Routine Ain’t So Bad

Joes Barbell
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One of the current fitness trends floating around is the idea that for quicker results you should aviod routine.  Two of the fastest growing training methods hang their hats (none of which are hand made fish hats, which I have dozens) on this idea.  P90X sells the idea of muscle confusion, without any barbell training I might add.  CrossFit preaches constantly varied movements, and states in its world class fitness in 100 words that, “routine is the enemy.”  For general fitness gains, especially for the novice or untrained this may be true.  However, when specific goals are being chased, true world class performance is the goal, and sanity is sought, routine is the only way to go. 

 Let’s take a look at chasing down a specific goal.  To satisfy the crossfittie people in the room let’s talk about muscle ups.  If your goal is to get one then you’re going to have to put in some time.  You’re going to need pulling strength, pressing strength, establish stability and body control above and below the rings, and on and on.  The skill set required to perform this movement is vast, and we haven’t even gotten into mobility concerns and the mental game required.  For me, I’d probably bet that any coach worth their weight in raw goats milk (8.99 per half galloon and worth every cent) would place an athlete wanting to earn a muscle up in a given period of time into some kind of routine and progression to achieve the task. 

Thegeneral conversation may look like this. 

Athlete – “I want a muscle up by the open so I can separate myself from all the schleps who can do Karen and 90 double-unders in 12 minutes.”
Coach – “Hmmmm… its possible considering you’ve performed both Fran and Elizabeth Unbroken but we may need to take the next few weeks and get you a little more comfy on the rings.  Here’s what I’m thinking”
…..or this could happen

Athlete- “I’ve been able to get one Muscle Up but can’t seem to string more than one together.  I just can’t keep off the gluten with my 30-muscle-up for-time WOD being over 5 minutes.  Please help me Coach.”

Coach – “Sure I, I’d love to help.  Meet me randomly at the box and we will do random shit until you do 30 muscle ups, you shred your rotator cuff, or you get sick of paying me $300 dollars a month to randomly push your shit in day in and day out.”
Which guy are you going to pay?

Extreme, I know, but only in terms of language and bluntness.   These situations actually happen.  I’m also putting it on thick because I’m trying to make a point.  If you have a specific goal, beyond that of looking good naked ,and a specific time frame your training is going to require specificity, a routine, and way more of each than is found in a general fitness class; especially goals like qualifying for regionals or the American Open (pretty sure thats a run on sentence).  

I’d finish the piece but gotta run.  Charli just fell out of a chair, Mason shat on the new rug in the play room, and wifey is has been missing for going on 9 days (true story).  Stay tuned and at some point down the line i’ll make another case for routine being good.  Not to mention this post in already long enough.  If you’re like me you stop reading everything after about five minutes.  It started with commercials, went to MTV, and now we can’t hang with anything past 140 characters. 

Build a Better Total people and for goodness sake, have a plan!