Routine is the Enemy

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Exercise routines are for lazy people! Your muscles think routines are mundane and boring. Routines keep them from growing and getting stronger.

Your muscles think so ill of routines that they may even injure themselves! Damn those muscles?! There is a way around this though-one that will make you and your muscles very happy!

What exactly do I mean by a routine? A routine is doing the same thing in the same way over and over again. You are exercising though? Yes, that is good, but you want to make yourself even better! And do it injury free!

Repeat after me, "routine is the enemy…I will use variances in my programming to get the most out of my workouts."Remember, you have a whole body to work out -- not just your chest and shoulders or biceps. And not just 3 sets of 10 all the time either. Let's see how your muscles discipline you for putting them through a routine.I affectionately call my good friend "Gunshow" for his blessed biceps. Even Arnold would be jealous.

He easily passes for a guy that spends a lot more time in the gym than he actually does. Well played at the gene card table, "Gunshow!" However, genes do not protect you from routines.

Due to a hectic work schedule, he only averaged a couple days a week in the gym so he set up a routine for himself.

Despite my best efforts to get him to do otherwise, his routine concentrated mainly on bench pressing, bicep work, and shoulder raises. An occasional sprint workout with me rounded out his training.

Unfortunately, he recently suffered a major overuse injury in his shoulder from his routine. Damn those routines! His muscles became too strong for his tendons.

Simply put, too much time concentrating on the bench press and bicep curls led to a tear in his deltoid. Months of rehab would follow.His routine concentrated on too many frontal exercises in the shoulder area. The strength and mass in his pecs and biceps caused an unbalanced pull on his deltoid.

He needed to work the antagonist muscles in his back and shoulders too. This would have helped with the overload of muscle on his deltoid.

Hindsight is 20/20 as we all know, but it is easy to see this would have eventually happened. Thankfully, he has been able to properly rehab his shoulder.

He is back to the gym now working on a much smarter program that encompasses leg and back exercises now. He says his body feels better than he has in years.

And you know the best part, I still call him "Gunshow." His arms would still make Arnold jealous!

Picture your muscles as interconnected roadways. Your tendons are the interchanges. Keep those roadways open for business!

You will put yourself at risk of an overuse injury if you simply do the same exercises all the time without variances thrown in. Routines will cause your performance to eventually peak too.

Think it is time for some supplementation in your program? Lay off the bench press for a bit and try working on overhead presses. Work on your front squat instead of your back squat. Hit up a tabata style workout instead of the boring old 3 sets of 10 all the time.

Be good to your muscles and they will reward you! Educate yourself on smarter programming methods. Hire a competent trainer to help out designing your own program if needed. Just remember to switch up your program from time to time!

You can read further about whole body fitness in my book I Never Do Crunches for further injury free training advice.

Going to the gym is good. Having a proper program set up that works on your whole body in a variety of ways is even better. Injury free training is the best!

About the Author:

For more information on how to train injury free and other great training tips and personalized online coaching programs, please visit . Chris Ryan, C.S.C.S., is a former Division I athlete and top fitness model whose clients range from Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Under Armour, Nike, and Reebok.

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