Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned to develop my workout biases. I learned a bit more about workout bias after going to Crossfit for a few months.
The typical workout bias is focused on two separate categories:
After some education at LAXCrossfit, I’ve learned there are many more subcategories underneath these biases and learning to develop a program that alternates between Strength and Cardio. When I used to work out at the gym, isolation movements were the primary routines I would do, curls, quads, shoulder press, calf raises, etc., The idea is to focus on a single muscle and do the same thing x amount of times for y sets and move on focusing on a single muscle group. The main combo routines, were bench press, leg press, etc. so the majority of workouts consisted of isolation versus combination.
Crossfit on the otherhand doesn’t focus on a single muscle but instead a group of muscles that work in tandem with each other. The regiment consists of several Olympic style lifts such as Squats, Cleans, Deadlifts, Jerks, Burpees, Pullups, etc. in addition to natural movement like jumping, running, carrying objects, all of which use a combination of muscles. Very rarely have I seen people at the gym do compound exercises. The result of combination exercises is a better overall ability to produce in sports while maintaining agility. Also, you hitting several muscle groups in coordination with each other results in overall less time to achieve significant results.
Specialized workout training is also something that I consider a workout bias to train specific groups of muscles for the sport that you do. For example, Swimming I would just swim all the time to improve, but that mainly improves technique and efficiency but doesn’t necessarily build muscles where you need it. Cycling, I would ride my bike for 20-30 miles or go to a spin class. While all of these are good, I found my improvements in each category to be slow and after adding in different workout biases the results were improving at a faster rate than before.
The biases I’ve Learned:
General Strength bias: combination muscle groups that work several muscle groups
Specialized Strength Bias: focused muscle groups; isolation workouts
Endurance Cardio: smooth and steady; try to find a rhythm
High Intensity Cardio: short bursts of high level intensity
Strength Cardio: medium bursts lighter weights higher repetition fast
The combination of training has really helped my performance overall and changed my ideas of training after the original mindset of traditional gym and specialized exercises. Physical activities are getting easier to do and I’m getting fewer injuries due to over training. One last factor that I didn’t touch too much on is body type. I think each one of us has a body type that prefers a particular way of training. If you already know what that is, then use that to your advantage. Work out on weaknesses and strengthen strengths. After time, muscle memory will kick in and even the things that you were once weak will be stronger and more efficient. General strength workouts helps for those who are good at cardio but weak at weights and will strengthen the entire body. High intensity will help those who are strong, but lack endurance. Alternate, experiment and see log your results.