The most effective workout, for the perfect body.
Is there even a perfect body? back in my Mtv days, I was obsessed with building the perfect body. Now, at 41 years old, I realize it’s more about the most effective workout for long term health.
By now, we all understand the importance of working out daily to keep our heart and lungs healthy. Also, feeling sexy af when we look in the mirror brings an elevated level of confidence we carry out into every aspect of our lives.
Just working out won’t do it.
So we google “daily workouts” and more workout plans than we could ever complete in a lifetime pop up in the search bar. I will say as a professional fitness trainer for 25 years, there are some really great ones and just like any other field or category, there are some horrendous workouts that have no rhyme or reason to their program.
Haphazard shit, that may get the blood flowing and the sweat pouring but the injury is most likely creeping it’s way to your low back or shoulder sooner than your trainer says “2 more reps”.
I’m not going to go too deep with my thoughts on CrossFit, barre, Orange Theory and forget about LifeTime Fitness, I will save that for a later date. Actually, I could explain my thoughts more clearly with a video response on this topic. �
I believe exercise is what gets our motor running just like priming the oil before you start a weed whacker does. The easiest thing to do to get the blood flowing to your brain for mental health and throughout your body for circulations is physical exercise. The discipline, every day, every week, every month, year after year is the key factor in having a great quality of life when we are chasing our partners around at 90.
So, any exercise you do, I commend. Keep it up, Kid! However, my point of this article is to bring awarenesses to the variety of your workouts and how they play into your continued progress toward building a healthy mind and body.
Keep the fun, in functional training.
The problem I see with most fitness “brands” or programs is they lack variety. One dimensional, and focus on just one aspect of fitness, leaving so many fun, and challenging modalities unused and forgotten about.
That being said, if you are in in your late teens and 20’s and have a serious career path ahead of you as a professional or highly paid, a sponsored athlete competing for world domination; choose one sport or fitness program that supports your goals and go all in and double down on your efforts! I will cheer you on from the sideline.
If you are like me, in my 40’s, and want visible 6 pack abs when you take your shirt off on the beach, while not having to sacrifice good foods, and waste excessive time with 2-hour gym sessions a day, you need a program that is more diverse. You can still build muscle in your 40’s (here is some proof to that) and you can still train with intensity without your low back feeling like you got run over by a bus, twice.
You must think about these 4 simple things for long term health and fitness success.
Progressive weight training.
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder, but you should probably train like one. Drop the 5 lbs. weights you use in a step aerobics class. And put down (gently) the heavy ass weights without the proper warm-up you once did back in college. Building muscle as we age is essential, and you need to add weight progressively as you get stronger. Because you will. It’s amazing what your body will adapt to when you put yourself in the environment built for growth. And you want to be growing right? The opposite of growth is diminishing and that is contradictory to long term health.
The fun begins with using a variety of “weights” that create resistance. Your own bodyweight for starters is a great underused resistance training tool, also dumbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls and select machines that allow our bodies to move freely are just the beginning.
Progressive overload is a term we use to describe how we choose and adjust the total amount of weight (load) we use during our workouts. In order for a muscle to grow, strength to increase and improve endurance we must always be challenged by using heavier weights, more volume (more reps, more sets) and more frequency. Our bodies natural adaptive response to the progressive overload results in not only stronger and healthier muscles but it also initiates the development of stronger and denser bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
The less we do, the less we are able to do. I watch my dad at 79 get out of breath when he walks from the couch to the bathroom. As much as it breaks my heart to see him dwindle, I realize he is so tired and de-conditioned that he doesn’t have it in him physically or mentally to fix the compounding downfall of his health.
Keeping our cardiovascular system running efficiently is crucial for maintaining optimal oxygen flow throughout our precious aerobic system. Just like our muscles, your heart and lunges need to be challenged through safe, progressive aerobic conditioning. This can be done in many ways. High Intense Interval Training (HIIT) lasting for short periods (10 mins or less) using your body weight has become a go-to method for a fast get-the-job-done-quickly type of cardio but this shouldn’t be the only type of training you do.
Using non-traditional cardio methods like battling ropes, wind sprints, kettlebell swings and even lifting heavier weights but with less rest in between sets get the heart pumping just as much plus they are way more fun.
Mobility and Stability.
Let’s put the sexy muscle-building aside for a minute and peel back the layers, so we can talk about joints, which actually make the muscles contract. Stick with me, I won’t get too technical but there are some basic things you should understand. Gray Cook, a well known physical therapist and creator of The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) suggests we view the body from a joint-by-joint basis in order to train the best movement patterns.
Beginning at our feet, and traveling up each major joint in our body requires different function or primary need. Your ankle needs more mobility to function optimally, next your knee requires stability. The hip should be mobile and if it isn’t your spine will compensate which will eventually cause low back and even shoulder pain. Your lumbar spine (lower 5 vertebrae) are stabilizers, and your thoracic spine (mid 12 vertebrae) should be mobile. Next, your scapula (shoulder blade) must be stable for shoulder strength and health, while your glenohumeral joint (shoulder) must remain mobile to move freely as it was intended to do.
Why does this matter to you, when you just want to work out to look and feel better? For starters, knowing how your body was designed to move will help you become more aware of why you do certain exercises in a certain order rather than piecing random workouts together. No more random shit, it’s time to work out with a purpose. The human body is a kinetic chain, meaning when we move one part of our body there are many other parts of the body that are affected.
Secondly, if you do ever feel some pain or discomfort other than muscle soreness from an intense training session, you don’t assume you are injured. For example, you may just need to stretch your quads, hip flexors and QL muscle when you have low back “pain”. Because you know your hips should be mobile and if they aren’t pain will surface in other areas, most likely lower back.
Flex, Rest and recover.
Whoa, now there’s a novel concept. But wait, this is an article about working out and having the most balanced program, why are we talking about resting? Let me clarify rest. I don’t mean sleep through your alarm kinda rest. I am referring to actively resting, like taking a yoga class. Yoga is a great way to stretch and work on flexibility while still incorporating movement into your weekly workout program. And that’s where the magic happens.
When you incorporate recovery into our workout program, you allow the muscle fibers that get broken down during your workouts a chance to heal stronger than they were before your workout which is ultimately what makes your muscles stronger. In today’s fast-paced world, we want results quickly, and when we aren’t instantly awarded for our efforts we think we must to more.
More is not always better, in fact, more can be killing your gains and your chances of looking and feeling 20 years younger. “But I hate yoga, I tried it once and I can’t seem to shut my brain off”. Well, this the exact point I’m trying to make. You need it, to recover, relax, and recharge. Not only is yoga great for increasing flexibility which helps blood circulation, muscle recovery, and injury prevention it’s also a powerful way to decompress mentally and connect your mind to your body.
Effective Workouts for Effective Fitness Training.
Knowingly, our bodies only adapt to what circumstances we put ourselves in, it just makes sense that the most effective workout program incorporates all the essentials of physical exercise. And while the health and fitness industry becomes more and more complicated with science-based techniques, the fundamentals of fitness training will remain the most trusted and reliable.
Let’s recap what makes an effective workout and training program.
- Strength and power are relative to the individual. Specific workouts that incorporate squats, deadlifts, bench press, bent-over rows, overhead press, and pull-ups should be incorporated on a monthly basis. Increase weights progressively, (and safely) so you allow your muscles to adapt, grow and strengthen.
- Hypertrophy training isn’t just for bodybuilders. Building muscle is for everybody and training for it is a must for overall long term health and wellness. At least one week per month should be dedicated to isolation exercises that support muscle hypertrophy.
- Mobility drills and stability exercises are a must for injury prevention. When injuries occur, we are derailed from our training which may become a downward spiral of poor eating and lack of motivation. To take steps in preventing injury, make sure every workout has mobility drills that support the upcoming workout.
- Cardiovascular endurance training is essential but doesn’t have to be boring. Think differently and incorporate non-traditional exercises into your weekly workout routine, like kettlebell swings, battling ropes, and intense weight training (with lighter weights) for fun, and effective training.
- Flex, and rest while you recover. Flexibility matters, and keeping our mind connected to our training is crucial for survival in this long game of fitness health and wellness. If you’re not into the deep spiritual component of yoga, try looking at the practice as a means to a healthier, more physically fit mind and body.
Get AMPED, at bodhi.
For 28 years, Our AMPED (Anthony Monetti’s Physical Education) has been the fitness training blueprint for men and women looking to create their perfect body while avoiding boredom and preventing injury.
Working out should be fun, but intense, multi-dimensional but structured. We believe in building muscle for strength, bone density, injury prevention, cardio-respiratory health as well as aesthetics.
The AMPED Bodybuilding and Fitness Training principles Power/Strength, Hypertrophy (muscle building), Aerobic/Anaerobic Conditioning and Technique (skill building, balance, coordination) are the backbone to the proven training system at bodhi.
Our private group training classes are formulated for a full-body, functional workout. The professional coaching team at bodhi design each workout program in advance and we’ve never done the same workout more than once. From world champion bodybuilders and former athletes to baby booming soccer moms and dads, the AMPED principles apply to us all and remain the secret to your success.
If you are ready to learn more about what you need to lose that last 30lbs or see those 6 pack abs, we are here for you. In our private training environment, we will walk you through the process of transforming your body.
FREE Open gym times available for you – Every Saturday from 7a-9a. We (myself and a bodhi coach) will be at bodhi to answer any training and nutrition questions you may have, or if you’d like to get a workout in. Open Gym is not a class, so you can come and go as you please if you have limited time.
Space is limited, as we are a private training facility. Click the “Click the Schedule” button below to and we will personally call you to answer your questions. Get AMPED!