Top 3 Things you should learn about the Gym
Top 3 things you should learn about the gym
We know that getting great results from your fitness routine is important for everyone. Problem is, many people spend years “working out” with no real understanding of why they are doing what they are doing, and usually seeing very little results from it.
As a lifelong trainer and teacher, and having worked with thousands of clients of all ages, sizes, and skill levels, I wanted to give you the top 3 things you can learn at the gym that can improve the results of your exercise plan, regardless of what level you are now.
You should start by defining your terms. when you say, “workout” what do you mean? Are you speaking of some activity that simply elevates the heart rate for a sustained period of time? Or some strength session where you test your strength performing certain lifts which require skill to learn? These should not really be classified as “workouts” because they are doing very little to tap into your physiology, and that is what is required to make a change to your body. Let’s deal with both.
Drop the Cardio at the gym
40 years of research back up the findings that sustained cardio exercise releases cortisol, causing you body to STORE body fat. This is well know by the fitness industry, but many gyms refuse to accept it, because “cardio” is where the money is. Sheparding the masses onto cardio equipment, or even worse “cardio bootcamps” that not only cause you to store body fat but also increases the risk of injury are popular and tend to pull in big $$ from unsuspecting members.
At our gym, Fitness One in Kernersville the emphasis is on strength/interval combination training. Our classes utilize properly timed intervals and well modified exercises to promote safe, results based workouts. If you are looking for results and longevity, skip the cardio at the gym and go instead for balanced strength/interval workouts, complimented by yoga or performance based stretching.
Strength is King at the gym
Don’t be scared of “bulking up” from lifting weights at the gym. This is 99.5% of the time genetically impossible, and even if you did magically put on muscle, you are never going to wake up one morning, look in the mirror and say “oh my goodness! My muscles are to big!” It takes time to put on firm, lean muscle, but once you do it helps pick up the metabolism, you look better in your clothes and achieve that toned, lean look you are after.
As long as it is done the right way like in our strength based classes, a weight lifting class can present many benefits. These may be
all things you know. What you many not know is not all weight lifting classes are created equal. Many gyms popularize “olympic” lifts which really are primary feats of strength, which require special skills to complete. Thus, the bulk of time in the gym is there attempting to build “bulk” (which most people do not want) and getting good at doing weight lifting moves. This is the total opposite of what a strength session should be.
The emphasis should be on fatigue of a given muscle group, to momentary failure in one set of exercise. Once this stimulus is applied, the nervous system does the rest, rebuilding the muscle to have more strength during the next encounter.
Our classes utilize bands, weights and bodyweight exercises to achieve this stimulus, and this is really the only way to safely build the body without longterm effects on the body. I see “body builders” in their 40’s and 50’s who at one time were really good with olympic lifting, but now due to bad backs, injured shoulders and knees and a host of body aches, they are unable to exercise at all. You have to ask yourself, they were good at weight lifting for awhile. Now many of them are unable to work out at all. Did they really win on that one?
Strength training under control, preferably with variable resistance and the proper loading to momentary failure is the desired way to apply an actual exercise stimulus to the body. Many other forms of “exercise” are feats of skill and strength, and aren’t doing as much to better the person in the way of fitness. These things are beneficial, for example our kickboxing fitness program gives a great interval cardio stimulus, all while teaching balance, coordination and developing flexibility. It is not however, the best way to tone until it is coupled with one of our science based strength workouts.
To sum this section up, strength and building lean muscle is absolutely the BEST way to achieve fitness results, but doing it properly is paramount. Don’t focus on how much you can lift, instead on safest ways to achieve the right stimulus, making you strong…Not good at exercise techniques. At my facility I teach new members the proper way to achieve not only body strength, but also be able to move well and live well. Strength is king, but it needs to be done the right way.
Cardiovascular training done properly has benefits, but done the traditional way, sustained heart rate (like on cardio equipment at a box gym) has been proven to raise cortisol levels and cause the body to store extra fat.
It is what it is… a look at genetics
When you see a fit person in the gym, it is human nature to think that they got their body because of some “secret” routine, exercise or meal plan they did. It may well be the person, but most of the time, those people tend to have a genetic advantage, already possessing the “look” and achieving the cultural ideal with very little effort. You must understand that your genetics are going to have some impact on your end goals of a fitness routine.
You should never worry about being “like someone else” you see at the gym or in a magazine, instead work to be the best version of you. You will always look, and feel better with less body fat and more lean muscle, so follow a strength routine that is known to get results and you will get the most out of your routine. Don’t attribute knowledge to someone on instagram who has the genetics to be a size 2, or has short muscle bellies giving the “pumped up” bicep look. Also guys, remember that the monsters in the gym 99% of the time are cheating…(steroids) Or taking hundreds of dollars worth of supplements per month to try to get that look. Be smart, and train safe for your best results, something that is safe and can be maintained.
If you are looking for a gym near you, Find a gym in your area that truly understands exercise. If you are local to the Kernersville, N.C. area, I would love to meet you, give you a tour of our facility and help you learn how a results based program could benefit you.
Always here to help and pay it forward,
Allen Branch CPT, SCS, SNS, NASM-PES
Fitness One Training Systems
“It’s time to put an expert in your corner.”