Saturday, July 14, 2012
Goals- it's all about your goals. If you just go to the gym without a specific goal in mind, you may not necessarily be "wasting" your time, but you certainly are not maximizing your efforts.
What are you doing there? Killing time? Socializing? Reading? Watching TV?
Why are you there? Meet people? Lose weight? Lose fat? Gain muscle? aha! These all require different things!
Please...please...please! Really think about what you want out of your time in the gym. Every goal is possible- no matter where you "are" in your current fitness state, but you have to put the time and effort into it. It won't be easy, it may not always be pleasant, kind of like pregnancy and childbirth, you will forget the pain and delight in the rewards for years to come.
I am finishing up my current program with Roy and in a week we move onto some new things, I get so excited when I know we will change my training. We are moving from heavy weights and long rest periods to lighter weights and shorter rest periods, all designed for greater hypertrophy. I'm all about hypertrophy!
Now this does not mean that to gain mass you should always train this way, on the contrary, you should never train the same way day in and day out. Just look around you at all those people doing the same thing ever single day. They look the same every single day don't they? You need to change it up!
But back to goals. You should have specific goals and understand how to get there. What do you want to look like? That is how you need to train then.
Do you want to have shape and full, strong looking muscles? Say...like me possibly? Then you have to lift, you have to lift heavy and frequently. Muscles only develop when forced to, they need to be challenged to grow.
Do you want to look thin, sort of like the models on the magazines? Personally I think it's a very unattractive look, but if you want to look like that, so you have very thin, shapeless arms, and you look emaciated, don't lift weights, just do endless cardio and starve yourself.
If you are not training for a specific sport, then the best idea is a combination of both. You need the weight training to develop shape and add strength, and the cardio is basically to burn some extra calories, it does not add any shape to your body. Of course everything has exceptions, and this is no different. There are certain types of "cardio" that will add shape, such as sprints. Those are explosive, high intensity exercises that will really develop the glutes, hamstrings and quads. No, your legs and glutes won't get huge! No one's butt just "blows" up" from sprints or anything else for that matter.
I talk to endless people at the gym who ask me what to do, how can they look like me? I tell them to lift weights yet I rarely see them doing that. What I don't understand is I tell them that I see them doing an hour of cardio, and that is not a good idea, they will remain thin and skinny looking forever if they do that, yet day after day that's what I see them doing. And they don't understand why they don't change.
Too many people, especially women believe cardio machines are the ticket to a beautiful body. And if you want to look like an anorexic movie star (and by the way- skinny is not attractive), then endless cardio is the ticket. But if you want to ride my train, it's heavy weights all the way!
If you have limited time in the gym and must choose- always choose the weights, always.