Here you are, browsing the web in search of the best workout routine to get stronger, leaner, and more muscular as fast as you can with the least time involvement you can fathom.
You are looking at the 12-week programs, the 8 week programs, and lo and behold!! you found a six week program!
You can manage that! it’s only a month and a half! Look at all those promises and those oily abs on the cover! This guy MUST have the magic formula to finally give you the body you have always wanted!!
Then you can just go back to what you used to do and keep all your six-weeks gains forever.
Happiness ever after….
If you buy this program, all you have to do is do it over and over again and you will become stronger and leaner and better!
Whoops… Followed the mind thread a little too long…
Sorry buddy, you just got punk’d. That oily guy has probably worked on that physique for the past ten years. Someone used all of that work to package it into something that promises results in just a few weeks, and you believed it.
Unfortunately there is a price to pay for muscles. You can’t really buy them. You can get implants but they are just bags of water under your skin. They are just breast implants in the wrong place. You can take steroids and get leaner, but your testicles might shrink a little.
The perfect plan is not out there. If you are looking for results, any meaningful results, you must invest at least three years into the process.
Yes three years. Even on holiday. Especially on holidays.
It means commitment to learning the skill of training.
It means learning to eat the correct things that go with your training and your goals.
It means sacrificing time for other things you love and crave. Sleeping more, monitoring your progress, being in pain almost every day.
Sounds lovely doesn’t it? But it is all worth it.
How to start?
1) Choose a program :
Choose one that is longer than 12 weeks. Go for six months, and stick to it. If you really don’t see any progress after 3 months, it means YOU are doing it wrong. Every single program that has at least that has variety and progress built into it is a good program.
If you really don’t know where to start, here are a few pointers :
This is probably where most powerlifters start. The information on technique is great, the patterns of progress are simple and then complexity and their website has great video ressources to help you on your way.
His blog and websites are truly a gold mine of bodybuilding, nutrition and supplement information, and much more. his articles are short. His training protocols are brutal, his videos are precise and very helpful for perfect form. I find it a bit brutal for beginners, but if you want pain and body mass results, he’s your guy.
At first glance the program seems complex, but once you get the hang of it, and you start handling more and more weight the excitement grows and the progress you make over months is just crazy! I wouldn’t start with this program, but if you’ve been at it for a few years and are getting stuck, this is your next step.
This is when you start obsessing about lifting weights more than you do about anything else… Once you get to that stage and your progress slows, this is when you buy this book and your lifts find a second life.
–Crossfit : Very intense Generalist fitness
If you like communities, sharing, cardio, and aren’t focusing on pure strength, Crossfit has a lot of excellent trainings and routines. It has gotten a lot of bad comments over the years, but it is probably a sign that they are doing something right. te programs are on their website (W.O.D.) but i would strongly recommend you sign up in gym for this and make sur the coach asses your flexibility, asks for any previous injuries you’ve had, and makes you start REALLY REALLY slowly.
–Gymnastic Bodies : Bodyweight Exercises and Mobility Training for the best body you will ever have.
I am big fan of these programs. i am currently following their Foundation 1 because it helps me prevent injuries and have strength and flexibility at the same time. It also works on muscles that seldom get the attention they deserve. You don’t really need anything, so when you are on holiday you can just take the training with you.
-Yoga : Light On Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
And of you are looking for a simple way to stay flexible and relatively strong, I like this book. I had tremendously tight hips, and it has sincerely helped me gain great mobility.
I have tried all of these and they all have great attributes that I warmly recommend. Look through them and choose the one you feel suits you best.
2) Buy the damn books :
These people have surrendered lifetimes of trial and error, injury and records to deliver golden nuggets of wisdom, distilled into books that cost you less than your monthly phone bill.
It is CHEAP for several years worth of size, strength, health and personal achievement. If you just steal their programs for free of the web and hope that you will follow through on them, you are lying to yourself.
First of all this is an investment in yourself. Yes they deserve the reward for helping you out with your life, but most of all you have think you are worth using the book.
Secondly as you have put your money into it, you will be much more likely to follow the program. Have some skin the game. Read the book, like the content, and push when it starts to get hard. Because it will get hard.
Check form and if it feels off instead of better, then something is wrong
Stick to something for at least 1 month before changing
3) Get yourself a diary
I have written about this here, but this is a reminder of that previous article.
You need to keep track of what you actually did. You start off with a plan in mind, and then once you get to the gym, or to the actual execution of it, things happen. The weights are too light, the weight are too heavy, you don’t have access to the right machines, or the gym is full and you have to do something else. Write it down.
This being said, you should always strive to execute what has been written down. Most of the time, in most of the gyms I have been to, people are really really friendly. So of course you can ask if you can alternate on the machines or use dumbbells.
You’re part of a new tribe.
If you log you also see what progress you are making. Know this : you can only hope for a 1-2% increase in performance per week. And that is fast. The first few weeks you muscles will wake up and you will make huge jumps of 50%, 30%, 20%, 10%. So seeing progress there is easy. But as time goes by, every 0,5lbs, every gram, extra rep or set will be a victory. So make sure you damn well write them down.
So all there is left say is get down to it and work!
And take it easy.