The idea of having a structured strength training program, specific exercises for specific repetitions in a specific order, is something I have a tough time grasping hold of. Although, I feel there is certain value to having a set “plan of action”, especially early on in ones training career when learning how to perform each exercise in a productive manner, is very important. But once those skills are acquired are the specific exercises the key to improving fitness?
From what I understand about exercise physiology, there are several occurrences that must take place in order for a muscle group to improve its strength. First, that muscle must be worked past its current capacity (overload); and a period of recovery must be allotted for to allow for an adaptation to occur. Furthermore, if total body strength is a goal than each muscle group must be worked directly or indirectly on a regular basis, generally speaking every few days.
Nowhere have I found that specific exercises are the cause for strength improvement but rather a means to establishing the proper training environment providing the effort is there. Since the muscles don’t have eyes or any other means of knowing where the stimuli is coming from the body is simply responding to the demands placed upon it.
What can be gathered from this information is that whatever exercise(s) one chooses to perform, if adequate effort is given a few times each week to all muscle structures than the body will become stronger and consequently more “fit”, maybe not on a workout chart but as a functional unit living life. – Douglas Scott