Is “Variety” underrated or overrated?

Is “Variety” underrated or overrated?

Variety, they say, is the spice of life.

I agree – to an extent.

In all honesty, I like variety in my own training.

And I recently stated so in one of my videos. 

As a result, I was asked why I liked variety if many of my programs are only one or two exercises. 

To be fair, that’s not exactly true.

There’s ‘THE GIANT’ – which is 2 exercises – the Clean + the Press. And you can “add in” a few exercises if you feel like you need to.

There’s ‘The King Sized Killer’ – which is 1 exercise – the Snatch.

There’s the “Strong!” program – also 2 exercises – the Clean + the Press.

And ‘SWING HARD!’ – which is 2 exercises – the 2-Hand Swing and the 1-Hand Swing.

Fair enough. 

BUT…

There’s also “Kettlebell HARD!,” which is 20 different programs using double kettlebell complexes and chains comprising the following double KB lifts: Swing, Snatch, High Pull, Clean, Press, Push Press, Jerk, Front Squat and Rows. (That’s 9 lifts.)

And “Kettlebell Burn,” which uses the following single KB lifts: Clean, Press, Turkish Get Up, Goblet Squat, Staggered Stance Row, Get Up Sit Up, 2-Hand Swing, 1-H Swing, Snatch, Contralateral Single Leg Deadlift. (That’s 11 lifts, going by memory.)

And “Kettlebell Burn EXTREME!” uses the following double KB lifts: Press, Squat, Clean, and Swing. (That’s 4.)

‘EASY MUSCLE’ has multiple schedules with multiple exercises, including: Clean, Press, Squat, Swing, Dips, and Chins. (That’s 6.)

“Kettlebell MAXIMORUM” only uses 4: Double Clean + Press, Double Front Squat, and Single KB Snatch.

So why the “variety” with the programming variety?

Simple. 

We’re all DIFFERENT.

Some people can go “an inch wide and a mile deep” and prefer minimalist programming.

Some people prefer more “variety” or they go crazy.

Some people, like myself, swing between the two depending on their season of life.

Others NEED to “cure” their easily distractible natures – jumping from program to program with the rigid structure of a minimalist program to ensure they actually make the progress they’re looking for.

And still others are limited by high mileage from a life of hard work.

At the end of the day, because we all are different, we need different programs for our own individual ultimate goals.

However, the one thing we all have in common, is that we expect a high ROI on our efforts. 

And that fastest way to do that, is to use a different form of “variety,” that works for practically everyone called “variable loading.”

What’s that?

It’s a training structure characterized by apparently near-random, contrasting training loads designed to speed up and maximize your results.

In fact, I think it’s one of the key differentiators between my programming and almost everyone else’s. 

In the simplest of terms, you can think of it as “contrasting” training variable, like “heavy – light.”

Or even “Light – Medium – Heavy,” or some variation. (There’s that word again.)

I used to spend Saturdays from mid-1996 to mid-2000 with my weightlifting coach, Alfonso Duran, at his gym, training, watching him train his clients, and picking his brain.

One of the very first things he taught me was Prof. Arkady Voroboyev’s discovery on “variable loading.” It became a mainstay in all my programming.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a whiz at programming to benefit from variable loading. In many cases, you can simply use “autoregulation” to aid in the task.

“Autoregulation” is simply the self-management of your work output based upon your current “state” – psychological, emotional, and physical. 

And this state changes for most on a daily basis, similar to waves on the ocean.

It is a major training variable around which most people over 30, and especially over 40 and 50, would be smart to organize their training.

And that means some days, your KB(s) feel(s) light and your workout easy. Other days, it’s the opposite – you feel like a giant foot is grinding you into the earth, like a cigarette butt.

So, if you need “variety” in your training, just remember, using variable loading and autoregulation are some of the best ways to make that happen. 

Doing so, whether using a minimalist program, or a traditional program, practically guarantees you keep getting leaner, stronger, and better conditioned for years to come. 

Stay Strong,

Geoff

P.S. If you asked me what’s the “best” program for YOU, NAME, I honestly couldn’t tell you.

But, generally speaking, if you want to get leaner (lose some fat) you could use:

👉 [1]  Kettlebell Burn – which is a single KB program https://go.chasingstrength.com/kettlebell-burn/ 

👉 [2]  Kettlebell Burn EXTREME! – which is a RAPID fat loss double KB program https://salutis.kartra.com/page/D9h108 

And if you wanted to become an overall BadA$$, I’d recommend:

👉 Kettlebell MAXIMORUM https://go.chasingstrength.com/kettlebell-maximorum-e/ 

And if you needed some minimalist, “Big Bang For Your Buck” time efficient programming, I’d use either:

👉 [1]  ‘THE GIANT’ https://salutis.kartra.com/page/oWP219 

Or 

👉 [2]  The King-Sized Killer https://cart.chasingstrength.com/ksk2 

BUT…

If you’re not sure about this whole “autoregulation thing” and still wanted to use “traditional” rest period type programming, you could use the following:

👉 [1]  Minimalist – The “Strong!” program https://cart.chasingstrength.com/strong3 

👉 [2]  EXTREME Conditioning, Tough Workout Programs – Kettlebell HARD! https://cart.chasingstrength.com/hard3b 

Copyright 2024 ChasingStrength.com, all rights reserved.