If you’ve been training for a while, the likelihood is that you’ve followed a few ridiculous fitness fads or concepts that you’re not too proud of. While the concepts on this list might quite meet that criteria, following them could be what’s stopping you from reaching your full potential, whether that’s in relation to aesthetics, strength or performance. Time to say R.I.P to these 5 Outmoded Training Ideas!
1. Beginners training with split routines
If you’re a beginner attempting to build an impressive physique you might want to take a break from the tricep kickbacks and pick up a barbell.
Split training is ideal for those who have already built a solid foundation with some mass and now need to target each individual muscle group with a higher number of sets. For those however who are just starting out, the frequency that full body workouts allow is optimal for growth. Hitting multiple muscle groups with compound lifts such deadlifts, pull ups, shoulder presses, squats and leg presses 3-4 times per week will lead to more growth than targeting each muscle individually.
Unless your goal is to become an excellent jogger or a long distance runner, there are far better options out there. Disclaimer: if you’re already happy with the shape you’re in and simply jog because you enjoy it, then by all means continue. And yes, while jogging does have benefits when it comes to cardiovascular health, there are numerous options that actually make it easier to gain muscle, are less hazardous on the joints and still improve cardiovascular health. Sled pushes and Concept 2 or Water Rower rowing spring to mind.
3. Killing yourself in the gym
This is a concept that is synonymous with the phrase “No pain, no gain”, a sentiment that has been echoed in many of our favourite films. It’s true in the sense that in order to see results you must make yourself uncomfortable in the gym and go beyond your comfort zone at least once in a while. However, beating yourself up every workout will eventually impact your results and only hurt your motivation the long run. Sometimes it is far more beneficial to take your foot off the gas pedal for a few weeks. Working in the 50-85% of your maximum effort range is still going to get you long term and consistent results so don’t you worry about that. Just showing up to the gym is half the battle won right there!
4. Extreme bulking and cutting cycles
Yes, we want to put on muscle. Yes, you’ve got to eat big to get big. Nevertheless, many lifters, young lifters especially, have taken this concept to the extreme. For 6 months of the year, they eat everything in sight, unconcerned with how they look and satisfied that the scale is going up. The next 6 months is spent dieting and logging endless hours of cardio, in order to strip all excess (and harmful to health) fat and have something to show for all their ‘hard work’. The end result to all of this is that these individuals just look good for one week of the year at their peak while on holiday.
I don’t want to come across as preachy, so if you’re happy with this type of cycle then fine. But for those tired of running their metabolism into the ground, the hazards of sugar spikes to your insulin and effects on pancreatic health as well as cholesterol levels, try increasing caloric intake by about 200-300 calories every 6 weeks for around 6 months. After all, without pharmaceutical assistance there’s a limit to the amount of muscle that can be built in any given time frame.
5. Myopic obsession
Dedication is a trait that should always be admired and if you’re a professional athlete or bodybuilder who literally eats by how well you perform or look, then continue to be obsessed. However, for the average person, there’s more to life than training. Too many of us are adopting a Spartan lifestyle, refusing to attend a friend’s birthday in fear that they’ll go over their macros.
Going to the gym and any other healthy lifestyle activity is supposed to enhance you in the present as well as be an investment in your future health while boosting other aspects of your life as well and not totally consume you. Let us know the results you’re getting from your current training!