Unfortunately, the fitness industry is loaded with misconceptions that are readily accepted as fact, with those taken in by these misconceptions perpetuating them without even realizing what they are doing. Of all the mistakes made in the beginning of a strength training program, failing to build an appropriate base is one of the most common and one of the most likely to continue to go unnoticed. As with many things, a balanced approach ensures that lasting, long-term fitness gains are achieved for the benefit of the individual’s overall health and wellness.
It is quite common that those new to strength training will naturally gravitate to the exercises that focus on the so-called “vanity” muscles, and many others will attempt to take on the routine of someone who has been training for quite some time and has already properly built their base. Ken Fisher would surely point out that it is not always wise to simply adopt a strategy because it worked for someone else, as it is almost always more ideal to create a strategy based on the specific needs of the individual.
In strength training, beginners have to recognize their areas of weakness and build up base strength before moving on to the more complex movements featured in advanced training programs. The best way to do this is to focus on exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups through full-body movements. The classics are often the best place to begin, as pushups, pull-ups, squats and deadlifts all encourage base strength and recruit a number of important complementary muscle groups in the process. Once this base level is built up and strength gains are readily apparent, then it may be appropriate to incorporate strength training exercises that isolate specific muscle groups.