General training in the battle for fitness


As a Master Trainer I virtually live in the gym, whether mentoring my clients or following my own training routine. However, most people don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours there. They want to use their training time efficiently, so it never ceases to amaze me how much time people waste on isolation exercises, concentrating on body part split programs.

Now, if you happen to be a high-level bodybuilder, who has already developed a high amount of lean body mass and needs to work on certain muscles to develop better proportions, then a body part split routine is a good option. However, for most of us, split routines are far from optimal; they could even be limiting overall fitness development.

Why general training outranks other options

A training routine should be aimed at trying to nurture the whole body, working to bring it into alignment, rather than isolating each part. This means focusing on the importance of performing compound movements, which are movements involving more than one joint. Think of it this way, for the average desk worker, keen to lose body fat and build a foundation of lean muscle mass while improving posture, would I benefit from dedicating one of my weekly training days to focusing on just my arms? Of course not.

General movement in training is the better way to go – even for specific goals be they fat loss, lean muscular development or building strength. Bear in mind each of these goals is very general in nature, so instead of narrowing the focus through split routines, concentrate on general training.

Stop wasting time and underutilised muscles from wasting away

By placing compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, presses and rows at the heart of your programs, you will not only save time but develop more fully as a mobile and flexible person. Let these movements guide you in organising gym workouts to best develop your body. In turn you will feel the benefits in your wider pursuits, as they transfer to all your daily activities. By combining muscles to initiate movement, you will develop more muscle, strength, endurance and better overall movement patterns. Start following General Training to win the fitness battle!

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Alex is a registered Master Trainer and Nutritional Advisor with Level 4 qualifications in obesity and diabetes. He is also a strength specialist and a Ni Dan in Shotokan Karate.

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