“Great results comes from great focus and specificity, not only great variety.”
My earlier days of training were riddled with trail and error periods where I experimented with different movements, rep schemes, and loads. Initially I wasn’t entirely sure what my goal was but after becoming more comfortable with mechanics I decided that growing my glutes and legs was a top priority. With that in mind I would go in the gym and start my workout with a random warm-up without activation. Then I would jump into eight different lower body workouts thinking that as long as I hit all of them, my glutes were bound to grow. At first there were some noticeable changes but before I knew it I was plateauing and simply wasn’t happy with the results. I slowly began to realize that my training sessions lacked two key principles required to grow muscle: progressive overload and specificity. It wasn’t so much about the quantity of exercises I was doing , but slowly figuring out exercises that best targeted my glutes and then getting stronger within those exercises. In addition to that, I realized my warm-up had to align with my training goals which also meant activating the desired muscle group prior to going into my main exercises.
Progressive overload simply means doing more over time. In order for muscle to grow and strength to increase, the body must be forced to adapt to tension that is above what it previously experienced. This type of demand placed on your body dictates the type of adaption that will occur. However, these adaptions will never be linear, and that is okay and part of the process. It’s more about making personal progression in the long haul and being ruthlessly consistent. This is what eventually leads to an overall progression of strength, body composition and aesthetics.
Specificity, is my personal favorite principle to optimize growth, and in my opinion is not addressed enough. The term speaks for itself meaning that for training to be effective it must be specific and targeted towards what you are trying to achieve. Randomized programming, sensationalized exercises, and training a specific region once every few weeks will only frustrate you and make it difficult to reach your goal. Specific demand placed on a specific body part dictates the adaption that will occur. In summary, you must make sure your training matches your goals, period. However, the focus can vary based on personal goals and the degree to which you isolate that specific muscle group also depends on personal preference.
Ladies, in short, if your looking to make changes to your body composition be extremely specific towards what you want to achieve. Focus on getting stronger and progressing in those movements. The truth is, for most people the more they focus on getting stronger and improving athletisism, the faster they end up losing fat, building muscle, and loving their body. Do not steer away from fundamental principles that work. Simplify, train with intent, be patient, and above all, stay consistent!
I’ll be going into more details on exactly how to structure your sessions for optimal growth and progression, stayed tuned.