by Matt Basso | January 2011

Change Your Current “Insane” Program

I recently received this comment...

"I see you called the treadmill a waste of time. What cardio should I be doing if I only have an hour at the gym? My typical routine is 15 mins elliptical, 15 treadmill, 10 bike, 20 mins weights."

For those of you who haven't read all of my blogs, it's in reference to a comment I made in my "Goals....The only way to efficiency" post. Which you should read here

The comment was born of the following:

1- Sarcasm....My favorite kind of humor.

2- My distaste for peoples propensity for using machines for fat burning

3- My understanding from both practical experience and study, that many injuries occur because of over use. Meaning running constantly, biking constantly, rowing constantly etc etc. Even if you think about it from a logical stand point and forget the science, doesn't it make sense that moving in one direction over and over, using the same muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments without doing proper maintenance could lead to injury?

So that having been said...

Is the treadmill a complete waste of time? NO 

Is it the most effective use of time? If you are training for a marathon and you can't run outside then YES, BUT if you are looking for fat loss or general fitness while building a stronger body the treadmill is NOT the most effective use of your time.

That's why I made that comment, I'm glad somebody noticed and asked about it.

Now on to the readers question, which is great because it's representative of many peoples typical gym experience and it has a direct relationship with goals.

Simply put, without understanding this persons specific situation (past injuries?, amount of gym time per week?, current fitness level?) or goals (fat loss, muscle building, strength building) it would be impossible for me to suggest a routine change. Thats why my coaching program or personal training works so well, it's made for the individual.

However for the sake of example I'm going to use the following parameters, which I believe to be reasonably common among gym goers, for my routine change

Goal: Fat Loss and "Toning" (looking good)

Situation: No serious injuries present, 3-4 visits to the gym per week, moderate fitness level

Now before I get into the specific changes I want to share the following.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results" either Albert Einstein or Rita Mae Brown said it, but it doesn't matter who originated this thought, it only matters thats it's true. If you go to the gym and do the same things all the time, YOU WILL NOT HAVE GREAT RESULTS.

and an exercise theory that everybody should know

EPOC... Pay attention, this one's good. EPOC  or Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption, can be defined as "recovery of metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels"

Allow me to explain...Consider your current pre-exercise state to be homeostasis. When you exercise stress is placed on the body therefor your metabolic state becomes challenged. In response to this stress your body works to get back to homeostasis. The kind of exercise you choose and the intensity to which you do it, determines how hard your body has to work to get back to homeostasis. If you've chosen your exercises wisely, you will experience more fat loss. This is because your body will work hard even after you have finished your workout to return to your pre-exercise metabolic rate.

With an hour to work with, choosing wisely means more lifting weights ( research indicates short intense bouts of weight lifting could have you burning calories up to 38 hours after exercise and better thought out cardio.

I want to be clear here.... There are many exercise theories. Many work but in my thousands of hours of training experience this one has NEVER failed me or my clients.

So, I say you change your current routine to the following:

1- 10 mins -My Warm-up

2- 30 mins of weight lifting

3- 10 mins moderate cardio

4- 10 mins stretch

Try that as a quality change to your routine.

If you continue to read and view my content I guarantee you will find insight into your training that will allow you to reach your goals.

What do you think?

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Filed under: Training