The statement above is true, but as with everything, it depends: if you are doing something stupid, it does not matter how well you do it. Use common sense. I know common sense is a little lacking these days, but try. This applies to life and to fitness. To be successful, you need to be consistent.
Don’t half-ass it. Why would you even want to half-ass life? Today, you are the youngest you will ever be again. So live with purpose. Live with love. Live with faith. At the end of the day, know you gave your best that day. Some days, your best will be better than others. That is ok, as long as you can look in the mirror at the end of the day and be proud of the person you see staring back at you.
How is this even relevant to fitness? I am glad you asked. It is pretty obvious why you should not half-ass your limited gym time. Well, at least I would not. I am there to get results; I have a plan. Why are you there? Are you ok with doing the same thing over and over and not seeing any change? If I were ok with that, I would skip the gym altogether and get good at eating ice cream. I would look at the results of that pretty fast. I think it is safe to say most of us go to the gym to get in better shape either because the doctor told us to, or because summer is coming. Do you want to see results for your efforts? What “results” means is individual to your goals: get stronger, lose weight, be more confident, climb a ladder, etc…you decide what your goals are and answer the question: Is what I am doing getting me closer to my goals? If you can say yes, then give me a virtual high five and carry on. If not, keep reading.
With the proliferation of social media and “fitness” magazines, complete with pink dumbbells, horrible planks, and kettlebells the size of earrings that promise a body like a fitness model by following the workout in only 30 minutes 3 times a week! (Side note: What are those kettlebells things? Join Team Training at Gold’s West End – Kettlebells – to learn how to use kettlebells for more than bicep curls and lunges.) You do know that the fitness model in the picture does not look the way she does by following that workout, right? I see people on their cell phones at the gym pulling up some workout and thinking that is the exercise that is going to give them a look they have been trying to get. Finally! Seems like everyone these days is “prepping for a show.” Certainly nothing wrong with competing if you want to, but don’t feel left out because you are not interested. As I was told many years ago by someone I consider to be very smart, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
You can, and yes, you should, train hard, not necessarily to compete, but to make yourself better and stronger. Train with purpose. Achieve your best you. Do not compare yourself to anyone but you. Always strive for that. There is exceptional satisfaction in accomplishment. It makes you feel good; It motivates you to be more productive. Just like when your Mom told you to make your bed because you just accomplished something and it sets the tone for the day (my Mom would laugh because I would never listen…but now, I make my bed every morning.) Oh and while you are at it, empty the dishwasher, fold your clothes. Wait…am I adulting? Simple tasks accomplished make for a pretty good start to the day. Thanks for the wise advice, Mom!
It is how you do it. I got a little side-tracked there. Back to relevance. Why does “how you do it” matter? For starters, safety. If you are injured, you cannot train, or if you train through injury (and not around it), it will likely come back to bite you in the ass. Who cares how much you squat if you look like your spine is going to snap or your knees are practically touching each other? Technique matters. If you are not getting stronger, seeing results, or your back, knees, whatever hurt, chances are it is not the exercise, but instead it’s how you do the exercise.
The basics are the foundation for a reason. Stick to the basics and get truly good at them and you will get results, even if you never “graduate” to the fashionable new exercises you see people doing at the gym.
So, we established that the basics are still around for a reason. Accessory exercises are just that. They are not the meat and potatoes of a good training program. There is absolutely nothing wrong with accessory exercises, and in fact, they can be beneficial in the right doses. You can get results from almost any training plan if you work hard enough and you use proper technique. You can also have the best training program in the world, but if you cannot execute it correctly, at best you will not reach your full potential, and at worst, you will be injured.
Seek help from a professional if you need to learn the safe technique. Anyone can post anything online, obtain a personal training certification and call themselves an expert. Ask questions. Choose wisely.