Tuesday, January 26, 2016

3 Reasons Most Workout Programs Will Fail You (And How to Avoid Them)

If you’re like most people resolving to get in shape this year, you want to be healthier, to move and feel better, and hopefully also look better. Just as importantly, you want results that last. Unfortunately, many workout programs will fail at helping you achieving one or more of these goals. They all sound exciting when you first start out but for one reason or another, you’ll stop doing them and lose any benefit you may have gained. Here are three common reasons why these workouts can’t deliver lasting results, and how to fix them.

1. Ineffective Exercises

This is the most insidious reason of the three because many people don’t even realize it. They think following a workout class or video automatically means they’ll get results. However, just because you are doing an exercise doesn’t mean it’s actually benefiting your body. Whether it’s for cardio, strength, or flexibility, exercises are only worth your time if they push yourself to your limits. Your body adapts to new challenges - exercises don’t. This means any exercise you do will eventually become unsuitable for you unless you change it by increasing the difficulty.

Don’t just do more repetitions of the same (or similar difficulty) exercises. This doesn’t build strength and muscle effectively. Rather, you end up building endurance for that particular exercise as your body learns to perform them more efficiently. So, even though you spend more time working out, you don’t get much to show for the extra time and effort. Plus, as your workouts get longer, the higher the chances you’ll fall off the exercise bandwagon.

What To Do: 

Increase the difficulty of any exercises in your workout that aren’t challenging. This means putting your muscles under more load, or effective weight. Your body will adapt to the heavier loads which stimulate muscle growth and thereby improve function and aesthetics. Review your workout regularly to ensure that you are always spending your workout time wisely.

If you are lifting weights, increase the weight so that each repetition takes a good amount of effort. Finishing a set of 6 to 10 reps should be challenging. If the weight is too light, you’re just wasting your time.

If you are doing one of those popular low- or no-equipment workouts that use bodyweight exercises, try this: grab a heavy item like a jug of water or sand to increase your bodyweight. Even better, learn how to modify your exercises so that you can increase your effective bodyweight without grabbing an extra weight. If you don’t know how to do that, you can learn how from my One Minute Workout.

2. Excessive Intensity and Volume

Ever think of trying a high intensity workout or boot-camp program? High intensity exercises are great for stimulating your body to grow but it needs to be ready. If you’re out of shape, jumping into a high intensity workout is an easy way to get hurt. Once you get hurt, you’re likely to stop exercising.

Another common pitfall is too much volume. Exercising too much, especially at high intensities, also increases your risk of injury. When performing hard exercises, it is more difficult to maintain good form. Trying to do them when you are tired is asking for trouble. Pushing through fatigue to finish an exercise set with poor form is a recipe for serious injury.What To Do: 

Resist the urge to jump right into new exercises or workouts at full intensity. Instead, ease into them then increase intensity once you are familiar and comfortable with the movement and technique. This gives your brain a chance to learn the new movement patterns correctly. It also gives the weaker parts in your body a chance to catch up to the stronger parts. Remember that while muscles can adapt quickly, tendons and ligaments take much longer. Following this tip will greatly reduce your chances of injury in the beginning, right when you are the most excited about starting a new exercise or workout.

Also, don’t keep adding more exercises and repetitions to your workout regimen. Your body can only handle so much stress before it is unable to recover and repair in time for your next workout. Aim for 10 to 20 repetitions at most. If you can do more than 20 repetitions of an exercise, then it’s too easy for you.

3. Takes Too Much Time, Effort, or Resources

We’re all busy these days. If a workout takes too much time, you’re not going to stick with it for very long. Even with the best intentions, unexpected situations pop up and your priorities change over time. The same thing goes if it takes too much effort to start the workout. For example, having to drive to and from a gym across town creates a very real mental barrier that wears down your motivation each time. Even if you exercise at home, you’re not going to stick with it if you have to drag out and put away equipment each time. And needless to say, when your budget gets tight, workout classes and gym memberships and are the first to go.

What To Do:

Choose shorter workouts that maximize your results for the time spent. Don’t forget to include the time it takes to get to your workout location, setting up the equipment, and cleaning up afterward. Arrange your workout equipment so that they are easily accessible. If you go to a gym or class, pick one that is near the places you usually frequent, such as the office or grocery store. It’s better to go to a closer facility than a nicer one that is out of the way. And remember from earlier, as you get in better shape, don’t make your workouts longer.

Sustainability is Key

So there you have it. These three factors determine whether your workout is sustainable or not. It doesn’t matter how exciting or awesome a workout may sound, if it isn’t sustainable for you, it won’t do you any good. Health and fitness isn’t a short term game. It’s what you keep doing, especially as you get older and busier, that matters.

Need a Workout That Fits The Bill?

When I was younger, I kept running into these problems, whether it was with sport-specific training regimens or workout programs I saw on TV. As I got older and busier, I realized that what I really needed was a workout program that was effective and sustainable. The problem was, I couldn’t find one that fit my busy schedule. Some were sustainable but laughably ineffective. Others took too much time or equipment. So, I ended up designing my own workout system, The One Minute Workout, making sure I didn’t repeat the same mistakes. Since then, I’ve been able to stick with OMW for over five years and am now stronger and in better shape than I’ve ever been before.

If you need a workout that will make a lasting change on your life, join the many others who have started the One Minute Workout and see what it can do for you. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish with small but effective and consistent effort. Sign up and get started for free today.


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