Are You Doing Enough Exercise?

You see the fit bodies on magazine covers and TV infomercials. Usually there is a large text somewhere close by saying how 3 twenty minute workouts a week can get you results that will change your body. The implication is you can achieve the same results as the models in the ads.

Here’s the thing – none of those models workout 3 times a week. None of them do 20 minute workouts. No, those models have to dedicate their lives to keeping their bodies lean and muscular. They watch what they eat with meticulous detail and don’t have weekends of free eating. And yes, a lot of them take supplements, both legal and not so legal.

The workouts those models follow (and yes the people in the infomercials are paid models and actors, sorry to ruin things for you) are 5 to 6 day a week programs meticulously crafted to achieve the best possible results. This in conjunction with their moderate to low card diets filled with lean meats and vegetables that they adhere to for months on end is how they achieve the bodies you are staring at.

This is what we have to talk about and I don’t want people to take it the wrong way. It is all going to come down to what your goals are.

If your goal is general health and fitness then yes, you might be able to achieve this with two or three half hour workouts a week. But anything beyond simple basic fitness is going to be well beyond your grasp.

Most of our lives are sedentary. Sleeping obviously takes up a lot of time and is quite sedentary but so is much of our lives. Sitting in the car, sitting at work, sitting at home in the evening watching TV, sitting watching your kids sports practice and games. See a theme? But it’s not just sitting. Grocery shopping, walking the mall and most of the other activities we do are also rather low intensity and don’t do anything to improve your health and fitness.

Your body is designed to move and be active all day every day. It is our lifestyle that has taken this away and actually made it almost impossible.

So we look to organized exercise to keep our bodies healthy and fit. Sports leagues, gym memberships, pick up sports on the weekend and a few other organized activities make up the bulk of what most of you do to get fitness into your lives.

Is it enough? This is where we talk about goals.

If your goal is just to keep moving and moderately healthy then, yes, one of the above activities will have an impact. But what if you want more?

What if you want to improve your fitness level? What if you want to become competitive? What if you want to see your abs? What if you want to drop 10% body fat? Will a couple workouts a week do it?

Retailers and trainers will tell you it can. But how is it you will achieve those results in 3 half hour workouts when the models you are emulating are training 5 or 6 days a week for an hour at a time on custom designed programs? Are you that genetically gifted?

This is when people tell me they are scared to ‘bulk up too much by lifting weights. Really? When you’re training a couple of times a week and somewhat following your nutrition guidelines? You’re going to get big and bulky like the professionals who dedicate their lives to it and it still takes them decades to achieve it?

Next you’re going to tell me you’re scared to start running at the track a few mornings a week because you might get as fast as Usain Bolt.

Here’s the truth. Your workouts have to match your goals. You want to look like a cover model? You need to train and eat like one. For years. You want to perform like an athlete? You need to train and eat like one. For years.

Don’t get depressed around me and whine that you are unhappy with your progress and results unless you have dedicated your life to it. If you’re working half as hard as the pro’s you should expect half the results. Jennifer Hudson lost a ton of weight on Jenny Craig? Did you know she has private chefs and trainers? They don’t mention that on the commercials.

There are 168 hours in a week. If you train 2 hours a week that is less than 2 percent of all those hours. What kind of results can you expect when you are only dedicating 2% of your time to achieving goals? See how successful you are at work if you dedicate 2% of your time to that.

-Taylor

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