Do you remember learning to drive? I look back in amazement that I and everyone in the town I grew up in did not die as a result of me having unfettered access to 3,000lbs of steel and gasoline. And like you are probably thinking about yourself, I wasn’t even the worse driver I knew; I was actually ok at it. Now imagine if, at 16, someone had given you a Formula1 car. Instead of an 1989 Toyota Cressida with an automatic, you have 800 or so horsepower, 1,411 lbs, seven manual-sequential gears, and this staring back at you:
You probably wouldn’t even leave the driveway.
It’s an unusual client that comes to me knowing how to do a push up. It’s a rare client that knows how to squat. And I’ve never had a client who knew how to hinge on the day that I met them. Honestly, I’m still learning how to hinge. So why would I throw this at someone?
The “single-arm swiss-ball chest press with hip raise” is an actual exercise. I stole this picture from Men’s Health. And I am sure that “Michael Mejia, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder of B.A.S.E. Sports Conditioning on Long Island, New York” had the best intentions when he created it and drew the little picture. I’m also positive that "Michael Mejia, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder of B.A.S.E. Sports Conditioning on Long Island, New York” gets great results for his clients and has a lot more clients than me. I’m not picking on “Michael Mejia, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder of B.A.S.E. Sports Conditioning on Long Island, New York.” But when I look at that little picture, I don’t see strength training; I see boredom.
Ayrton Senna, the greatest driver in history, drove go-karts to train for F1 because they were pure driving. No suspension, no transmission, one brake, one horsepower. He mastered the basics and that mastery allowed him to understand all the variations of driving a modern F1 car instinctively and without conscious thought. He recognized there is little difference between complication and distraction, especially complication for it’s own sake.
“I believe in the ability of focusing strongly in something, then you are able to extract even more out of it. It's been like this all my life, and it's been only a question of improving it, and learning more and more and there is almost no end. As you go through you just keep finding more and more. It's very interesting, it's fascinating.” -Senna
You will always get more out of mastering the basics than you will from introducing complications. Push. Pull. Hinge. Squat. Carry. Twist. Variation when it’s necessary, not when it’s possible.