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How many exercise variations do we need ?

Discussion in 'Training' started by Zillagreybeard, Sep 22, 2022.
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  • Sep 22, 2022
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How many exercise variations do we need ?⭕️

Disclaimer: this is just a general model that I created, that doesn’t necessarily take in consideration every single aspect of training individuality, and it’s indeed simplistic. But I think it can work well for most people.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that you don’t need as many exercise variations as you think, and even moreso if you’re just starting out.

Actually, in all honesty, even at a more advanced level. Here’s why:

Too many people are looking to optimize their training program thinking that doing more is necessarily “better”, while in reality, what needs to be done is to show up consistently, beat your previous log book, and get seriously strong at a couple basic movements.

Don’t lose sight of what actually matters. Eventually, you want a heavy weight to feel light in the future, that’s how you progress.

And that doesn’t even change at an advanced level: you just need to apply the same concept but on slightly different exercises, giving them priority, while maintaining strength on other movements.

Sure, at this point we have more experience, increased work capcity and training knowledge/”maturity”, but the principles remain the same:

We can either try to keep making progress on the same exercises (which will still work, at a slower rate) or try and allocate some of this training volume to other exercises, while trying to maintain your current strength levels on your previously trained movements.

That’s because there’s still a ceiling at how much “effective work” we can accumulate in a week which needs to be taken in consideration.

For this reason, while many people believe that advance lifters “need” more volume, I’d actually argue they need less, or perhaps, the same (if already within an optimal range) but spread differently across some movements, at a high enough intensity: maintaining strength in some and progressing in others.

Exercise variations matter to maximize hypertrophy, but progressive overload is always king. Therefore, look for a realistic number of exercises that allows you to progress long term, and stick to those to make incredible gains!

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