I like things which are simple and clear and this includes my workouts. I am not adverse to using complex methods in order to make my workouts as effective and efficient as possible. However, I don’t think you need to have much more than the 3 training rules that I will share with you here. As you can see in the image to the right, the 3 training rules are as follows:
- Train often.
- Train hard.
- Train smart.
If you’re applying these 3 rules in your workouts you will burn fat, build muscle, tone your body, and become fitter and healthier. Let’s dive a bit into what each of these 3 rules really mean and how you should work them into your fitness routine.
OK? Let’s go…
Training Rule #1 – Train Often
If you want to get real results you need to train often. Even if you do the most intense workout possible once a week, it won’t be enough and may even be risky and lead to injury. You need to make fitness a part of your routine for it to be really effective.
How often should you workout? This is a question that has no definite answer.
In my definitive guide to lose 10 pounds in a month or less I recommended a 5 workouts a week routine. My own routine consists of 5-6 workouts each week: 3 strength workouts and 2-3 full cardio workouts. I work on my whole body during each of my strength workouts. Those who choose to follow a split-training routine will need to do 4 strength workouts each week to train their entire body effectively.
I find that this combination of strength and cardio is the best way for me to stay in shape, burn off body fat, and maintain good muscle tone. However, this isn’t the extent of my workout routine. I also try to do regular daily walks with my wife in order to make sure that I am active each and every day. This is not just about weight loss, but about remaining healthy as well.
Training Rule #2 – Train Hard
There’s no point in going to the gym unless you make the most out of your time there. If you want your workouts to be more efficient, especially in terms of fat loss, you need to work hard during your workouts. There’s simply no other way to do it.
I see a lot of people who simply waste their time in the gym doing ineffective workouts and wondering why they’re not working for them and why they’re not losing fat and inches. The reason is simple: they’re not working hard enough. They’re not giving it their all. They’re simply fooling themselves, but your body can’t be fooled. It won’t react to your workouts unless you’re serious and put in the effort required.
To make your workouts harder you can take the following steps:
- Lift heavier weights or work with greater resistance.
- Shorten your rests between sets.
- Work in circuits by doing a number of exercises in a sequence.
- Do more exercises (although too many may be ineffective).
- Make sure to work with perfect form.
Training Rule #3 – Train Smart
You can go to the gym often and you can work hard, but if you’re not smart you won’t get the sort of results you’re expecting. You need to train smart, not just put in the time and energy. Working out in an un-smart way is not just ineffective, but may result in injury. So, use your brain, not just your muscles.
The first thing you need to do is to train with proper form at all times. This isn’t just for safety’s sake. It also helps you to make the most of your workouts.
The second thing you should do is to train in a balanced way so you don’t favor one muscle group over the other. For instance, you should train both the back and chest muscles equally to keep yourself balanced and even. The same goes for the hamstrings and quadriceps.
The third thing is to choose the proper training method for fast results. Interval training cardio is more effective than regular workouts. Circuit training and metabolic resistance training are more effective than regular weight lifting workouts. The way you order your exercises is also important: work on big muscles before smaller ones and do strength exercises before cardio, if you perform both at the same session.
Education is also important. You need to learn how to train effectively, safely and correctly. You can and should consult the fitness trainers in the gym and/or buy some fitness books or programs.
Bring It All Together
Once you apply all three of the training rules, you can expect a quick improvement in your fitness and body. This is what happens when you do things right. So, train often, hard, and smart. You will get the body you want.