I’m not going to lie; working in a gym is a pretty sweet gig. I get paid fairly well to do what I love. I get to witness life changing transformations every single day. And most importantly, I get a free gym membership.
Honestly, I could go on and on about the benefits.
But, nothing great in life comes without a few negatives, and working at a gym is no different.
One of the few downfalls is that you’re expected to actually be there… often.
(crazy I know)
And as such, you start to become overly familiar with certain aspects of your gym.
You begin to know which machine squeaks.
It becomes apparent which times the gym tends to be heavily populated.
And you even start to realize who never wears deodorant (which is as pleasant as it sounds).
Another thing you start to pick up on is the complete lack of goal specific workout routines. Each grouping of various people tend to follow the same predictable patterns.
High school football players crush bicep curls to help “prepare” for the upcoming season.
Middle aged women like to talk… a lot.
And, you witness overweight people seemingly cemented to the ellipticals.
I’m not saying curls or cardio are “bad”.
Because they’re definitely not.
But, for these groups of people, they aren’t exactly “good” either.
In my first post (check it out here) I spoke about how absolutely nothing is inherently good or bad. And as such, nothing we’ve spoken of is always right or wrong either.
Are curls always bad?
No, not if you’re trying to increase the size of those pipes.
Are curls always good?
Well… no. Not if your main concern is trying to elude 300 pound defensive linemen.
The vast majority of things people do at my gym follow suit.
Nothing they are doing is completely bad.
But, many of the things they are doing are not ideal for their goals.
And that is the silver lining.
It’s all about your goals.
Pretty much all forms of training are good. Seriously. In the beginning you can and will see awesome results doing literally anything.
But, as you progress then that will change. This is when you will need to begin to find a better way to train.
And, the best form of training will always be the one that allows you to reach your goals.
If your main goal in the gym is to change your body, then you need to train in a way that will inspire those desired changes.
So what do you do first?
Decide on the kind of body you would like to have.
This is where most fitness professionals present the old “marathoner vs sprinter” body conversation. While not the most accurate presentation, it does provide a pretty good example of how different training styles can impact your physique.
On the left we have your sprinter, and on the right we have a marathon runner.
Both of the men in the picture are very high level athletes, and both are in incredible shape. Yet their physiques are obviously much different. Neither necessarily “worked harder” than the other, but somehow they managed to build entirely different bodies.
Genetics can play a huge factor, but this is where the differences in training styles can really come to light.
The guy on the right was built on hours and hours of long grueling cardio.
And the guy on the left? He built his physique via more “strength-based” explosive workouts.
Now, just by looking at the pictures, which person would you most like your body to resemble?
For most of us, it would be the sprinter.
Since most people admittedly want to look similar to the sprinter, it would only make sense that they would train like him as well.
Well, not so much.
Remember the “overweight person” we spoke of earlier? The one cemented to the elliptical? The truth is, he would (probably) prefer to resemble the sprinter as well. But who’s training program does he most take after?
I’m not going to give you the answer. But I will say that there is very little “strength-based or explosive” about an elliptical.
Like we discussed earlier, he’s doing nothing “wrong” by being on the elliptical.
There are plenty of benefits to regular cardio.
But for his goals, what started as “right” has quite possibly become “wrong”.
All paths are correct, as long as they lead to where you want to be.
If they lead somewhere else, then while that path may be right for some people, it is wrong for you.
Flying North (your path) is “right” if you’re wanting to visit Santa (your goal), but it is definitely “wrong” if you’re wanting to see the tropics.
If you are training with any kind of change in mind, then you need to follow the path best suited to get you to where you want to be.
So what do we do now?
Follow the 3 simple steps I give you in part 2.
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