Stop Wasting Time With Exercise!

Many people think that working out at a gym is the best way to get healthy. However, just going to the gym isn’t enough. Learn how to get the most out of your workouts for maximum health benefits.

In 1986, as a sophomore in college, I began what, at that time, was a dream job: working in a gym. I was a personal trainer before they even called them “personal trainers.” Back then, they just called you “Guy (or girl) who shows you how to workout.” In fact, this gym was really more of a “club.”

Having always trained as an athlete in environments where everyone was serious about getting bigger, stronger and faster, I was shocked, confused and sometimes amused at people’s workout style at the club.While I was used to people exercising in a way that made them reach their fittest the quickest, most of the people I saw at this new club, and all of the gyms and clubs I’ve worked in, owned or consulted for since then, exercised in a way that likely didn’t make them fit at all.

Most people who worked out at the club fit into one of five categories:

1. Talkers: For many in the gym, the only muscle getting a thorough workout is their mandible (jaw). When I was 19 and working in the club, I would consistently chide these people by saying, “Let’s move it! Is this a weight room or a tea room, a fitness center or a country club?” 

2. Cruisers:
 These are people who can carry on a conversation while simultaneously lifting a weight. They could be telling jokes, discussing work, or looking around the room checking out the ladies (or men) all the while doing their set. They didn’t have them back then, but now I see people doing a dumbbell curl with one arm and talking on their cellular phone with the other. 

3. Attendance Only: The great truth of working out is that showing up truly is half the battle. Unfortunately for many, they believe it’s the whole battle. Show up, work your mandible, hit a few machines and spend five minutes on the bike, then head for McDonald’s. Perfect attendance doesn’t equal a perfect body. 

4. Weekend Warrior:
 For many people, their gym membership is more of a weekend pass or something they use to work off a hangover. 

5. The Executive Workout:
 Steam room, sauna, whirlpool, and way too comfortable walking around naked. You get the picture.

The people in these five categories have one thing in common: None of them have any chance of getting in shape. It’s vitally important to understand the “Laws of Adaptation.” Your body adapts to whatever stresses you impose or don’t impose.

For example, people who come from desert regions in the Middle East have dark skin to help them absorb the sun while people from Scandinavian countries, where there’s little sun year round, tend to be blonde with fair skin. 

Similarly, cultures that live in the mountains have bloodstreams that adapt to the altitude and all communities adapt to the local foods, bacteria and weather. God put you here to survive. The body’s greatest God-given survival mechanism is the law of adaptation.Due to the Law of Adaptation, muscles that are continuously under different types of “resistance” become stronger, leaner and better developed. Muscles adapt to whatever force you apply to them, or don’t.If you want, leaner, “Hotter,” muscles – then you have to put a certain demand on them to make that happen.  The great news is, the best way to do that is to put in the least and not the most time.

There are actually 3 speeds of exercise. As you’ll see, the faster you go, the quicker you can get results and get your exercise over with.  Most importantly, fast equals better results and you get them in a fraction of the time.

The Three Speeds of Exercise

1. Super Fast
EXERCISE TIME: Short, 10-30 seconds
TEMPO: 90-100 percent —Going as fast as you can
TYPE: Example: Run in place as fast as you can, pedal all out on a bike,  a heavy, explosive lift like a clean
MUSCLE FIBER: Super-fast twitch (Type IIx)

2. Fast
TIME: Moderate, 45 seconds–3 minutes
TEMPO: 75-90 percent maximum intensity—going as fast as you can sustain
TYPE: Examples – Run, bike, or speed walk quickly or do push-ups or pull-ups for 45 seconds straight.
MUSCLE FIBER: Fast-twitch (Type IIa)

3. Slow
TIME: Long, 15 or more minutes
TEMPO: Low intensity—going at a pace for the long haul
TYPE: Examples – jog, bike, or swim at a slow pace.
Standard weightlifting with 6–12 repetitions and 1–2 minutes between exercises.
MUSCLE FIBER: Slow twitch (Type I)

All three speeds help you with Maximized Living Essential #4: Maximized Oxygen and Lean Muscle.  You maximize the use of your most important nutrient, oxygen. The great news is that you can radically minimize the time you spend exercising by doing Super-fast and fast exercise.

“Slow” is known as aerobics or exercise with oxygen. When you finish with the Super-fast or fast training routines, you completely kick in your aerobic/cardiovascular system. How will you know? You’ll know because you’ll be breathing heavy or in other words, sucking in a whole lot of oxygen.

While Super-fast and Fast also boost the Slow energy system and build the slow twitch muscle fibers, Slow doesn’t do much if anything to help the others. We take full advantage of this fact to keep the times very short in the MaxT3 program that we do in our Maximized Living clinics.

The only real reason to access times that are slow focused of fifteen minutes or more is when you are an endurance athlete. If you’re preparing for longer activities like triathlons and marathons or a sport like soccer or Rugby where you run continuously, you’ll need to work in some long times into your weekly routines. Even with those endurance races and sports, it’s critical to work in the other two speeds of exercise in order to boost performance.