Should I concentrate on handful of popular exercises or go for variety
Rationale behind selecting few exercises
a. less time to plan for workout
It is clear as daylight if you focus on 2 to 3 exercises then you don’t have to plan for the training session. You warm up and get started with your predetermined routine. So less energy spend for planning and more for working out. That way you avoid the proverbial analysis paralysis.
b. getting superior results from handful of highly effective exercises
When you just concentrate on few exercises you will go for the elite ones. Maybe you list will be like kettlebell swing, Turkish getup, deadlift, back squat, pullup. These exercises are undisputed kings and favorite of most of the fitness gurus and coaches. By selecting these very effective exercises you can naturally expect to get superior results.
c. becoming highly proficient in the techniques of those few exercises
it cannot be over emphasized that proper techniques are very important for the exercises to produce results and for remaining injury free. As you are not dabbling with a number of exercises it is expected your technique will be impeccable in course of time
Rationale behind selecting many types of different exercises
a. boredom may hit
On the contrary if you are only focusing on few exercises you are certainly going to hit the wall of boredom. Human beings as a race is quite vulnerable to this issue. So at least for the sake of variety, which will ultimately help you prolong your exercising life, you should add variety to your exercising routines.
b. extra work to plan your workout may be good as it enhances your involvement with the training process as a whole
Work done for designing your program do have quite a few positives, in that it will keep you attached to your training. And more attachment you have more consistent you will be in your training [i.e. you will miss less training days] and so will be your results.
c. training all the muscle groups in various types of functional routines is not possible using handful of exercises
Human body is a machine with many capabilities. Unfortunately, less used capabilities get atrophied over a period of time. Exercising is an effective way to keep the abilities alive making regular use of those. And just a few exercises no matter how effective they are in some aspects are grossly inadequate to keep body’s functional abilities alive and kicking.
Finding the middle path for best of both worlds.
a. select some core exercises do be done regularly.
The middle ground is most fertile. Where in one would focus on few top exercises maximum 6 or so, and in a particular week you should focus on 2 or 3 at max then next week focus to be shifted to remaining elite exercises. And if switching exercise every week is inconvenient switching once in to two weeks or even four weeks also works
b. throw in various other types of exercises in the mix with less regularity
These exercises should work as warmup routines, and are to be rotated like the elite exercises. various calisthenics exercises, suspension training, isometric workout with bulworker and such will be filling this space.
c. maintain an exercise log to be sure the planned ratation frequency is maintained.
to keep things manageable, maintain a training log. It is always good to maintain the log online, so that whenever you want you can take a look and if you wish you can share it with some coach to get feedback and new ideas.