Brash Essentials: Training Principles

Excuse me while I blow your freakin’ mind….exercise works and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Mind blown!

Over the next few weeks I will break down my training principles for you step by step.  Starting with a breakdown of movements to exercise progressions, conditioning, favourite tools + exercises and of course how to put it all together.

So, to start it all off let’s talk about movements.  My training style is very simple folks, I perform movements that are pushing and pulling, hip and knee dominant,  plus anti- rotational and rotational core work.

Now, to break it down further the pushing and pulling movements are broken down into two more categories: vertical pushes and pulls and horizontal pushes and pulls.

Here are some examples:

Vertical push: Overhead press
Vertical pull: Pullups/ chinups
Horizontal push: bench presses/ push ups
Horizontal pull: inverted rows/ barbell rows

Hip and knee dominant movements refer to leg exercises [side note: these leg exercises can also be referred to as pushes and pulls]

Knee dominant [pushes]: Squats, lunges, step ups
Hip dominant [pulls]: Deadlifts [Romanian and bent knee], hamstring curls

Anti-rotational: planks
Rotational: Russian twists, cable/ tubing rotations

Simple enough right?

Let’s continue.

Now it’s just a matter of pairing the contrasting movements together.  Horizontal pushes with horizontal pulls, vertical pushes and pulls, equal hip and knee dominant exercises and anti- rotational exercises and rotational exercises.
Multi Joint versus Single Joint Exercises
This is something that I’ve been doing for the last few years and it’s worked out great.  I do not isolate muscle groups in my training.  I like to use multi joint/ compound movements.  What are multi joint/ compound movements? Exercises like squats where there is flexion in the ankle, knee and hip joints, where you use not just one muscle group but many.  In the case of a squat you’re engaging all the muscles of your legs plus your glutes and your core.  The exercises and movements listed above will fall into this category,  while exercises like; bicep curls, tricep extensions and seated leg extensions are all examples of single joint/ isolated movements that I just don’t do.

I am not saying that doing those movements is wrong and a waste of time, because once again exercise works  it all depends on what you want.  If your goal is to look like a bodybuilder then it is absolutely necessary that you train like a bodybuilder, meaning you have to isolate muscle groups.  However, if you aspire to have the body of an elite athlete then stick to the above breakdown.


Go with multi joint and compound exercises over single joint and isolated movements ie. squats over machine leg extensions. [I will cover the use of machines in another blog]
Break down your movements based on their plane of motion: horizontal pushes and pulls, vertical pushes and pulls.
Now go to your gym/ fitness studio and try to train like an athlete.

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