As a coach, I find myself regularly talking about quality vs quantity in the gym. Balancing the quality of work and movement you do vs the quantity of work and movement shouldn’t really be a balance at all. If the quality isn’t the highest possible, the quantity shouldn’t be too overwhelming.
Thanks for reading,
Members see their coaches doing little extra things here and there and don’t always realize the difference in their training age, or the work that coach/athlete has put in to get to the point they’re at. I’ve been consistently training at an elite level for 17 consecutive years now, my body needs different things than someone who’s new and even someone who’s been training regularly for 2-3 years (yes, that seems like a long time when you’re in that boat, but in reality, it’s not).
Below I’ve put together a list of things to consider when adding more into your training (I’m talking on top of normal daily workouts).
How is your air squat?
It’s the foundation of nearly every movement we do in the gym. If your air squat isn’t locked down solid, and I mean solid, start here. Do you do 30-50 air squats each day? If yes, while you do them, what are you thinking about? If it’s anything other than perfecting the air squat, you’re doing it wrong. At Mountain Strong, we do air squats in warmup nearly every day, and every day I see people “slopping” through them just to do them. Take the time to do them right, it’s easy, it won’t make you sore, and it can improve everything from your Olympic lifts to your overhead presses. Consider adding in 30 slow and perfect air squats each day. Focus on your weakness whether it’s sending your hips back first instead of dropping straight down, or whether it’s focusing on keeping your chest tall, core braced, and glutes engaged.
How is your overhead mobility and pressing?
The answer is that it can always get better. Try adding in some shoulder rehab/prehab work like the Iron Scap program. Can you properly Sots Press? (Yes, that’s a young Kelly Starrett from Mobility WOD in the 2nd half of the video) Adding in some Iron Scap movements or Sots Presses can make a world of difference and take less time than you’d imagine to see the benefits. 3 sets of 10 Sots Presses when properly done will add up. I personally do an iron scap routine 2-3 times a week. It takes 5 minutes and won’t even leave you sore, but it’ll pay off with increased stability, strength, and confidence in your shoulders and overhead lifting in general.
How’s your deadlift?
Sure, it’s the most basic movement there is (picking something up off the ground), but really, how good is it? Is it consistent in regards to your bar path (straight up and straight down, not going around the knees)? Are you pressing heels through the ground? Improving here and keeping a focus on the basic movement of the deadlift is super easy. Regardless of your answers to these questions, consider adding in 30-50 slow and perfect deadlifts with just an empty barbell, or super lightweight.
What’s your general quality of movement like?
If the answer is anything less than, “great all the time,” consider shifting a focus to the quality of each movement you do. Yes, this might slow you down in a workout, but once you’ve got your quality of movement high, you’ll notice gains in many different areas.