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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stop Messing Around And Start Getting Results From Your Workout Program

Unfortunately, the majority of Americans don't exercise. Even sadder? Too many of those who do, get poor, mediocre, or no results because they don't make the best use of their workout time.

Disclaimer: The following doesn't apply to you if you are training for an athletic event or are a competitive bodybuilder.

However, if you're like most people who are interested in dropping excess fat, having more energy, feeling better, and just generally improving the quality of your life, read on.

You should be performing 2-3 total body strength training sessions per week.

Are you a bodybuilder? If not, stop training like one. Forget about body part splits and other "creative" ways to divide up your strength training. Instead, train your entire body 2-3 non-consecutive days a week.

Fifteen years ago, like many people who weight trained (although not many women), I divided my strength routines into body part splits like Legs, Back and Biceps one day and Chest, Shoulders and Triceps the next. When I think about it now, it doesn't surprise me that so many serious lifters ended up with shoulder injuries. (Luckily, I wasn't one of them.) Our body works in an integrated fashion and true muscle isolation is pretty much impossible so lots of shoulders were being over-trained, big time.

Back then, besides your basic circuit program, most workouts were based on the bodybuilder model. I don't know why because it really makes little sense if you think about it but that's how it was done. But as Maya Angelou says, "When you know better, you do better" so I long ago moved on from that method and now spread the gospel of total body training.

For most people, dropping fat is their objective. Three total body strength workouts per week will help you accomplish that better than body part splits. (If you really want or need to divide your workouts, go with lower / upper body split.)

Concentrate on compound exercises, which are those that use more than one muscle. Your workout routine should consist primarily of exercises like Squats, Lunges, Presses, Rows, Pushups, Deadlifts, Pulldowns, etc. Besides the fact that those exercises are more functional (similar to real life movements), you'll burn more calories doing them than you will performing isolation exercises like Bicep Curls and Tricep Kickbacks.

Ditch the long, boring steady state cardio.

If you are in the majority and your primary goal is fat loss, spending hours doing steady state cardio is not only inefficient, it increases your risk of repetitive motion injuries. A Harvard study a few years back showed that intensity and not duration is the key to preventing heart disease and dropping excess pounds.

Instead of steady state cardio, perform metabolic circuits or cardio intervals. It will take less time and be far more productive.

You can get healthier and more fit without spending hours in the gym; you just need to ignore the hype, get proper guidance, and be willing to challenge yourself.

Mickey Glick is a certified personal trainer and owner of Body & Soul Fitness Studio and No Pink Dumbbells Boot Camp in Lancaster, PA. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1995 and is a certified personal trainer.

Visit Body & Soul's website at and the No Pink Dumbbells Boot Camp website at

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