For most individuals their training program is structured around an archaic body-part slip routine, such as mondays are chest days and tuesdays are back and shoulders and so on. This has become the norm for most gym rats since the early 1970's because of the increased popularity the sport of bodybuilding received during this time frame. With this increased popularity came tons of opportunities for marketing agencies, magazine companies, and the body builders themselves to make tons of money off of their extraordinary physiques. Before you know it these extraordinary, genetically-gifted men and women are publicizing their workout routines and diet plans to the general population. While their is nothing wrong with these individuals taking advantage of their entrepreneurial opportunities what many of these individuals failed to share with the public is that in addition to their discipline, hard work, training regimen, and diet plan they also were being helped along by biological enhancers things of which we call steroids and the like. The general population then draws the only logical conclusion, that if I eat and train like them the I will look like them.
This was the beginning of the end for a lot of individuals who spent many years seeking their perfect physiques inevitably failing in the pursuit. This conclusion has continued to perpetuate itself through many generations, some might even argue that it has worsened due to the invention of the internet. I myself was sucked into this line of thinking for the first five years of my training experience until I found the light and was pulled out of this growth-stunting way. After all of this are end result is people training six days a week doing one group of muscles per day viewing the body has individual pieces and segments rather than a whole. This had led to a complete distortion of how the human body functions and what a proper training program should look like.
The first step moving forward to ending this detrimental delusion is to change the way all people view the human body. We need to stop looking at the body from a reductionist standpoint. Isolating one muscle to this particular task without considering how it will affect the rest of the whole. I want people to begin seeing the big picture when it comes to the body and training. Everyone needs to see the entire body as one integrated system that only functions as a whole never as individual pieces of a puzzle.
I believe that the best way to begin changing this mindset is to change how we view the body in relation to our training programs. We need to throughout the idea of this particular exercise works these particular muscles and replace it will thoughts of movement patterns. This makes things much simpler and gives us a much more holistic view of the body.
There are only so many movements the body can perform, while their are a ton of exercises and variations to train these movements the movements themselves are the same. Here is my breakdown of movements that can be performed by the human body: vertical push, vertical pull, horizontal push, horizontal pull, quad dominant, hip dominant, spinal flexion, spinal extension, rotation, single-arm/leg variations. That is ten movements by my count while we could get into much more specific movements related to each joint of the body, such as circumduction. I want to keep the movements in terms of movements we can train safely and effectively. When we think of our training programs in terms such as these it really simplifies are training. I try to tell people to perform every movement listed above once or twice over a weeks time using three to four training sessions.
Remember the body is not a segmented machine. It is integrated and whole. If functions as a single unit. Think in terms of the movements the body can perform rather than the muscles that need to be trained.