There´s a tendency to overcomplicate things knowing that the more complicated the more sure we´re not going to follow it, we tend to think that if something is simple it won´t work but there´s a big gap between simple and easy, even when the concepts to lose fat and achieve any fitness goal are simple they´re not easy.
We don´t need to spend 2 hours in the gym everyday and we don´t need to do a lot of different exercises for each muscle group, this only make things more confusing and we waste a lot of time, we don´t need to do a lot of sets and reps unless we´re looking for an endurance workout.
Nowadays most guys like to train one muscle group per day the 5 day split that we see most guys in the gym following, if we´re not a bodybuilder we don´t need to do this, a lot of guys give more attention and prioritize isolation movements so they spend a lot of time in the gym getting the “pump”.
If we keep in mind our primary goal which is improve body composition, gaining muscle while keeping body fat low then resistance training is a priority it´s more important than cardio. We need to follow workout programs that focus on helping us gain lean muscle so we need to be training 3 to 4 days a week on this, the days left we can do some cardio.
We can divide resistance training exercises in three categories, bodyweight exercises, compound exercises and isolation exercises. Bodyweight and compound movements are the best option to gain muscle and get stronger, the way to gain dense muscle is by getting stronger on those exercises.
Workouts based on simple exercises like pushups, pull ups, squats, handstands, leg raises, bench press, over head press, bent over row, barbell squats and dead lifts are simple and effective, to this we can add some isolation exercises to target weaker muscles or work harder a muscle group we want to stand out. What we want with resistance training is to get stronger in the 5 to 8 rep range and 8 to 12 rep ranges to build dense muscle.
Once we have our resistance training in place we can add some cardio workouts just a tool to help us burn some extra calories that will help us get leaner faster or to maintain a low body fat, we´ll also get all the amazing benefits of endurance. We don´t want to do a lot of cardio or make it the base of our workouts because it´s not the way to gain muscle.
How we design our workouts depend of what we like to do, if we prefer bodyweight exercises we can make them the base of our workouts and add compound movements as a second option, if we prefer compound movements we can use them as our base and just use bodyweight exercises to compliment the workout, we can use them both for a more complete workout and to get stronger on both.
Once we have this on place we may want to add some isolation movements for muscle that need extra work like calves, shoulders, arms and abs, just one exercise for each is all we need, calf raises, lateral raises for shoulders, dips for triceps and chin ups or barbell curls for biceps.
This may seems so simple and basic but it´s the truth and is what works, I´m old school, I like to stick with the basics and simple tools which end being the more effective. If we want great results as fast as possible we need to focus and stick with what works, whit the tools that are going to give us the best results in the shortest period of time and that we can sustain for the rest of our life.
Traditional fitness programs are in most cases not the best option, they overcomplicate things, they make everything harder than it is, they don´t focus on health. The reality is simple, focus o getting stronger on bodyweight and compound movements, add some cardio to burn extra calories.
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