It doesn't have to be pretty, but it shouldn't be ugly.
You can always count on the basics to get the job done.
The world of fitness today is pretty crazy. you can hop online and find thousands of workouts and exercises within seconds.
With all of that info out there, it can be easy to gravitate toward "pretty" and novel exercises and workout routines. The ones that promise to give you everything with minimal work. The ones that look exciting and new.
Here's the thing... the best and most effective exercises are still the most basic.
Results come from consistently squatting, pressing, rowing, cleaning, and deadlifting weights of all kinds. From moving your body weight; pushups, pullups, dips, lunges, squats, jumps, etc. And from carrying and pushing heavy things like sleds around the room.
These movements aren't extravagant or flashy. They're not pretty. They are effective!
They key to making consistent and quality progress is to focus on mastering these movements within each and every workout. It's in nailing the technique and learning to perform each repetition deliberately and with purpose. It's in trying to get just a little better every day.
If you're just going through the motions and not paying attention, you'll miss out on the most valuable aspects of your workout.
That's something that I see get skipped over all too often. The focus shifts from performing high-quality reps and movements to just getting the workout done. As a result, technique breaks down, people get hurt, and time gets wasted. Things get ugly.
Not every workout has to be new and exciting. Nor should it be. There's tremendous value in routine. It gives you the opportunity to practice being strong and moving well, to learn from your mistakes, and to continually progress forward.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that variety for the sake of variety is the key to progress. Pick the most effective exercises (and a few variations) and stick to them... for a long time!
At Devoted Strength we choose every exercise, from warmup to the last rep, with a purpose. Sure, things are always evolving. If we find a more effective movement or coaching cue, we'll make sure they get used. Even with that, the basics will never disappear.
Your workout doesn't have to be pretty, fancy, or state-of-the-art, but it should always be high-quality and effective. Never ugly, without focus, or without the goals of mastery and constant improvement.