The field of Strength and Conditioning may be considered “young” in terms of research. However, looking around at the gym and routines people are following things have progressed a long way. Or have they? While the next best thing for developing muscular power etc etc may be just around the corner, where the old methods wrong?


The Soviets Did Something Right

One of the most renowned books within the S&C world is Supertraining by Yuri Verkhoshansky. Basically a record of all the research and methods used by the Soviets that provided the foundation for most of todays methods. This can clearly by seen by the fact it can still cost you over £200 on amazon! 

One of the methods talked about by Verkhoshansky included basic principles surrounding “special strength training”. A big title but simples rules. The rules included gradual progression across load, intensity and complexity of movements. It also focussed on using basic set rest times that ensure you’re working the right system. These are just the two I feel are most relevant, you can read more here.

So from an author, scientist and strength expert who’s book now cost £200, we get simple steady progression. What, no super ridiculous training plan with crazy rep and set intervals? Nope just basics.


Variety is Still Important

Covering the basics doesn’t mean that training has to be boring. You don’t have to do the exact same exercises over the exact same reps on the very same day. Simply understand the basics of gradual progression of load and the right times to increase intensity can go a long way.

A squat is a squat, you can do 5×5 back squat one week and 3×3 box squats the next week. If the weight is gradual moving up and you are flexing and extending at the hip, knee and ankle then you’re going to do okay.


Hit The Reset Button on Your Strength and Conditioning

Going back to basics can be a great way to get over a break in training or to re-focus yourself. I am currently on a two week block of super simple training, I am using the following principles to plan my sessions:

  • Basic, foundational movements
    • Squat, Hinge, Push, Pull and Rotate
  • Keep the weight manageable
    • Move perfectly
    • Make sure it’s still a challenge
  • Rest sufficiently
    • 60-90 seconds minimum
    • Ensure I am ready to keep technique solid
  • Conditioning
    • Breathe heavy (ish)
    • Break a sweat
    • Move well, don’t get sloppy

The is no pressure on this training, apart from the work is the work. Get in, move well, enjoy getting back into the swing of things. This is still strength and conditioning, no bells and whistles, just work.


Final Thoughts

As a Leading Personal Trainer in Twickenham, it can be easy to want to been seen to be keeping up with the latest trends. However, when the research is saying that the old methods still work, I’m not going to ignore them. If the client is going to benefit from a few weeks of solid, proper movement then that’s what they need to do.