Someone asked me a very good question today that I thought would be worth addressing in a quick post. I was asked if the exercises I had given this person were the best ones for him to get to the goals he had. The honest answer was I don't know. Let me explain.
I always pick exercises that I believe will get someone to where they want to get to. Naturally as a powerlifter I tend to lean towards compound exercises if it works for the client. Not just because I’m a powerlifter but also because as a general rule you will get the most bang for your buck using compound multi joint exercises. However this doesn't mean these will be the best exercises.
This particular client was having his first session with me so I haven't built up a relationship with him yet that will allow me to start focusing in what really works for him etc. Some people for example will say bench press doesn't work for them as they don't feel it in their chest. As I gain more experience I am realising a lot of these people simply have poor technique and don't understand how to activate their muscles, they simply go through the motions. Educating people on how to contract the chest and how to execute the bench press usually changes that.
However some people genuinely do not feel bench press in their chest. In this case perhaps a chest press machine or benching with dumbbells will work better. As much as I would love to sit here and say you need to bench if you want a big chest or you need to do back squats if you want big legs I can’t. Lunges, leg pressing and other variations are still very effective exercises. Everything needs to be individual to the client/person and it needs to be effective to them.
So to answer the original question did I give him the best exercises? At the moment I believe so but that could change as our relationship grows and I understand more about him. Don't be a one trick pony have plenty of tools in your arsenal.