Today I’ll give you my opinion on why your workout program isn’t giving you the results you want… why it’s not taking you ALL THE WAY to your desired body.
This isn’t meant to be the ‘end all, be all’ advice for proper dieting and exercising. It’s meant to stir some thought and give you some ideas on what could be holding you back from getting all torn up from the floor up (if that’s the saying). I’ll give you insight into what’s preventing you from taking it all the way to the next level.
1. Too Much Wiggle Room
A lot of workout programs are written to appeal to a wide audience. The authors want to make sure that they give people the greatest chance of succeeding and sticking to the program, and this usually means letting some stuff slide (particularly dietary requirements).
The result is higher rates of adherence to the program and physical results coming slowly. But the major improvements don’t come as fast as they should, and the ‘next level’ never comes.
The Anabolic Diet and Tim Ferriss’ slow carb diet are great examples of this. Go on either of those diets for the first time, and you’ll start seeing some really good results. But both of those diets allow for WAY too much wiggle room. I can almost guarantee that your results will level off and stall.
2. Too Much Science**
** I say ‘too much science’ with hesitance. It’s like saying, ‘too much truth’, or ‘too much more right-ness’.
The problem is that the results of the scientific studies fitness pros base their advice on are usually way too controlled to repeat in the average lifter.
(You might also like to know that some scientific studies are funded by supplement companies.)
The amount of intensity used in the studies is rarely, if ever, described well enough.
Here’s the deal… the DIETS of many programs rely on the science, and tell you to consume millions of calories, but then fail to get across the science of exactly how much INTENSITY is needed in the gym.
And, we end up thinking that we should be scarfing down insane amounts of carbs, eating whey protein powder by the bucket, and so on.
3. Not Enough Whole Foods
Whole foods will get you 10x the results as the synthetic stuff. Nuff said.
The times when I’ve tried to lose fat and was jamming down protein shakes, the results have been piss-poor in comparison to when I ate whole foods.
This means WHOLE EGGS. None of that pussy egg white B.S.
The body simply doesn’t digest ‘fake’ food as well as real, whole foods.
And the biggest sin of all? Most diets pay no attention to digestion. If your body isn’t processing the food you’re giving it, then you’ll get fat.
4. Way Too Many Carbs.
For the guy who’s not seeing the fat loss results he wants, I can almost guarantee he’s eating way too many carbs.
You don’t need a giant carb meal after a workout.
You don’t need a pre, during, and post workout protein shake with 60 grams of dextrose in it… like I used to pound down. Eat some steak and eggs.
You don’t need a whole weekend or even a whole day to ‘restore glycogen’. You probably only need 1 hour.
5. The Program Assumes INSANE Intensity (Which Is Awesome) But People Don’ Understand What It Takes.
This was illustrated above but it needs its own bullet point.
You’re likely NOT going hard enough in the gym.
If you’re not ‘feeling’ it in your muscles you’re doing it wrong. If you work your shoulders and don’t walk out of the gym unable to take your shirt off without some difficulty, you’re probably not going hard enough… you just ‘warmed’ up.
Other thoughts on intensity:
- Way too much rest time between sets.
- Way too much time in the gym. 1 hr is overkill, people burn out. You don’t need marathon sessions in the gym. In fact, I’d say that if you’re going over 40 minutes, you’re resting too much and wasting your time. The problem here is that most people’s intensity isn’t high enough during a workout under 30 minutes, so staying longer will help get the needed work in.
6. The ‘No Direct Bicep’ Work Mantra & The ‘Culture Of Wheels’
I call bull-shit.
I used to follow this lame-ass advice and what I’d end up with? Horrible bicep size. Fat thighs, and a body nobody cared about. (I’m sure there’s also a correlation to some of the other bullets here – ie poor intensity – but the point remains.)
For the average lifter, who gives a shit about the size of the legs? Yes, work your legs hard. Do heavy squats, do deadlifts. I personally really enjoy these exercises to get the sweat going and work my abs. But, you should be working your biceps if you want them to grow.
I think ‘no bicep’ work is harmful advice for a lot of guys.
Which leads me to the final point:
7. The Programs Have No SPECIFIC End Result In Mind
This is a huge one. A lot of times we follow workout programs that are just designed to put on X amount of muscle. Most of the time that just means an extra 5 lbs of muscle on our thighs (and a lot of fat before the ‘cut’).
What’s the point?
This is what leads a lot of guys to be seen as ‘gym rats’ but then with their shirts off no one can even tell they work out.
It’s a shame.
BONUS 8. Nuts Suck.
I’ll throw in this one because it’s fun.
Nuts are healthy in moderation. People overeat them, guaranteed. If you’re on a diet, don’t touch them.
Here’s what to do now:
Email me using this contact form or on tweet @DJohanson if you need a recommendation on a diet/exercise program other than the Hollywood Physique, which is what I shamelessly recommend for anyone who has some experience in the gym.