GMB Integral Strength: Week Three Review

Week three saw a change of format (here’s week one and two’s write-up).

Three weekly sessions became four, while a tad of cardiovascular training, in the form of skipping and sprinting, was added.

Two sessions were designed to emphasise strength and power, while the remaining two were labelled strength endurance. Although technically this holds true, the disparity between the two session types was minimal.

So. What did I learn?
  • Single leg training is underestimated and under-appreciated.
    • As I continue to chip away at shrimp squats, it has become increasingly apparent how poor my hip control is. This has illuminated the lack of carryover from bilateral movements, where you can clearly get away with not only poor single leg hip control, but significant asymmetries.
    • I suspect that with continued training and progression of single leg movements, bilateral movements, such as squats and deadlifts will improve, though this will be difficult to quantify.
    • Evidence is mounting, indicating that single leg training could perhaps replace bilateral training altogether in athletic endeavours that don’t require the squat (exluding powerlifting and weight lifting). This is because of the comparable strength and hypertrophy gains coupled with the greater athletic carryover and supposed reduced injury risk.
  • Vary your movements often, including the use of novel movements.
    • Including novel movements helps to boost body and spatial awareness. Furthermore, this will likely have carryover to other movements, allowing you to recruit muscle groups more efficiently.
    • The caveat here is, don’t aim for progression as you would your ‘regular’ programming, but rather, treat it as ‘play’. Admittedly, I’ve found this concept difficult having always approached physical training with a regimented approach.
  • A lower volume schedule allows quality to be emphasised.
    • GMB’s allotted time blocks per movement initially left me with the sense that it would be difficult to progress with such low volume. As the circuits have rolled on though, I’m beginning to grasp the value that low volume has when it comes to focusing on quality. If the sessions followed a more ‘traditional’ plan, the mindset would inevitably shift to getting the work over and done with. Cleverly, GMB has forced participants to work on quality and as the weeks continue (and volume increases) the quality habit will be instilled within.
  • The body’s response to training in not linear.
    • At the conclusion of the fourth and final circuit of the week, it was apparent how much more difficult I had found this workout relative to the equivalent session earlier in the week. This highlighted to me that variables such as training time (morning versus midday in this example) can have an impact on how the body responds to physical stimulus.
    • In addition, this ‘aha’ moment illustrated that you cannot base your performance or progression on a single session of training. This, no doubt, leads to program hopping, destroying long term progress.
Summarising

As I alluded to last week, I was interested to see GMB’s responsiveness when it came to asking for feedback. I sent a video of my inverted press asking for critique. Sure enough, a GMB accredited trainer responded swiftly with feedback (aim to keep my elbows tucked). I thought highly of this. Knowing that a support system is in place is a nice touch.

One concern I will raise is the push-pull balance. At present, there is a large bias towards pushing movements. Whether this is a result of equipment restrictions or not, I don’t know. Perhaps the team at GMB know something I don’t.

My thoughts were, too much pushing can lead to overload of certain musculature (such as the anterior deltoids) predisposing an individual to the likes of impingement. By utilising movements in the opposite direction (i.e. pulling) this imbalance can be offset.

Time will tell! My body (and shoulders) have been tolerating well thus far.

Stay tuned for next week’s summary!

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