Fitness training is not just a physical pursuit of lean muscle, fat loss and a new, sexy body. It's an intellectual pursuit as well. In order to get the results you want, you have to develop an ideal plan that's right for you.
Most people never take this step. They copy some routine or diet they've read about and if it helps them make progress, great, and if not, they quit out of frustration without taking the time to think things through and develop a training program that will give them real progress. Don't let this happen to you.
You don't need to blindly follow the weight training routines, dietary regimens and overall programs of the people you read about in the magazines. Don't get me wrong, they can be great programs, but they may not work for you exactly as written. You may need to make some changes to make the programs be effective muscle building and fat burning programs.
For example, the barbell squat is the cornerstone of many of the most effective weight training programs in existence and I highly recommend it. However, there really are some people that either can't squat, or do not have a body type that makes the squat nearly as effective for them and they may be better off substituting another leg exercise like the leg press or lunges. If you don't think about what you are doing, you'll never make this step and you'll short circuit your ability to build muscle and lose fat.
A personal example for me is the bench press. I have found, through experience, that the decline bench press is a much more effective exercise. First, the flat bench press can wreak havoc on your shoulders and rotator cuff. In addition, I have longer arms, making the bench press more of a tricep exercise for me than a chest builder. The decline bench press puts me in a position that elminates both of these negatives.
There are a number of highly effective basic weight training routines, many of which I've shared on www.buildleanmuscle.com. And a lot of people will make great progress on these routines, as is. But the real key to these programs is that you can adapt them to suit you, like in the examples I gave above.
Here are 5 key tips to an effective weight training and nutrition program for you.
This one seems so simple, yet so few people really put forth the necessary effort to see the results they want. If you are going to try training, you might as well give yourself the best chance for success and that means training hard. Everyone must work hard. That's just the cold, hard truth. This doesn't mean that you have to train for hours every day. But it does mean that the time you spend working out must challenge you. You gotta put in the work.
Being persistent is a key component of working hard. Too many people get overenthusiastic about starting a new fitness program or nutrition program and they go nuts the first couple of weeks. This leads to soreness and burn out and they end up back on the couch before they see any real progress.
Even if your training program is perfect, you still have to work it. You won't see results, otherwise. Forget all the gimmicks and fads. Use the proven, basic exercises that work and work them.
This is crucial to your long term fitness success. If you overtrain, you won't make any gains. You'll also feel like crap and want to quit, either because you're exhausted or because you are discouraged at your lack of progress from so much effort. Some people love the easy way out so let me make clear that avoiding overtraining is not an excuse to take it easy and only workout once a month!
When it comes to bulding muscle (and even losing fat) more is not always better. Quality counts big time (see training hard above). If you're making great progress on your current routine, it does not mean you'll make even more progress if you triple the amount of work you are doing. Your body needs time to recover from your training. With weight training, work hard doing a few sets of the basic exercises. With cardio, consider doing more high intensity interval training as opposed to long time periods of slow-go cardio.
Eat Right and Rest
You don't need to follow some new diet fad in order to lose fat or build muscle. Stick to the basics and you'll be fine. This means mostly raw foods, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, etc. Stay away from simple sugars, processed foods, and foods with trans fats. Get good fats in your diet and supplement with a good essential fat acid supplement like Udo's Choice Oil Blend.
Attitude Determines Your Altitude
Maintaining a positive attitude is very important when it comes to being successful with your health and fitness program. No, this isn't easy. And, unfortunately, a lot of the negative pressure will come from those closest to you. If you're always around people who are constantly negative and try to bring you down, get rid of them. I know that sounds harsh, but if you want to be successful you need to be around other people like you, not people who do nothing but complain. No bs, no excuses.
The Best Routine For You
Once you have all these things in place, you can start experimenting with changes in the basic routines that suit you best. Maybe dips are the best chest exercise for you, instead of the bench press. If so, do dips! Maybe you do better on three hard sets of 6 reps each, instead of one all out set of 12 reps. Then do three sets. Maybe you get better results when you train with 3 minutes of rest between sets (or 30 seconds) instead of a minute and a half. Then make the change!
Little changes like this can go a long way toward building muscle and losing fat, while keeping you from quitting. While you have to work hard, you may find that it's easier to work hard when you workout in a way that suits your mental makeup. Your exercise program needs to relfect that. While I believe squats are the best exercise around hands down, and you should learn to like them, if you hate them to the point that you quit training, what good are they? Maybe you've found that you can workout much harder and more consistently with leg presses then do leg presses. You'll make better progress on a slightly inferior exercise if you work it hard, then you will if you don't workout at all because you hate the exercise you are supposed to do.
Train hard, don't train too much, eat right, get quality rest, stay positive, and experiment to find what works for you. This will take you a long way toward building muscle, burning fat and making health and fitness a permanent part of your life.
Gregg Gillies is the founder of http://www.buildleanmuscle.com . Interested in gaining 21 pounds of muscle in only 9 weeks? Grab his free report at http://www.fastmasstips.com . Want to boost your metabolism, burn more fat with less effort and lose all the weight you want. . . fast? Grab his free report at http://www.fatlosssecretsrevealed.com .