We’ve all seen those in the gym that come in and do a lackluster workout with only a few sets, are in there at best an hour and look amazing! It gets you asking yourself how you can spend hours in the gym, doing a multitude of exercises and sets, only to get unsatisfactory results. You find yourself unhappy with your results and start questioning everything from your diet to your training. It also makes you constantly feel as if you’re not working hard enough so you add more exercises and sets only for your progress to slow even more. It seems likes the cycle is never ending and you’re only working to maintain you certain state of health; not improve it. It’s a frustrating situation that leaves most abandoning the gym altogether but there is a solution.
Starting out in the gym when I was younger, I was afraid to ask others about the proper ways to train so I got what I learned from basic observation. Monetary issues made it difficult to obtain sources like magazines or books to educate myself with so I basically learned by trial and error. It wasn’t until after 3 years of hard training, coming from being over weight, and educating myself, that I came across over training. Over training to me is working your body beyond its abilities rendering it unable to fully repair for the next training session. Basically you’re working too hard without enough rest. I now knew this is what was happening in my workouts and I knew I had to change it up.
I switched my training routines up completely, going from high volume (8-10 exercises,10 sets per exercise) to a low volume (3-5 exercises, 4 sets per exercise). Switching workouts from a super high to low volume enables you to focus more on the exercises you’re performing. Only incorporating 5 exercises per muscle group gives you less chance for injury and also make it easier to determine which exercises are actually working. With the 10 exercises you’re left wondering which is actually producing results. I decided I would take a page out of a few Pros routines from back in the day and stop trying to isolate and work parts of the muscle and instead chose exercises that incorporated the muscle as a whole.
I immediately started seeing results again when I started using this new routine. My muscle size increased, my energy levels jumped up, and most of all, I was enjoying my workouts again! It blew my mind that LESS exercise could produce MORE results. It also gave me back that drive to keep going! If you can relate and you feel the same give it a try! Don’t get discouraged if you’re not where you want to be at the moment! Everyone hits walls. It’s your job to find a way to push yourself up and over your own walls. Its taken me 4 years to get to a point where I am happy with myself, hitting many walls along the way, but I want to say IT IS POSSIBLE! Good luck and keep going because you are worth it!
Fred (Bud) Suniga
Fitmark Ambassador 2013