Most people join the gym to change the way they look and feel. It’s exciting for the first couple of workouts, but then it becomes work. Making time, changing habits, and not being able to eat whatever you want take all the fun out of the thought that you were going to lose 20-lbs in just a couple of workouts. You start to realize that this is what your life looks like going forward, if you continue to go down this path.
This is the moment when you have to start making decisions with your end-result in mind.
I begin to think of what the average person goes through at the gym. They have goals, but no real idea of what it’s going to take to fulfill them. Most people work really hard the first couple of weeks—maybe even a month—thinking that they can get in shape without help. After this point, they have either gotten discouraged because of the lack of progress, or they have gotten hurt, or both. There are some basic rules you can follow that will allow you to make progress. The most important thing to do is to get an exercise plan so you can achieve maximum benefit.
So often, I see people that only workout once a week and wonder why they haven’t made the progress that they have envisioned. The average person needs to do something at least 5 out of 7 days. The older we get, the more we need to do. Now that doesn’t mean you have to lift weights every day, or do cardio every day, but you have to do something. Most people benefit from having weight workouts one day and cardio the next.
There are many ways to get to your end result without getting bored.
One example of a good workout week would be: Day one: total body weights, Day two: interval weights (which would be considered a metabolic workout), Day three: core strength, stretching, and balance work, Day four: cardio intervals, and Day five: back to a metabolic workout. Now you have a week with all the components you need for multiple areas in your life. This is just an example of a week that you could make real progress with body composition change. You would lose weight, improve flexibility, get stronger, and have better endurance. These are all things that most people want to do, but they rarely have any guidance or ever achieve real results. Most clubs give you lots of options, but no real plan.
I’ve been working out for 34 years, so I’ve pretty much seen it all. There was a time when we thought that if you did hours of slow cardio, you could achieve significant weight-loss. This proved to be false. Research now tells us that even if you were only going to work out three days a week, you would do a total body weight, a metabolic (interval with weights), and a cardio interval workout (about a 20 to 40 min workout). We now know that load and intensity are the most important things—they allow us to get the most bang for our buck.
The bottom line is that if you want to reach your fitness goals you have to do something multiple time a week.
Don’t be fooled by schedules with lots of options that you’re not quite sure what they are for. Instead, map out your week using a simple plan that will help you reach your goal. All you need is an investment of five hours a week, or less. We watch more than five hours of TV most nights. Most of us have the time; we just need help understanding what we need to do to get maximum results.
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