Variation: The Needed Evil
Let’s face it, most of us are set in our ways when it comes to the gym. We have the Olympic lifters, the bodybuilders, the powerlifters, the average joes, etc. We all have our bread and butter, however, I recently discovered my issue is not flexibility, but mobility. I was too focused on specific lifts and I left my body to develop muscle imbalances.
What is a muscle imbalance?
Simple answer, you have muscles that are responsible for the push and pull around the same area and one is stronger than the other. Example — A good rule of thumb for balancing your bench is, whatever you can bench you should be able to pull-up with the same weight. So if you bench 300, you should do a pull up with (300 - your body weight) attached to you.
Science answer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_imbalance
Now that you’ve been properly educated we can continue. I’ve discovered I have imbalances everywhere! Worst of all, my hips were becoming old man hips! I couldn’t get parallel without heeled olympic shoes and moy hips were hurting when I squatted. I needed to fix this. I went to a sports chiropractor and discovered how to get better. I needed to incorporate more variation in my olympic lifting.
For the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot more variation and it has changed the game. My deadlift is finally back, I was able to hit 518 in my sumo stance. Personal record! My squat is still progressing slowly, but the improvement was noticeable.
Include variation. Be happy. Break PRs!