Remember that OLD school tune with Rage Against the Machine, "Know the Enemy"?
Yep, Yep... well, with training, it's the same difference.
After training for 22 years I am still learning more and more about my body, sometimes, ya gotta learn the HARD way.
The other day I saw a video of Louie Simmons hitting rack pulls, I was inspired, and decided I too, need to do rack pulls.
Problem is, I've been injured on them before, even with light weights well below my max on rack pulls. Like a knucklehead, I did them anyway, thinking I was above and beyond my past or that perhaps things have changed.
Here's what I learned.... the HARD way.
As my boy Jonny Hinds says, we're part of the knuckle head crew.
We KNOW not to do certain things but we still do them.
Squats of all types and trap bar deadlifts work plenty fine for me, and, eventually, ya just gotta cut your losses and eliminate some movements that are dangerous or prove to make you injury prone.
Heavy rack pulls and even light rack pulls don't get me stronger OR make my back feel good. My back feels like hell after rack pulls so I learned to drop my ego and focus on training optimally, learning what works best for me vs copying what works for others.
I do the same tailoring of training for the athletes I train. There is NO reason for everyone to train the same way. Some need more strength and muscle, others need more speed and power while others need stamina and mental toughness.
"Never Train Minimally. Never Train Maximally. Train Optimally."
Speed deads work great for me and yes, NO deadlifting works quite well, too. It's the conjugate method and using exercises that build up my deadlift that help my deadlift.
I remember when I first opened my gym, I was in there a lot, from morning until evening and late night and after a while I wanted a lil' change of scenery and some motivation. I decided to train at the gym next door as I was about to deadlift. I knew that people watching me would fire me up. I was always training alone so it was time to have a small audience.
I hadn't deadlifted for 2 months when I decided to deadlift that night. But.... I had been doing plenty of similar movements such as various squats with barbells, kettlebells, sandbags and even stones.
I was also doing lots of sled work at the end of each workout as well as 2 - 3 trips during my warm ups. My sled training volume was very high.
What happened when I went to deadlift after 2 months of NO deadlifts?
I went in and deadlifted 515 for an easy single, beating my best 500 lb deadlift. I realized then, I didn't need to deadlift to break a deadlift record, but, sometimes we fall in love with an exercise and overdo it.
Be smart and LISTEN to your body, do what it tells you to do. Right now, I am in rest & recovery mode, something I haven't done since I graduated from undergrad in fall of 1997 and finished a stressful 4 month internship. My body was wiped out as was my body. I rested and stopped training until my body told me it was time to get back in action.
The Bench Press is awesome, BUT, if it kills your shoulders even after you've worked with experts in the field to make it better, f**k it, get rid of it and do what works and what feels good for YOU.
Don't be afraid to veer from a program that you love, but may be causing you some bodily harm.
The more you train the more things change - your body begins to respond to things differently and you need to keep tweaking your program to find what does 2 critical things for you:
1) What training / exercises helps you get you stronger, bigger, faster, etc - improves overall performance?
2) What makes you feel GREAT, not just good, but GREAT? If the training bangs you up, change it up and drop out of the knucklehead club.
Stick to those 2 critical rules and your training will result in more gains, less pain and a lot more fun!
Live The Code
PS: I'll be laying low on external resistance until my body tells me it's time to get back to lifting heavy.
As I am in rest & recovery mode from heavy lifting, my next assault will be on taking my bodyweight & gymnastics based drills to a new level.
Follow along with me, This is Legit - The Convict Conditioning Workout