, being certain of it again, then giving up in frustration. to be honest, this has plagued my academic career.
I’ve tried to develop lesson plans in an organized and consistent manner, but I’m constantly changing my mind as new data rolls in. Is it better to hold hard and fast to my new opinions, even though it means that I’ll have to re-work major portions of my courses? Or, should I pass along what I already have to the 50 or so students paying hard cash to know the truth? It’s an easy decision – I’ll do the work.
You have to always work on pushing the ball forward. At this moment my strategy is to simply minimize my sacred cows. I’ve clutched tightly to my beliefs and customs before, only to see some silly, “wrong” things work fantastically well. The only constant thing seems to be that, yes, simple is just about always better. That’s not a message that excites my students very much, but they need to hear it over and over again just the same. It’s something I share in my, “Law’s of Strength & Conditioning.” Here are four that everyone should remind themselves of daily:
1. Exercises don’t determine adaptations, the APPLICATION of those exercises determines the adaptation. You might agree with me. You’ve probably experienced this yourself. But let me ask, have you ever spent a few months training with a really great coach, or a crew of bad-ass and very strong lifters? Maybe not, right? I’ll just say this, you’ve got a lot left to learn still. Get out there.
2. There are no good/bad or right/wrong exercises, only good/bad or right/wrong APPLICATIONS of exercises. One thing you will learn from those best coaches and lifters is that they don’t spend a lot of time fussing about exercise selection. You will never find them wondering over what others are doing. Some will do good mornings, some don’t. Many will pull from boxes or mats, others won’t. Bands, chains, fancy barbells and toys, it’s all the same kind of thing. Don’t miss the forest for the trees. Do what you want, just nail the application. Get the precise feeling and stimulus that you’re after or not of it will matter.
3. Eating protein doesn’t make you buff, eating sugar doesn’t make you sweet, eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Quick overthinking all of this shit! Here are a few things to know about your body. First, it’s built to work. Second, after that work is done, it (your body) really digs food. You know, meat, eggs, maybe some mild, plants, fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut, you know the list. Why is this so hard to grasp? Eat food, take some creatine and vitamin D, and get your ass back into the gym to lift some heavy barbells. What’s there to ponder?
4. Muscle is extremely plastic. EVERYTHING you do matters. Your food selection. Rest. The proper application of your exercises. It’s a lot to consider, but the awesome reward is that it’s just about never too late to adapt. You can make incredible gains and you can start doing that right now. You just need to nail the simple things for once.
My advice is to not worry about being wrong. Instead, do the work. Push the ball forward. Get far away from your sacred cows. The rest will take care of itself.