Instinctive Training Principles
When body building magazines have run out of new and exciting concepts on how to market the concept of buffing your bod, you then get ideas like: “instinctive training”. It sounds almost primal, as though you would stand out on the veldt with a spear in hand, every muscle tensing in anticipation of the moment when your prey is before you, just before you pounce and hang on for dear life as you take down your kill. But nah, it’s a fancy schmancy way of weight lifting guru’s resurrecting the old hippie philosophy of “if it feels good, do it”.
This brainchild promoted from within the editorial hierarchy of body building magazines far and wide would have you imaging that the conventional wisdom on routines and strength training developed over the past decades is all hokum. In fact, according to this philosophy, the only thing you need to be able to eventually put Mr. Universe to shame in his inferiority of your flexing pectorals is to have no set routine, no program based on your individual goals and basis on which to which measure them, but instead, just a desire to go into the gym and do what seems natural.
What does Instinct Tell Us
If instinct tells you that today actually isn’t a legs day, but in fact is an arms day; then by Arnold them gluts are getting neglected. And perhaps if you want to make that lovely young woman in the aerobics class across the way breathe a little faster, and all you have left to do today is inclines, but curls make your forearms look soooo… much bigger while you bang-and-clang along with uttering manly grunts; then inclines be damned, it’s time for some curls.
Like with most ideas that promise of one-size-fits-all means superb individualized results, without individualized specifications; instinctual bodybuilding is really too good to be true. The body’s natural instincts can tell you when it’s time to fight using those greatly expanded triceps, or when to run using those bulging calves, but it cannot tell you what weights to lift on any given day for maximum results. Give it a whirl though, if you enjoy wasted effort, and spend three months training instinctually with no direction other than a sniffing out of which weights you want to lift that day, and then spend three months with an intense, focused, workout regimen based on exact goals you are trying to achieve. No doubt you will then know the difference between wandering in a forest randomly knocking down trees and building a road through one.
Is Bodybuilding and Instinctive Training
Try as you might though, I can unequivocally state that body building is not an instinct included in the human race’s evolutionary hand-me-downs. Perhaps while caught within the primal fumes of instinctual body building you might do a few more sets of one particular exercise before standing over the weight rack victoriously as thought you just ripped a tiger apart with your bare hands and in so doing feel you have accomplished more; but if that exercise wasn’t one you particularly needed, then isn’t all you have done just been an enhancement of your confidence and not your body? Ego boosting is nice and all, but if you are going to a weight room: stick to the routines and get something out of it, rather than pushing your lack of motivation to build, and stick to, a routine off on nature. Nature has enough problems as it is.
Mike Shiles is a bodybuilder, gym owner, freelance writer, success coach and author of “Burn fat build muscle. He has written thousands of articles on exercise, nutrition and health.