When you go to the gym, or you go out to get some exercise. You should be able to answer this question;
"what is the purpose of this exercise?”
This might seem a bit of an odd question - if it does… you certainly need to keep reading.
What is the purpose of your exercise?
Too many people exercise just to tick the box - while it’s great that you’re out there doing something, consider this.
Inappropriately planned exercise can lead to; Injury, Adrenal fatigue, unwanted weight gain, at best the wrong kind of progress, little or no progress. All of which lead to the worst side effect of all - loss of enthusiasm.
But don’t worry! With some simple forethought you can plan a workout that will be less time consuming and more effective!
But we need to start with finding your "Why"
For most of us, it boils down to one or a combination of these;
To Control Stress
To lose fat
To enhance athletic performance
To Manage injury
Despite all the Noise (over complicated workouts trying to do everything and effectively doing very little) in the fitness industry right now, one truth remains
The body responds specifically to the environment it finds itself in. Ergo - less "noise" means less wear and tear on your body, better time efficiency, quicker and more noticeable progress towards your goals. Moreover, if what you are doing isn't working. You will soon know.
While the marketing and the Instagram accounts are constantly pumping out the latest exercise trends. The ways in which the body adapts to exercise have not changed -
lift weights and your muscles will get stronger first and then begin to grow,
start running and your heart and lungs will improve their efficiency as well as your musculoskeletal system adapting to run more easily.
Fat loss you’re after? - then take your magazine and get off the elliptical trainer. You are going to need to restrict your calories, and challenge your body to move in unfamiliar ways. Next metabolic (fat burning) session you do - Get on the piece of cardio equipment you hate the most, work very hard and for less than 10 minutes at a time. When you start liking that machine,I'm sorry but it's no longer effective - time to head for a different exercise.
And guess what, having more muscle will help you to burn more fat just by sitting there - so lift some weights too.
Have a plan
Every exercise you do in the gym should have a reason - don't get me wrong, if stress management is one of your main goals then by all means throw in some" just for fun" exercises. But be aware, these could be detracting (time and adaptation) from your other goals.
In a nut-shell. Here’s how it’s done.
Weight Loss - Inefficient movement and caloric restriction (put simply, for the detailed instructions you need for nutrition you should see a nutritionist).
Athletic performance - Get strong (lift heavy weights, then lift heavy weights quickly) with "specificity", practice your sport
Hypertrophy (Muscle Gain) - Lift heavy weights for high reps
Mobility (Feel better) - Address the source of you ROM limitation, address it. Practice functional movements through maximum pain free ROM.
Strength - Learn to lift and carry heavy things, lift and carry heavy things.
Stick with your training for a minimum of 6 weeks before you judge the results. But if you follow a well designed and specific plan to the letters - you’ll be amazed at the results.
Before your next workout - sit down for a few minutes, write down why you’re working out. Then Write down a list of exercises, sets and reps that you’re going to get done. Keep your mind on the job at hand in the gym - switch your phone off so you don't get distracted. I guarantee you’ll have your most enjoyable and productive workout in a while.