Looking for the perfect training program? Guess what, there isn’t one! We’re constantly being swayed to believe that someone has discovered this totally new amazing gadget or technique that is taking the fitness world by storm. Though they may be making a lot of money on their new-found idea or widget, the way our bodies, muscles, heart and metabolism works is no different today than it was 20 years ago. So, assuming you’re not an elite athlete training for something specific, here’s why you should ignore anything new claiming to be your ticket to fitness and stick to the fundamentals…
I promise you… you can get an amazing workout, max out your strength and cardio ability in an 8’ x 8’ area with no weights or machines. Yes, machines and weights are very useful and allow us to train our bodies, but they’re not essential for fitness; therefore, if you’re someone looking to make a change in your life, get fit, or up your fitness level, here are the keys you should focus on:
- Body Mechanics - No matter what type of training you’re doing make sure the program or instructor is helping you move well. That means, you’re actively engaging the right muscles and areas of the body at the right time to ensure correct posture and movement. Don’t compromise this for speed or to lift more weight. Move well first!
- Muscles - Work the entire body. Watch out for programs that focus too much on one area. The strength of your body should be complimentary. Many guys want to work on upper body strength, and many women want to focus on legs. Work the entire body. This doesn’t mean you can’t break up your workouts or do programs that may focus on different body parts each day. Just make sure you’re not neglecting an area.
- Mobility - As you contract muscles, they will tighten. Don’t neglect stretching the muscles you work. Having a very strong body can quickly be compromised if you’re so tight you can’t move it.
- Metabolic - This is basically you’re body’s ability to sustain work under stress. You can train this differently for different purposes. Assuming your like 99% of the population, you just want to be generally fit. There are basically two types of conditioning: interval and steady state. Interval training is getting your heart rate up and letting it recover. You can use steady state cardio which is sustaining the same level of stress or output for a given period of time. It’s important to train your heart in both facets. It’s a muscle too and should be conditioned to sustain constant work and also hard work for a short period of time. It will encounter both of these needs in everyday life.
So, there you have it. There are a lot of good programs out there, but make sure they include the fundamentals.