In the movie “Girl Next Door,” one character questions the main character, asking: “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” He is referring to a point in the movie about whether or not a decision is worth the consequences it will bring upon him. *Spoiler Alert* It was.
This is no different that when you select exercises to put in a training program. You have to decide whether or not an exercise is worth the potential consequences that may come along with it. Look at the many factors that go into a specific movement, and then decide if it is applicable to the person you are programming for, even if it is yourself.
Does the person in front you have the requisite skill, strength, control and mobility to get the most out of it?
Could you possibly pick a different exercise and still get a similar outcome?
The first thing you need to look at is what is the purpose of exercise you are using, or what is the outcome you are searching for. Is it strength based? Hypertrophy? More on the conditioning side of things? Knowing this can go a long way to making the decision for you.
Once you have the intended purpose all picked out, take a look at the skill necessary to perform a certain exercise. Can that exercise help you get to the outcome you are searching for? If you wanted to increase upper body pressing strength, one movement you may select is the overhead press. However, the overhead press has a few requisite mobility and stability skills to it and you need to be real honest with yourself and determine whether or not you have those skills.
This is where you have to ask yourself the question, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” If I’m going to do an overhead press, is it worth it? Am I going to get everything out of it that I need to? There may be a better way to express upper body pressing strength. Even if you wanted to keep a vertical movement, there are landmine presses, dumbbell and kettlebell presses that you can substitute.
And even if you say screw it and keep a barbell overhead press in your program, always keep in the back of your mind whether you’re getting enough juice or gains to warrant any potential unwanted outcomes.