Hi Dr. Bell, I’m new to the gym scene. I was putting together an exercise program for myself from various resources and I noticed there are seated vs standing options for many exercises. Is it better to do all exercise seated or standing? Are there any benefits to doing both?

Every time you make a change to your workout: exercises, FITT, Program Design, Work Interval or Rest Interval, variations in grip, stance, position, etc. is a new stimulus to your systems. The new stimulus will act as “Shock” as defined by Dr. Selye’s General Adaptation Principle(GAP). GAP has 3 Phases: Shock: when a new stimulus is added; (2) Adaptation: to the new stimulus; (3) Staleness: occurring 2-3 weeks after the new stimulus has occurred. To keep your body adapting, a new stimulus(Shock), must be added every 2-3 weeks. Therefore, to keep your body moving safely and effectively toward your fitness goals, you need to change your programming by following the Gradual Progressive Overload(GPO) Principle and healthy variations. Going from Seated Exercises to Standing Exercises is one of many effective variations you can employ.

Since you will quickly find that you are less Stabile during a standing exercise than a seated exercise, many find standing a more Functional form of exercise. You will find more Core activation during most standing exercises than the seated variation. This is good for increasing total muscular involvement, though there is some increase in risk, particularly to the lower back, due the increased ability to “Cheat.” CHEATING has been used as a viable technique to advanced athletes, but should be avoided by beginners. There is a wide assortment of variations described in detail in the IFPA “Book of Personal Training” you received with the IFPA Personal Trainer Certification Course. Please review the book and course for many ideas to improve and vary your programming. If you are ready, consider the advanced course: The IFPA Program Design Specialist Certification Course for even more sophisticated options to optimize your training.

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