Rule #1: Intensity, Intensity, IntensityPeople always ask me what workout routine is best. My response? It doesn’t exist.
No matter how they look on paper, you can make ANY workout either a really good one or a really crappy one depending on the intensity that they are performed.
Some tips: lift heavy weights, take shorter rest periods, and strive to break new personal records every week. If you don’t look like you’re in any discomfort (keyword “discomfort”, not “pain”), then you’re not working out at all.
Rule #2: Form is EverythingNo really, it’s everything.
In order to get the most out of your workouts, you must learn how to perform every exercise that you do with strict form. And strict form isn’t just all about moving the weights slowly. Body positioning, setup of equipment, mental preparation, and the flexing of working muscles (mind-muscle connection) are all things you need to pay attention on every set.
More importantly though, you want to keep your body healthy. The last thing you want happening is a rotator cuff tear or bulging disc.
Make every rep count. Lift weights with intensity, but do it with proper form.
Rule #3: Train Hard, Not LongI never work out for more than an hour. Nor do any of my clients.
How can you do the same? Socialize less. Don’t work out in groups. Listen to music that helps you to focus on what you’re doing. Do more compound exercises and less isolation work. Do supersets.
The name of the game is effectiveness and efficiency.
Rule #4: You Need a Proper Training ProgramThe worst thing you can do is to go to the gym without a plan. Unfortunately, that’s how a lot of people approach their training.
You need a training program that incorporates proper progressive overload. If you’re seeking to improve your physique, you must not let your body adapt. You need to be constantly improving in some way every week to stimulate the muscle fibers to grow.
Taking a cookie-cutter workout routine from a magazine isn’t the way to do it. If y ou have no idea where to start, take part in one of Fitocracy’s groups fitness programs or hire a trainer (just make sure they know what they’re doing).
Rule #5: Ab Exercises Don’t Give Six-PacksThey’re done to strengthen the core because having a strong core carries over to everything else you do in the gym.
Doing ab exercises will NOT burn off fat from your stomach. If that was the case, everybody would be walking around with six-packs.
This sounds very cliche, but it can’t be any more true — abs are made in the kitchen. Your results will come from your diet.
If you have a proper training and nutrition regimen, then there’s no need to spend more than 15 minutes A WEEK on ab training. Your abs are already there, they’re just hidden.
Rule #6: Don’t Neglect the BasicsEight out of every ten exercises you do should be compound exercises. You know, the boring stuff that actually give you results.
Focus on doing exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, etc. Stop trying to do circus acts just because they look cool. Dumbbell bicep curls on a bosu ball? Barbell squats on a stability ball? Seriously?
Also, save the bodybuilding splits that focus on isolation exercises for later. And when I say later I’m talking about 6-12 months down the road. Build a good foundation with your strength and physique first, then that’s when you can start partaking in the universal “Chest Mondays” and “Back Tuesdays”.
Rule #7: HIIT ItSteady-state cardio isn’t necessary.
Jogging on a treadmill is a great way to burn calories, but it’s not something that you have to do. Instead, try doing some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and/or metabolic resistance training which are far more effective than just steady-state cardio. You’ll be burning calories during the workout and even up to 24 hours AFTER.
If conditioning is not important to you (if you’re not a marathoner, triathlete, boxer, or MMA fighter) limit your cardio or cut it out completely. The demands on your metabolic system and joints are just far too high. Doing more cardio than you need to can be detrimental to the body’s recovery process.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that steady-state cardio is useless. It actually has great benefits for your body. If you like to run, great. Keep doing it. All I’m saying is that there is no need to run for hours and hours just to burn calories. When it comes to cardio, there are other options out there like HIIT if running is not your thing.
Focus on getting stronger and eating better. The fat will come off your body even without stepping on a treadmill.