Me: "Hi. This is Daniel."
Client: "Yes I was wondering how much your unlimited a month is at Franklin Strength?"
Me: "We don't offer an unlimited a month"
Client: "You don't??!! Why not?"
Me: "We believe our 'classes' serve as a supplement to your current training program, not a replacement. Do you currently follow a training program or regimen?"
That is how most calls go when I pick up the phone at Franklin Strength. Now, I am in no way saying exercising is bad for you. But with that said....... Some of it is. When any one walks through my doors for the first time I immediately ask them, "What are your goals?" Every single person has a goal. Whether they want to look good, get stronger, get faster, be healthy, or be able to do 100 push-ups without stopping. Those are all goals. Now people might share a common goal. For example: wanting to build muscle while getting leaner (basically they want to look like the guy or girl on the cover of a magazine). But what that person has to do to reach that goal will be completely different than the next person. BINGO! Now we are getting to the point of this post. See, when a person exercises, they might have the goal to be leaner and build muscle.... but going into your local boot camp everyday might not be the best route for you to reach that goal. This is because you are doing the exact same thing as the person next to you, who might already be lean or might be way out of shape. And also following directions from a "coach" that rolls dice to choose the EXERCISES for the day! Exercising is the act of moving around while thinking that what you are doing for your body is good. Training is working towards a goal. Every time a pro boxer is getting ready for a fight, they call it their "training camp" not their "exercising camp". Training always has an end goal or end result. Exercising has no plan and is basically random with hopes for the best. Some people might enjoy just going and exercising, and there is nothing wrong with that. I myself do not enjoy it. I don't enjoy training. I enjoy reaching a goal and accomplishing what I set out to do. So with all that said, I personally can't imagine going and killing myself in a workout and that being my only accomplishment. If that was the case I would push my car to work rather than drive it just because it hurts. HAVE A PLAN! What I am going to do now is list the top five things you should be doing whether you're training or just exercising.
1. HAVE A GOAL. AND MAKE SURE WHAT YOU'RE DOING COINCIDES WITH THAT GOAL.
2. KEEP A JOURNAL WITH NOTES OF ALL OF YOUR WORKOUTS AND PREFERABLY YOUR NUTRITION. How do you know where you're going if you don't know where you have been?
3. PLAN YOUR WORKOUTS AHEAD OF TIME. Preferably 3 to 4 weeks in advance. I am firm believer you need to stick with something for at least 3 weeks before you switch it up.
4. TAKE MUSCLE CONFUSION WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. Just because some people randomly roll dice to figure out what they are exercising doesn't mean you should. And on that note, a lot of people call that "programming?". We are not computers. You program a computer and YOU TRAIN AN ANIMAL. Muscle Confusion doesn't mean every day do something completely different. See, your body doesn't speak English, so a squat and a "thruster" both use your quads. A push up and a shoulder press both use your shoulders. And all of them use your heart (which is a muscle). So the real definition of muscle confusion is... when following a program you will find a spot when you plateau, which is totally normal. What you do then is look back at your notes, see what you could change, check you food to see how that's going. If everything has been very consistent then it might be time to switch up your routine. This usually happens to seasoned lifters every 8 to 12 weeks. As for beginners... they can follow the same routine for a longer length of time and still continue making gains. My rule is when you plateau switch it up.
5. BE PATIENT. In the 10 years I have been training, I have learned nothing happens over night. Consistency and discipline is what brings results. Not variety and convenience. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Nothing trumps hard work, and nothing is better than experience. It takes both of those to continue making gains.
1. BE SAFE. If you walk into a "class" and they are doing 30 Snatches for time...... leave. Make sure the classes you are going to limit the amount of people in their classes and they use general exercises to get the job done. 30 Snatches as fast as you can in a row will give you tons of results such as going to a chiropractor, having to take ibuprofen often, sleeping like hell, tendonitis, and more than likely make you look like an ape throwing a stick up and down. General movements include: pushups, pull ups, sled pushes, sled pulls, lunges, body squats ect. Now I know what everyone is thinking..... All of those "exercises" could get you hurt also, true, but in my experience with training people, these general movements lower the likeliness of injury due to the fact that they are less technical.
2. STOP GYM HOPING. Going around from gym to gym every few weeks might sound like Baskin Robins, but how is anyone going to be able to fix your form and correct certain things to make you better if you don't give them the chance? If a gym does you wrong or isn't helping, then yes, leave. But if you are leaving just to spice things up then that's a problem. You are only wasting your time.
3. BE EFFICIENT. When exercising, the goal is to give 110% in a very short time. If a person comes to a class and gives 50%, it's no wonder why that person thinks they need to go 6 days a week. Your goal should be to get in and get out! That's how you shed the fat. Give everything you've got and let your body do the rest on your days off from exercising.
4. DON'T LET SWEAT OR PAIN BE YOUR GUIDE. Too many people are under the assumption that you must puke, pass out, have a near death experience, or possibly go into labor to have a good workout. Most people are in the gym for either aesthetics or performance. Puking nor sweat helps achieve either one. If you want to get somewhere faster, change you food (saved for another post).
5. GO FOLLOW THE RULES ON THE "TRAINING" SECTION . Seriously, establish a goal and find or create a training program that will help you achieve that goal.
** This article was authored and written by Daniel Johnson. All information in this article is based on the author's personal experiences and is in no way portrayed to be scientifically proven. This information is to be used at the reader's discretion. Any person using this information in a representation of themselves without credit to the original author will be pursued (DO NOT PLAGIARIZE MY MATERIAL!). As you read this article, there is a good chance you may or may not find spelling or grammatical errors -- there is no need for you to point this out, the author does not care. Use the information or don't use it, but keep your comments to yourself.
March 10, 2014 by Daniel Johnson