What weight training programme should guys be following to get in great shape?
One men’s health and fitness magazine promises you “beach ready abs within three weeks”…
…while the one sitting on the shelf next to it has the “ultimate guide to bigger biceps”.
Your mate in work writes down his exercise routine and you give that a bash…until your gym’s resident meathead tells you what weight training you “really should be doing”.
This all adds up to the # 1 Thing Holding You Back From Achieving The Body You Want….
When it comes to health and fitness, we’re bombarded from every corner with advice on what to do. There’s so much information and so many options that you probably don’t know where to start.
You’re not alone – this is a problem most folk face. Here are some of the emails I’ve received from guys looking for training help:
“There’s so much information and every one has different ideas, so I always get confused about what to follow and what will work for me…”
“I hate cardio, but my personal trainer says I should be doing more to help burn belly fat.”
And a couple of comments I noticed when prowling around fitness forums recently:
“I read Men’s Health monthly, but there are so many different things that I really don’t know where to begin.”
“I’d like to get in better shape because I want to join the Army, but I’m not sure where to start, how many reps to do etc…”
I think you get the picture that there are quite a few confused dudes out there. No wonder, there are so many options to transform our bodies and health that we try everything – and master nothing.
It’s time to cut out all this confusion crap and focus on what actually works best for getting in great shape. This will give you the clear direction needed…which leads to consistency…which leads to momentum…which then delivers us beautifully at results!
What Not To Do…
#1 Get sucked in by the latest training fad
Fitness magazines are always promoting fancy new training programmes on their cover, most of them are filled with over-complicated, convoluted exercises.
To sell more copies.
Gyms and health centres are always looking to introduce new fitness classes and latest pieces of equipment.
To sell more memberships.
#2 Look for shortcuts to success
I’m talking “mass gainer” protein powders, electric “six pack” machines, fat burning tablets. These are never going to deliver the physique you really want.
Reality check – you’ve got to bust your balls to get in great shape.
#3 Switch between cardio and weight training so you can also burn fat
If you’re lifting weights the way a man should really lift weights then you don’t need to add any cardio into your gym session.
Lifting heavy with big compound exercises also delivers a big cardiovascular punch. Also, training this way keeps your metabolism levels elevated for much longer after your workout….meaning you’re still burning fat at rest.
#4 Over-complicate your diet
Eating chicken and broccoli five days per week because your PT says so. Having mega “cheat” days. “Bulking and cutting”.
The biggest problem with all this? It can’t be maintained in the long run. It’ll also make you miserable.
What To Do Instead…
#1 Get stuck into compound weight training exercises
The big buster moves that deliver an all-over body workout and create an anabolic environment in the body. This equates to more muscle, less fat.
The squat, deadlift, bent over row etc have been around for a long time – and they’ll always outlast all the latest fad training programmes. Why? Because they’re far more effective for building muscle, burning fat and optimal body composition.
#2 Lift heavy and change up your routine
Progressively overloading the muscles with heavy resistance triggers hypertrophy, kickstarting the muscle development process.
Regularly changing your routine by mixing up the order of exercises, number of sets, and rest in between them further shocks the body into growth and development.
#3 Keep pushing on, aiming for personal bests
Every workout should be seen as an opportunity to better yourself. To lift a bit more than last time, to do that one extra chin-up, to write down a new personal best.
“Life is about growing and improving and getting better.” – Conor McGregor, UFC World Featherweight and Lightweight champion.
#4 Simplify your diet so that it can actually be maintained
Too many healthy diets are actually unhealthy for us.
When our meals are boring and bland, or we’re cycling various foods in an unnatural way we quickly get fed up…and end up looking for the nearest Big Mac and fries.
Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods as consistently as possible, making sure you get in sufficient calories from the best sources of protein, carbs and fats for your training goals.
Sydney-based personal trainer Dinny Morris says: “In terms of adherence, simpler exercise and nutritional approaches are usually more sustainable because they tend to throw up fewer obstacles than more complex and involved methods.”
Stop over-thinking it, focus on compound exercises, simplify your diet, and just lift some damn weights.
This article originally appeared on Weight Training Is The Way
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