I can’t think of a question that comes up more in Strength & Conditioning interviews than, “If you could only do one lift, what would it be?” Most of my colleagues absolutely loathe this question, believing it to be absurd since nobody is ever in a position where they can only do one exercise for the rest of their lives. I, however, happen to love these types of questions. Taking the time to ponder this question helps coaches ponder the efficacy (capacity or power to produce a desired effect) and efficiency (the ratio of the output to the input of any system) of an exercise (or combination of exercises if more than one exercise is allowed).
Most lifters start working out to look and feel better. Along the way, they get sucked into one of the numerous fitness cults out there and turn into annoying fitness snobs.
No matter what anyone tells you, many roads lead to Rome. There are many ways to see great results in the gym.
Chances are the person whose physique you envy so badly doesn’t train harder than you. He or she simply eats better than you and is more consistent.
As long as you’re consistently getting stronger in the primary movement patterns, revving up the metabolism, and taxing the major muscles, then you’re achieving a great workout.
Looking back at my 21-year lifting career, I can tell you that most of my nagging pain, injuries, and setbacks were due to one simple thing – failing to ease into things. Having read plenty of bodybuilding magazines and books growing up, I mistakenly thought that I had to shock my body in order to see good results, whatever that means. Though I still make this mistake from time to time, just as any serious lifter does due to overzealousness, I’m guilty of it much less frequently than in years and decades past. Please let this quote sink in:
“Strength training is a marathon, not a sprint”