A few years ago I heard something that really made sense to me. I did not know it at the time, but it would eventually really change the way I coached the lifts, and thought about programing. I did not hear it straight from the source, only 2nd hand, actually it might have been third hand now that I think of it. I did not know Joe Mills at all. Never even met the man. But every time I hear someone talk about the things he used to say, I pay attention because it seems like so many of those things really, really make sense.
I believe it was Joe Dube that told me Mills told him that after a training session you can often tell if your technique was correct by where you are sore, and what muscles are fatigued. Actually it might have been another lifter from that era telling Dube that Mills used to say that, I forget. But however Dube heard it, the principle remains the same.
Mills believed that after a hard training session, the body as a unit should feel fatigued, but there should be no one area that feels especially tired. If the fatigue is centered around your legs, or centered around your lower back, it means you are doing something wrong and overusing that particular part of your body.
That simple statement has huge ramifications. Think about it for a while. Think about how you feel halfway through, or after a training session. What does that tell you about how you are doing the lifts? This is a typical Mills quote, seemingly very simple but only after months or even years the importance of it finally sink in.