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REGAIN YOUR HEALTH: Success in the gym comes down to mastering the basics

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

Take these ideas to heart and you’ll reap major benefits. While most people waste time debating the endless stream of supplements, new workout programs, and diet plans, all you really have to do is focus on these simple concepts and you’ll see results.


YOU MUST COMMIT TO THE LONG TERM


Most people work out with a short-term goal in mind. I like looking at health in a different way. The goal is not to lose 40 pounds in the next 12 weeks. The goal is to regain your health for the rest of your life.


Ignore the short-term results. If you commit to the long-term process, the results will come anyway.


Further... stop acting like living a #healthy life is a big deal. You can go to the gym every week. That can be normal for you. Not a sacrifice. Not an obligation. Normal.


YOU NEED A SCHEDULE


Most people never train consistently because they are always wondering when they are going to train next.


They are always wondering…

  • “Will I be motivated to #workout when I get home from work?”

  • “Will I have enough free time to exercise today?”

  • “Will I have enough willpower to wake up early and run?”

In other words, most people train when they feel #motivated or inspired.


Here’s a better idea: Stop treating exercise as something to do when it’s convenient and start setting a schedule for yourself to follow. This is what makes the difference between professionals and amateurs. Let your schedule govern your actions, not your level of motivation.


NOT ALL EXERCISES ARE EQUAL


Great results come from great focus, not a great variety. Too many people waste time in the gym because they bounce around without any real goal, doing a little bit of that machine. Thankfully, there is a simple rule that will always guide you towards the best exercises: The more an exercise makes you move, the bigger the benefits it will deliver (such as pressing, pulling, #squatting, and deadlifting).


YOU NEED TO START SLOW


Ask most people if they had a good workout and they’ll say things like, “Oh yeah, it was so intense”. Or, “I’m going to be so sore tomorrow”. Or, “I finished my workout by doing a set of failures”.


It’s great to push yourself, but the biggest mistake that most people make is not building a foundation of strength. Everyone wants to jump in and max out with a weight that is hard. That’s exactly the wrong way to do it. Your workouts should be easy in the beginning.


YOU SHOULD MAKE SLOW PROGRESS


Most people walk into the gym every week, do the same exercises with the same amount of weight, and wonder why they aren’t getting stronger.


You’ll see people step onto the same treadmill, run two miles like they always do, and wonder why they aren’t losing weight. Here’s a little story that explains the problem and the solution…


Imagine that you are in a quiet room and someone turns on a loud and noisy fan. At first, it’s obvious and irritating. But if you are forced to stay in the room long enough, the fan starts to become part of the background noise. In other words, your body registers the sound at first, but eventually, it realizes “Oh, this is the new normal for this environment”. Your body adapts and the noise fades away. Something similar happens when you exercise.


When you start to train, it’s like turning on the fan. Something new is happening in the environment, and your body registers the change by getting stronger and leaner. But after a few workouts, your body realizes “this is the new normal”. Your body finds a way to adapt to this new environment, just like it did with the noisy fan. As a result, you stop getting stronger and stop losing weight.


What got you here won’t get you there. If you want to see different results, you have to do something different. If you want to see progress each week, then you have to progress each week. (If you don’t know how to do this safely, get professional help).


YOU SHOULD KEEP A RECORD


What gets measured, gets managed. If you can’t even tell me how many sets and reps you did with a particular weight two weeks ago, how can you guarantee that you’re actually getting stronger? Tracking your progress is simple; get a small notebook and write down your workouts.


What You Should Do Now

  • Set a schedule. When and where, exactly, are you going to train?

  • Get a notebook and pen to record your #training.

  • Focus on the best exercises that make you move a lot.

  • Start with a weight that is very light and train for volume before intensity.

  • Slowly increase the weight each week.

This article was inspired by James Clear’s article 6 truths about Exercising that no one wants to believe. It is found at JamesClear.com

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