1. My nutrition is “pretty good.”
2. My workout is “pretty good.”
In the most kind, understanding and polite way possible, no…no they (nutrition and workout) aren’t but we only
have time to focus on one topic, so this month, it is your workout.
Most of the time we run into folks who are still breaking down body parts (Monday-chest, Tues-legs) or perform what I have come to label as the throwing darts workout. It is the kind of workout where you select a myriad of exercises that either do not compliment one another, arranged the exercises poorly or the workout simply do not make sense. Kind of like random hits on a dart board.
After 21 years as a personal trainer coaching clients all over the country and even a few internationally, I get it. When one walks into a fitness center or gym, the equipment options can be overwhelming and when we are overwhelmed, we naturally gravitate to what we know and are comfortable with. I think this is why everyone flocks to the bench press on Mondays or jumps on a treadmill for their 30 minutes of cardio. It is familiar and in their mind, safe.
What we want you to realize is that you can piece together a very effective workout and it might only include 4-6 exercises. Sometimes, less is more and not only could this workout be effective than a bunch of random exercises, you will get a better result and will become more efficient limiting your time in the gym.
The first thing we must do is to get you thinking about movement patterns vs. body parts. Each and every day we push, pull, stand up, sit down and rotate. These elements should always be a part of your strength training workout. The problem with body part workouts lies in if you miss a workout. For example, if you always hit chest day but consistently miss back day it is only a matter of time before an
overuse injury or poor posture results. Stick to movement patterns instead of body parts as you plan your routine.
Second, we will need you to suspend what you think you know about strength training or workout out in general. Smash workouts, the kind where you cannot walk for six days, are good for one thing. Encouraging you to quit. Of course you have to work hard to see results, but if you go after lower body fat or a more toned backside with reckless abandon, you risk both injury and dropping out. Why?
Because your tendons and ligaments cannot catch up a fast as your muscles when it comes to conditioning; this promotes tendinitis. And soreness that requires helping getting off the toilet does not motivate the vast majority of us to get back out and repeat the workout over and over. Results come through consistency. Not smash workouts.
Finally, start with a base program that will allow you to get foundational moves honed. If you can perform a body weight squat, push-up, front plank and split squat, you are ready for the next evolution of exercises. These movements form the base or foundation for a myriad of different progressions which will increase not only your conditioning, but your enjoyment of the routine. As your conditioning and confidence improve, you will be able to work at higher intensities and perform more advanced exercises. Base programs typically take four to six weeks, so be patient.
If you are stuck, the team at Integrated Wellness Concepts can help. We have the ability to create exercise programming that is specific to your abilities, skill set, condition and level of experience. All of which will ensure you are not throwing random darts in the gym.