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About a month ago while traveling to the PHAT Muscle Academy in Springfield, MO, I had the opportunity to train at a very sweet gym with all kinds of cool equipment (shout out to GP Athletics.)

While I did a lot of the same lifts I would usually in a training session, this gym had a pendulum squat machine. This is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now but never had the opportunity. After getting my initial warm ups and blood flowing, I was ready to put this machine in its place and dominate it. Wrong.

First, the weight that I thought I should use was way too heavy, so I had to lighten it up. Second, it took me 2-3 sets to find the right foot position. Third, I had to find the tempo that activated the muscles best. Finally, my right knee seemed to not like the movement pattern. Needless to say, that machine didn’t give my legs the stimulus I was hoping for or used to getting from my normal lifts.

All that doesn’t mean it isn’t an effective lift, but it does mean I would need more time to adapt and get proficient at the movement. This is a great example of why changing lifts frequently isn’t the most efficient way to train.

Like learning to ride a bicycle, it takes time to get better at it. With a new movement pattern, it’s not so much developing the muscle, but rather just getting more proficient doing it. Once that hurdle is met, then there can be progress on the muscle and strength gains.

While some like the novelty of trying new exercises, it’s not the quickest path to improvement. The key is to give each movement adequate time to learn, adapt and then progress. That all said, you can be sure the next time I’m in Springfield, that pendulum squat and I are going to have round two.

Work out


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