We can’t say it any more clearly – When fitness programs fail, it’s never because of lack of time, gym membership or equipment. They fail for one of two reasons. Either the program du jour is bogus and ill conceived, or the exercises are performed at a low intensity level.
To elaborate, a program is most likely to be bogus and ill-conceived if it:
- Requires the use of 8-ounce water bottles for anything other than drinking,
- Requires a piece of equipment featured in an infomercial and paid for in only 3 easy installments,
- Boasts you can sit, recline, or sleep while exercising,
- Vibrates, shakes, or requires the attachment of any electrodes,
- Claims to be cardio, toning, and stretching all in one,
- Uses the word “bun(s)” anywhere in the name or description,
- Claims, “as used by the stars” anywhere in the ad (Real stars use hydrogen, helium and thermonuclear fusion to create the beautiful glowing bodies; we mortals are required to use healthy food, water, and physical activity to create beautiful glowing bodies.)
- Claims to utilize “body weight resistance training” but then talks about pushing and pulling from a seated position (Body weight just means using your body to provide resistance, but you should darn well be holding yourself up [refer to the “… sit, recline, or sleep…” comment above]. If you’re pushing and pulling body weight, you’re better off doing push-ups, pull-ups, or one of a zillion variations of them. You’re better off doing squats or lunges, or some variation of a squat or lunge. You can climb a rope or do some stability ball hamstring curls or jack knives. But if you’re sitting on your butt and pushing or pulling handles that make a little padded seat go up and down, at least get some bang for your buck, because you’re sure as shootin’ not exercising. Take a friend and go find a bar with a mechanical bull; at least have some laughs and a beer while you get taken for a ride.)
A workout is most likely not intense enough to be effective if:
- You’re using 8-ounce water bottles for anything other than drinking,
- You’re sitting, reclining, or sleeping.
- You’re vibrating, shaking, or attached to electrodes.
- Your warm-up doesn’t look and feel like exercise.
- It doesn’t increase respiration and perspiration. (That saying that “women don’t sweat, they glisten” is bulls%^t – they sweat like pigs just like men do, so get over it.)
- You don’t need a towel to clean up after yourself.
- You can read Cosmo or Shape, follow a TV show, snooze, daydream, or do mental math while working out. (Certain music may actually help increase exercise intensity, but more on that, later.)
- You can go directly to work after your workout without first taking a shower.
Are you still with us?
If you really want results, stay with us a while. If, on the other hand, you just want to whine about how unfair life is, how you’ve been cursed with bad genes (of course that’s why you can’t fit into your jeans), how busy you are, or how you’ll get around to taking care of your fitness and health after _______ (choose one – next week, next month, my promotion, school’s out, the audit’s over, the report is written, my youngest starts school, the kids grow up, some other excuse), then KissWorkouts may not be the right blog for you. We, like most trainers, prefer to spend time with folks who will become advocates for healthy living – poster-children, if you will, for training smart and hard. After all, it’s nothing but bad press for us when our clients aren’t successful in meeting personal fitness goals, so we actually prefer to weed out unmotivated individuals right up front. Yes, some feelings get hurt, but life is short; we don’t want to waste your time, and we sure don’t want to waste ours!
© Cathy Larripa and KissWorkouts Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cathy Larripa and KissWorkouts Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.