As you know, I am a total nerd when it comes to learning and reading so I follow a handful of strength coaches to glean information that I can apply to my own training routine and for my clients.
Whether it’s a new exercise, a mindset trick, a new perspective about food, I love learning new things and passing them on to you and my clients.
This morning I got this great email from Chris Lopez, an outstanding kettlebell coach that I follow. So today’s email topic was inspired by his email.
I’m here to workout...and that's it
At the 24-hour fitness where I do most of my workouts this is what happens year after year - I see the same people on the gym floor day after day doing a completely different set of unrelated exercises. Then one year from now I see them doing the same exercises, lifting the same amount of weight and looking the same!
So what happened?!
Most people go to the gym to feel better but more importantly they started going to LOOK better.
There is a huge misconception that just going to the gym and getting a ‘good’ workout will do wonders for your body composition and the way they look in the mirror.
Just going to the gym fulfills most people’s goal to ‘workout’ for the day which is great!
But if you’re looking for a specific result or to reach a specific goal doing just a ‘workout’ won’t cut it.
When people say they want to lose weight what they mean is that they want to transform the way they look which is to change their body composition - lose bodyfat and gainmuscle or more tone
And to achieve those results any ‘workout’ won’t get you there.
Most will hop on the cardio machine and do an hour of cardio then maybe lift some Barbie weights which places them on a path of muscle loss and fat gain, the opposite of what people want.
If you want specific, measurable results you need to be on a program.
Here I will explain the differences between a ‘workout’ and being on a training ‘program’.
Are you feeling it?
I always send out surveys to my clients to get their feedback on what I could do better to support them as a trainer. Here was one feedback,
“Sometimes I feel like I should leave the session so destroyed I can barely move or talk and am covered in sweat. I wouldn't mind that. Would make me feel like I did some serious exercise, even if it doesn't make much of a difference overall.”
I find this type of opinion to be a Crossfit mentality that is being perpetuated in the social media feeds and what the masses constitutes as a great workout. They are after the ‘feels’ even if it doesn’t contribute to your long term goals and purpose.
People love feeling destroyed after their workouts and barely being able to get out of bed the next day. I think this is crazy and stupid because exercise is suppose to ‘enhance’ your body and your life, not make you feel like a weakened ragdoll.
You can create any workout that will make you feel great in the end which is why bootcamps and group classes are so popular but talk to them a year later and see if they improved on their body composition and have gotten stronger.
Most will tell you no.
A workout makes you feel great afterwards but a PROGRAM is based on progression and long term goals.
This is the difference between ‘feeling good’ and actually getting results which is body recomposition.
Looking for the ‘killer’ workout effect?
As I mentioned above most bootcamps and group classes can make you burn and feel pain during class. You get the immediate gratification of 'I just got a killer workout'.
Want to do a killer workout at home?
Give me 100 burpees, 100 pushups, and 100 bodyweight squats.
Simple. Don’t need to attend a class for that.
A workout gives you satisfaction of completing a ‘killer’ workout but a PROGRAM may have light or easy training sessions to help you accelerate the process of getting results faster.
This speaks to the importance of sequencing your training programs so you get improved adaptations to your exercises and better end results. This ‘periodization’ as we call it helps you avoid stagnation, plateaus, and overtraining while encouraging physiological and performance adaptions.
It’s impossible to be chasing your goal target indefinitely which is why it’s important to cycle or periodize workouts.
We cannot be on a fat loss program year round.
Athletes cannot be ‘in-season’ year round.
Victoria Secret models lock down their diets for a small part of the year then ease off the rest of the year.
Bodybuilder’s are not prepping for a contest year round, they have off seasons.
Having the right PROGRAM will help you cycle your workouts so you train ‘in-season’ and ‘off-season’ to avoid getting burnt out and getting hurt while continuing getting results.
Do you have too much variety in your workouts?
In this age of social media our attention span has dramatically shortened.
We want new.
We want trend.
We want to get caught up in the new wave of diets and workouts that promise us faster, better results.
This also applies to our workouts and exercise routines. We always want to try something new and experiment with what we saw on Instagram then wonder how come we don’t have a body like them.
A PROGRAM is built around your goal versus a WORKOUT is mindless, varied repetitions of exercises that lead to no where.
Programs are built around finding the simplest solution to your goal which can often be less variety versus a workout is built around variety so you don’t get bored.
So what does my standard programs look like for most my clients?
I always focus on the big bang movements which are some variations of the squat, hinge, push and pull movements. These exercises give you the biggest return to burn fat and build muscles because they recruit large groups of muscles to brace and stabilize the core while focusing on technique and coordination.
Now after we put the big rocks in our training program then I put in the more fun exercises that my clients enjoy because it is their workout and I want to make it enjoyable for them.
I find that in most workouts people focus more on the ‘fun’ versus the ‘big bang’ movements. Then they wonder why they look the same one year from now or that their weight has stalled.
This is one reason why.
If your workouts have too much variety you aren’t building enough skill and putting enough repetitions to get an intense enough training effect to get you the results you’re looking for.
Are you just working out or are you on a program?
It’s too easy to go into the gym and get on the cardio machine then dabble with the weights and feel satisfied with your workout. It’s another to hold yourself accountable to a program and track what you’ve done.
This difference is what separates people who get results versus the ones who don’t.
So do you just want to lose weight OR do you want to lose weight, tone AND be stronger one year from now?