There is much to be said about sticking with tried and true methods when it comes to training. Many of us have built excellent foundations with lots of muscle while utilizing the most basic of approaches. Yet, for some reason or another, we start moving away from those primitive methods and start looking for other options that promise greater growth. Does this urge to change things up come out of necessity because we feel like our progress has stalled or are we simply exchanging what was working with something that might work to appease our need for variety? To help you answer this question, take a look back on the approaches to training you used in previous years and then consider these reasons for revisiting old training methods and recycling your reps to see if what you’re doing now is necessary or not.
Reason #1: Reflection
It’s never a bad idea to take a look back on what you had done in previous training years just to see how you were performing in the gym at that period of time in your life. Maybe by going through old training journals or thinking about past workouts, you’ll come to realize that you were in fact making great gains at that time and now can’t seem to figure out why you changed things up in the first place. A lot of what we used to do had a simplicity about it and for reasons unknown, we end up complicating matters for ourselves by adding more and thinking that things should be more difficult and intricate when really there’s no need. Going back to the basics is never a bad idea and was once something you relied heavily upon. Why should it be any different for you now?
Reason #2: Forgotten Exercises
If you’ve been training long enough then chances are you’re guilty of this as well. Having a significant list of exercises in the arsenal to attack our muscles is very important. Forgetting exercises that were once always imbedded in the plan, is all too common. When you revisit some of your old workouts you may rediscover some awesome movements that always yielded great results for you that somehow got lost in the shuffle as you gained new knowledge. Think about the last time you did a Jefferson squat or Zottman curl; exactly. It’s hard to remember all of the exercises you’ve done in your training career and unfortunately some of the best get lost on us. It would be to your advantage to find those lost exercises and start using them again on a regular basis as a way to once again, stimulate new growth.
Reason #3: Memorable Moments
Most likely, you have a few workouts under your weight belt that are memorable and hard to live up to once again. Those times when everything was clicking, your strength was through the roof, the pumps were insane and everyone around you starred in awe. Well, what were you doing during those times? What was your training like? What rep schemes were you utilizing? Why didn’t you stick with what you were doing then if the workouts were so awesome? We are always chasing the perfect workout and many of the ones we remember are still in the past. By going back and revisiting those workouts, you may find something again that is currently missing in your plan that can get you back to those good old glory days.
Progress is imminent and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to experiment with new approaches, new methods, different sets and rep schemes, manipulating angles and trying out new pieces of gym equipment. Why? Well, simply put, it’s fun to do all of those things. That said, sometimes fun takes precedence over what you actually need to grow and you find yourself scratching your head trying to figure out why you aren’t getting any better. Think about when you grew the most and grew the quickest. It was right around the time you first started and were doing all the basics. You don’t have to completely ignore all the new technology that’s out there, just don’t forget the old stuff. With age comes experience and your experiences in the gym should tell you that what was once old, should now be new again.
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member