Systematic progressions lead to better results
For years I have been working out and I thought I was working out the correct way. I would blindly pick a program from the Internet or a fitness magazine because the model was in great shape and I wanted to look like them. If they did this workout then I should too right? The simple answer is no, there is a systematic approach to intense and complicated exercise routines. You cannot start an advanced exercise until you have mastered the basics. If you do, this creates muscle imbalances in your body and could ultimately lead to injury.
I found this out the hard way, I have torn the ACL in both of my knees because I had muscle imbalances. I focused on the big muscle groups and neglected stabilization, balance, stretching, reactive training, and plyometrics. All I did was squats, bench press, shoulder press, bicep curls and abs aka the mirror muscles, the muscles you typically see everyone flexing at the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against training these muscle groups, they are critical that you train them. However you need to build a solid foundation first before you start training the exterior muscles. I refer to this as building a house, you need to start with a solid foundation, then you build the frame, next you put up the walls, and lastly you put on the pretty paint that everyone sees. If you put up four walls, a roof, and slap some paint on it without first developing a strong solid foundation, the first gust of wind is going to knock your house down. This is exactly what happened to me, I strongly believe if I would have trained the proper way, then I would have two healthy knees right now. I also believe everything happens for a reason, going through physical therapy and surgery got me interested in helping others so you don’t suffer the same fate I did.
I use NASM’s Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) model for all of my clients including myself. I strongly believe in this approach and I feel it will give you the best results in a safe systematic approach all while avoiding injury. First we will start in the stabilization endurance phase to build a solid foundation. We will then progress to the strength endurance phase to strengthen the foundation and build the frame. Then based upon your own goals we will progress to either the hypertrophy, maximal strength, or power phase. I have been using this program for my own training and it has kept me injury free so far. I have been able to run a half marathon, triathlon, BP MS150, several 5k's and I maintain a very active lifestyle all without having to worry if my knees will hold up.