Pop quiz! Which exercise style is the best? A. Powerlifting B. Weightlifting C. Crossfit D. Bodybuilding E. None of the above. The answer to that question is one of the most heated debates in the health industry. The one thing that we can all agree on, pop quizzes suck. So how do we go about choosing the right exercise program for ourselves? The simplest and most vague answer to this question is that it is different for everyone and depends on your goals.
Social Media bombards us with images of individuals who live a fitness lifestyle. Their life revolves around posing for pictures and not actually lifting. We get sucked into a trap believing that we either need to workout as hard as possible or if we buy their product we’ll look exactly the same. Both options are unsustainable and do not provide the quality results we all want.
The first thing we must do is step back and define what exercise means to us. Is it a lifestyle? Is it a supplement to your life? Do you compete? Do you have health problems? Are you weak? Any program design should be based around the answers to these questions. The answers can make big changes to the intensity, duration and volume of your workouts.
Don’t want to spend hours in the gym? Contrary to popular belief you can get stronger by only going to the gym twice a week.
Compete in a sport or upcoming event? You’ll need to spend more time and focus on your sports specific needs, which I’ll cover in a future article
Feeling weak? Powerlifting may be your answer here. A program like Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 is ideal.
Want to be healthier overall? Simply going in three days a week for 30 minutes of full body exercise followed up with 2 days of “conditioning” and you’ll be golden. In future articles I’ll provide short and simple workouts that help clear the mind as well as get you in better shape.
The take away from this article is we need to stop doing what other people are doing just because they may look cool. We need to analyze what our needs are first and then go find the information that will allow us to make the most informed decisions about our health. Allowing others, especially when your only communication is a thank you email for purchasing their product, to dictate our results will lessen the odds we even finish. Exercise and health can not be viewed as small details that we can just outsource 100% to someone else. We need to create our own path that provides the best programming for our own individual lives.