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Exercises to Improve Your Training Programme

Exercises that will improve your training programme…

I spend hours in gyms with my Stockport personal training business – around 50 hours per week, to be precise.

During that time you spot patterns – who trains when, what their routines look like, how much effort they put in to their training etc. Being in the industry, I see the good and bad in people’s training and how they are making progress, where they could improve, when their training programme is lacking something. All of the accidental observation has led to me the following conclusion…

Most people don’t like change when it comes to their training.

Most people will stick to the same dozen or so exercises and only progress their rep ranges and weights occasionally. They won’t think to mix up their exercises as well, when actually they are missing a massive trick by neglecting this important point of programming.

There are exercises to improve your training programme that too many gym-goers avoid and as a result are seeing less of the gains and benefits than they should.

If one of your goals in the gym is to increase strength and power, then look far beyond traditional exercises such as curls, kick backs and extensions. Take a look at the work done by strength and conditioning coaches when it comes to getting their athletes ready for competition.

Two exercises that I believe that everyone (who is capable of performing them safely) should have in their programmes are…

The Power Clean

I love the power clean. In all fairness it’s a tough exercise – both in terms of the technique and sheer physical effort. It’s a beast of a move, but done correctly you will notice huge improvements in athletic performance, physique and fitness.

Here is Steve, one of my Stockport personal training clients mid way through a power clean…

exercises to improve your training programme

As an exercise for developing strength and power, the power clean has few rivals. Even if you aren’t an athlete, the strength you develop from power cleans will reduce your injury risk, improve your posture and help you maintain muscle mass.

Ideally, you will need a personal trainer or weightlifting coach to take you through the technique of a power clean. If you are injury free, have the right amount of flexibility and are confident and experienced in the weight room, I’d strongly suggest you start programming power cleans into your routine.

Rather than spell out the technique in a blog post (which would take hours and thousands of words), I will point you in the direction of one of the best technique videos I have found on the power clean, from the guys at Diesel Strength

The Deadlift

It still amazes me that more people don’t deadlift. In the gym where I train there are 3500 members and I bet less than 50 of them actually Deadlift. In fact, you are more likely to see the lifting platforms used for perching benches on than you are for lifts that require the platform!

The deadlift is arguably the king of all exercises. In terms of bang for your buck, there are no rivals. With the legs, back and core being forced to work as part of the movement, the deadlift activates huge amount of muscle and has serious knock-on effects in terms of stimulating growth hormone release.

Here is another one of my Stockport personal training clients, David, deadlifting during his session. He has added 90kg (198lbs) to his deadlift in 6 months!

exercises to improve your training programme

Another side effect of programming the deadlift into your routine is massive increases in strength. With the entire posterior chain and significant amounts of your core working to perform the deadlift, you can lift some serious weight relatively quickly. Additionally, as exercises go the deadlift is relatively simple to learn to do with a degree of safety and can be adapted for those who require a form of exercise regression.

As I mentioned, the deadlift technique is relatively simple, but if you get it wrong the consequences are pretty horrendous. Check out this video on deadlift technique to help get you started…

The deadlift shares many benefits with the power clean and as a result is another fantastic addition to a training programme. You really should, where suitable be mixing up your training and adding important exercises such as these into your programmes. If you want to make serious progress, you can’t rely on the same tired routines with only minor changes.

If you are stuck in a rut with your training and want to add a couple of new exercises, try these two. You will be glad you did!

For more exercise inspiration, be sure to check out three of my most popular articles…

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Owner of Personal Trainer, Father and fitness copy writer. Working hard making the world fitter and healthier!

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