I am addicted to Instagram. I spend too many hours to count looking at random stuff every night before bed on random pages. Most of the stuff I am watching or looking is training or fitness-related.
I often scroll through accounts owned by big name athletes, small time gyms and other professionals in the industry.
There is so much good stuff out there I find myself learning something nearly every night. Alas, like anything though there is a dark side to my findings.
At least once a day I stumble across an account or a post that promotes a ridiculous training progression or a savage workout, and without a doubt they finish their post saying, "try this out".
I am proponent of fun, believe it or not, but some of the stuff I see boggles my mind.
For example: There is no better pre-req for handstand push ups than being strong enough to press your body weight. None. Period.
Messing around with bands or ab-mats to improve a skill that requires a high degree of strength is crazy to me. Of course, there are lots of people who can do handstand push ups without pressing their bodyweight, but I assure you they are closer than most. My stance is: Press approximately 75% of bodyweight and you can probably do a strict hspu. Perform strict hpsus and you can learn to kip. Simple as that.
OK, now that I have had my rant, here's what I want to ask you guys:
Do you pick the exercise most beneficial to your improvement, or do you pick the one that looks the sexiest?
Toes to bar are sexy, v -ups allow for more time under tension. Handstand push ups are sexy, pressing your bodyweight for multiple reps is far more impressive. Pistols are sexy, loaded single leg Bulgarian split squats make me want to puke. Muscle ups are sexy, improving your strict pull up is only going to make you better at muscle ups.
We as coaches provide you with the options because we know not all of you have the same goals as one another. We can guide and coach, but at the end of the day you are your own adult and can make the decision that is best for you on that day. Strength will win every time. Gimmicks are just that. Gimmicks.
If you are unsure of what tool might be best for you consider meeting with your coach. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to the class coach prior to the circle question to ask them what they think might be best for you for the given daily workout.