In the original draft of the book, I included a complete set of instructions on how to modulate intensity during each workout. Ultimately, I decided this was an unnecessary level of detail and removed the section. However, managing intensity will be a crucial factor for both making strength progress and staying healthy.
Generally, complete novices (no training experience) will benefit from a little nudging until they get used to the discomfort that comes with high-intensity exercise.
But both intermediate and advanced trainees benefit from the opposite approach.
That is, being coached to NOT burn themselves out on every set and every exercise.
Let me unpack this.
Because it's a tricky thing to explain.
But once you get it, and use it, you'll see why I felt the need to include it here.
Why do I suggest this?
Because when you are grinding out the last few reps with terrible form, you are more likely to injure yourself. It also makes it difficult to accumulate enough training volume to make real progress when you are knocking on death's door after each set. And finally, training with 100% maximum intensity all the time will inevitably lead to central nervous system exhaustion and burnout.
So, I'll leave you with one final piece of advice:
Perform 80% of the total repetitions you are capable of performing with each set.
Or, put another pay, train with 80% intensity.
In the context of resistance training, that means stopping the set before you reach complete exhaustion.
For example, if you think you can perform 5 total repetitions at the max, stop at 4.
If you are using a lighter weight and think you could perform 10 reps, stop at 8.
Keep this in mind as you choose your resistance levels (i.e. for a 5 repetition set, pick a weight you THINK you lift 6 times). This frees you up to focus on proper form and improving with each workout (instead of just going for maximum pain each exercise session).
Again, the more training experience you have, the more important this concept will be.
If you have spent years burning yourself out and leaving the gym exhausted, try this approach. You'll find that you can train with more volume, you leave the gym feeling energized instead of drained, and you are able to make consistent progress from week to week... month to month... now, isn't that the goal?
Not sure where to start? If you're a beginner, start by implementing the Morning Mobility Routine and Beginner Program (2 Days per Week, on non-consecutive days).
... don't skip the morning mobility routine! This is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Do it for one week, and I bet you'll be hooked.
See Chapter 10 for more details on which program fits you best based your fitness level and current exercise schedule.
Repetition Speed (Tempo): Recommended tempos will be indicated in this format: 3131. This means a 3-second eccentric phase, 1-second hold at the bottom of the movement, 3-second concentric phase, and 1-second hold at the top of the movement.
Exercise Instructions: Refer to the "Mastering the Movements" for instructions on how to perform each exercise. For paperback book readers, use the index in the back of the book to look up exercises quickly by page number.
Hey, this is Scott. In this section, I'll explain why I wrote this book.
And, why I believe it will help you when nothing else has.
After years of being plagued by overuse injuries, joint pain, and movement limitations, I decided enough was enough.
I went back to the drawing board.
Started from scratch with no assumptions about what might be causing my issues or how to fix them.
I dove deep into the literature around corrective exercise, injury recovery, mobility training, and therapeutic sports nutrition.
During this process, I analyzed the slew of injuries and faulty joints I'd accumulated from years of sports and training (some of which you can see penciled on the cover of the book).
From head to toe, I was banged up and broken down:
Shoulder labrum tears and ongoing impingement syndrome.
Chronic elbow tendinopathy.
Ligament tears and inflammation in my wrists and hands.
Low back pain that flared up any time I lifted something heavy.
Knee pain, Achilles injuries, pulled groin and hamstring muscles...
The list was staggering. Ridiculous, really.
Especially since I was supposed to be a fitness authority.
As a Certified Personal Trainer and health researcher/writer, I should have known better than to let myself get so damaged.
And, I should have been able to dig myself out.
But I couldn't. As soon as I got over one injury, another popped up.
It was like playing whack-a-mole.
After years of research, interviewing experts, and gaining experience through coaching other athletes and clients suffering from the same issues, I noticed a few distinct patterns:
First, there is an accumulation of common overuse injuries when people reach a certain age. Regardless of their fitness level (because, as I explain in the book, this is largely caused by changes in connective tissue cell formations).
This accumulation of injuries creates an advancing cycle of pain compensations, muscle imbalances, postural faults, and altered joint mechanics.
Which naturally leads to more pain and injuries, more imbalances, and so on.
It's a complex process that grows increasingly complex (and difficult to escape from) the more times it cycles through.
Second, I couldn't find any resource that provided an understanding of the whole picture. Some of the parts were available. Plenty of literature on physical therapy methods, injury recovery tactics, and so on. But I couldn't find anything that made sense of the whole frustrating merry-go-round cycle (and how to get the hell off of it).
And third, and most importantly, I realized that most people don't fit into the available fitness boxes.
Well-intentioned mainstream fitness advice leads to pain, overuse injuries, and joint degeneration.
That's why it's the rule rather than the exception to be broken down by exercise.
As counterintuitive as that sounds, just think about that for a second.
Picture what the average gym-goer looks like and performs like.
Are they pain-free?
Happy with how their body is performing (especially as they reach their 30's, 40's, 50's and beyond)?
The answer is 'No' to all three for the vast majority of people.
It wasn't just me and the other people I'd met who were broken --- the system was broken.
I realized no one was going to put together all the pieces for me. I'd have to do it myself.
So, I began the slow, arduous process of assembling the pieces.
Eventually constructing a complete program that heals and prevents the most common injuries fitness enthusiasts and active hobbyists face.
Leveraging fundamental science-based principles from joint physiology, therapeutic sports nutrition, and the study of ergonomics.
Built from Broken is the story of how I finally recovered from (years) old nagging injuries, stopped tearing my joints apart with overuse injuries, and finally built a pain-free, functional body.
More than that, it's a guide on exactly how you can do the same.
It starts with understanding the truth about pain management, mobility training, and the joint degeneration process.
From there, you can start rebuilding the scaffolding of your body, mobilizing latent muscles, and building real strength.
Like I said before, if the mainstream methods aren't working for you, why not try something new?
I wrote this book to serve you in two distinct ways:
1) to guide you OUT of the hole you're currently in.
2) to serve as a reference source you can use to fix pain points and recover from minor setbacks for the rest of your life.
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