In this post, I’m going to share with you the BEST method to use when you go to the gym. With all the different types of training it’s hard to figure out which one is best. There is the super-slow method, circuit training, aerobics classes, weight training, plyometrics, P90X, bodybulding, etc.
So with all those methods available, which one is the best?
There is NO such thing!
It depends on the person and their goals, not on the method.
I know, that’s not the answer you were probably expecting (unless you know me, that is lol) but it is the truth. The fact is that all methods of exercise work to one extent or another but an exercise program needs to be specific and personalized to get the best results. For example, do you think a performance program for a professional football player would be appropriate for an overweight middle-aged person who has had a sedentary lifestyle for the past 10 years? Or what about giving a arms and shoulders bodybuilding routine to a woman who has just given birth and wants to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight? I hope you answered “no” to both of those questions.
I would love to give you a straight answer to this question but unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. If it were, everyone who works out would have fantastic bodies.
For putting up with my cryptic answer, I do want to share with you some information that will help you to determine whether an exercise program is good for you or not. There might not be a universal way for everyone to get results from exercise, but there are principles that should be followed by EVERY program.
A Good Program Should:
1. Take Into Account Your Exercise Experience
While it should be somewhat intuitive that there should be differences between a program for an elite athlete versus a complete beginner, there is also science backing it up as well. Apparently beginning exercisers cannot recruit their muscles as efficiently as experienced exercisers. This needs to be taken into account for injury prevention as well as for optimal results.
2. Challenge You Appropriately
Your body will adapt to the stress you put on it but only if you stress it the right amount with adequate recovery time. If you either feel that you are becoming more and more exhausted every time you train, or that you feel like you are not being challenged at all, then you do NOT have a good program for you.
3. Take Into Account Any Injuries Or Limitations
If you are getting results from your program but your knee is always sore after you exercise, then something is wrong. Some people might be able to perform certain exercises at certain intensities, but they might not have the structural integrity to handle the mechanical stress of their program. I see this all the time with people following Cross Fit, P90X, or other intense programs. Their muscles are being challenged appropriately but they are limping or cannot lift their arm over their head for a few days after exercising. I personally put all my clients through a movement and postural assessment so I can find and fix problems before they impede our workout progress. All clients with current or prior injuries or postural imbalances go through a corrective phase of exercise before I progress them to more intense levels. This ensures that they will be able to maintain higher intensities for the long run without down time due to injuries. If you’re hurt you can’t workout, then all your prior hard work goes down the drain.
4. Be Progressive
You may be following the best exercise program around but eventually it will stop working for you. This is the fundamental nature of the human body; it always wants to adapt to any stress you put on it. If you don’t have a follow up to your current program that increases in intensity and builds on the foundation of your prior program, you will stop getting results. And building on your prior program is not as simple as just “adding more weight”, every variable can and should be changed; the exercises, speed of the exercises, number of sets, number of repetitions, the amount of resistance, and the time you rest are examples of some of the variables that should be changed for continued results.
5. Will Incorporate Nutrition
Whether you are an elite athlete aspiring to win a gold medal at the next Olympic Games or a busy professional who wants to shed a few unwanted pounds, nutrition is absolutely key to reaching your goal. While I’ll save the topic of good nutrition for another post (it will probably be the next one so don’t worry), I will say that nutrition is often the limiting factor in achieving your goals.
6. Be Results Oriented
It is really important to be goal oriented and clear about what those goals are. And your exercise program should reflect those goals with a follow up assessment to make sure you’re on the right track. For instance, if you’re someone who want to lose a few pounds and fit better in your clothes, yet your exercise program is actually making you heavier with no appreciable change in the way your clothes fit, then there’s a problem. Like wise, if you’re an athlete who is training to to perform better at your given sport but you’re becoming more tired, then there’s a problem there as well. The fact is, is that if you’re not getting results that are in accordance with your goals then your program probably needs some revising.
So that was a short list of considerations for determining if your getting the best out of your current exercise program. I hope you learned something!
If you’re tired of not getting the results you want from your exercise program and ready for something that works CLICK HERE. Whether in person or online, I can design a program suited to your needs and goals.