I'm here to tell you that you CAN see great results with efficient 1 hour workouts or even less - whether it's weight loss or to build a physique like a greek god. Anyone who tells you otherwise probably doesn't have a clue on what he or she is doing. Take for example the personal trainer at your gym who only spends 1 hour with his/her clients, but when they do their own workouts - it sometimes goes up to 2 hours each. Are you being cheated? Well no - it's just that they probably have no clue on what they're doing themselves. But - we'll save that story for another day before this post becomes a long-winded rant. So I've just got ONE secret to share with you - and actually, it's not much of a secret at all.
Are you ready? …
The GREATEST piece of advice I can give to have a productive workout is:
#1 Secret: Have A Workout Plan
And as obvious as it may seem - most people just don't do it right - and most will insist on still going ahead even when they know this is what needs to be addresses. When I say 'workout program' - I don't just mean something like Chest on Mondays, Back on Tuesdays, Arms on Thursdays, etc. We want to get into the details.
- Specific exercises
- The order of exercises done
- Number of sets, rep range, how long to rest between sets
- What days to work out, and when to take a day off
- Supporting nutritional habits - what to eat and when, and how much, what to avoid
- How long should it span - 3 months? 6 months?
- Does training intensity vary every month - continuously challenging your body and forcing it to adapt
Can I tell you, that great physiques are born this way?
Would you drive to another state if you didn't know your way? No - you'd probably get a map, or some people even invest in a GPS system for their cars so they can be really specific and even know exactly where to take a turn. There's no reason why our workouts should be any different - cos after all, we ARE taking our physiques from Point A to Point B right?
Back when I was still working in the IT Industry a couple of years ago, my bosses used to drill the phrase "Failing to plan is planning to fail" into me very often - and I'm extremely grateful for that. That phrase holds true for many aspects of our lives.
As long as you have a PLAN, or if I can call it a 'roadmap', you will be able to exercise with 100% focus. You can plot your journey right because you know where you're heading. No more guesswork, no more lingering around at the gym thinking of what to do next, no more frustration as to why you aren't seeing results in a few weeks because… you have a plan and you haven't reached your 'destination' yet. And that plan should ideally span for a few months long - not just one that repeats itself every week.
The Trouble With Most Of Us
Many of you may be saying right now, that you DO have a 'plan'. But today, I'd like to challenge your plan. How complete is it? Was it even designed specifically for you, taking into consideration your goals, needs, limitations, and perhaps even your medical condition? Does it take into account what foods are available to you? Probably not.
Many people tend to just try out random routines they get off the Internet (a majority of which are designed for the typical bodybuilder), and after a couple of weeks (or on rare occasions they stick to it for a few months), they'll just hop on to something else - because there was never a PLAN - there was never any form of continuity). Of course, there are many great routines out there, like Turbulence Training (which I highly recommend if you need some help with getting a plan) - but the problem with most of us is that we just don't stick to the plan long enough, and we give up, and then we complain. Who is to blame?
How You Can Start Having Productive Workouts That Get You To Your Goals
My advise to you, if you're looking at getting started with a plan is to work with a coach/personal trainer who understands your goals and limitations to come up with a customised routine for you. One that is designed to fit your schedule. A well designed workout program can do wonders for your 'gym life' and breathe fun and excitement back into your dull old gym routine. It can deliver solid results.
A great trainer has his/her own 'secret sauce' that they can 'pour over' their workout program. I'm not just saying this, but I know this for sure - in my quest to get the ultimate plan for myself, I ended up investing a lot of money to work with someone I consider to be a nutritional genius and a world-class coach, Dr. John M Berardi, PhD, CSCS. My investment was worth every single cent as it has completely changed my life and the way I do things - and I'm not exaggerating. I am now on Month-5 of my workout plan and I've never felt this awesome before. It is important to know that you can always learn something from someone who is fitter than you - and I decided to take a shortcut and learn from the best.
You should too.
It is my honest desire that everyone makes good use of their time at the gym - while still getting maximum results. I'm tired (and often feel sorry) for people who pound away at the gym for hours and hours and yet walk away feeling unsatisfied - I'd like to save you time, because time is priceless, and it is too precious to be spent doing something that could be done so much faster. That time you've been wasting at the gym is better off spent with your kids, your significant other, reading a book, pampering yourself with a massage, or in my case, it means more time with my rottie at home (who I don't get to see much when I'm out working with clients all day).
So if all this while you've been thinking you could get that physique you've been dreaming of by performing random exercises at the gym? Well I'm sorry to burst your bubble. It takes a little bit more work than that. And little bit here is an understatement.
So yes, it took a really long blog post to illustrate my point - but I needed to say all of it. And now you too know, that the secret to having a productive workout is to have a plan.