If you are a member of a gym, the next time you are there, STOP and look around. You’ll notice that there are at least three distinct groups working out.
You know what bodybuilders look like but, unfortunately, the “body building type exercise regime” is what the majority of men tend to do in the gym setting. I’m not talking about anyone using weights, just those who take the “train body parts approach”.
In other words, you train legs and shoulders on day 1, biceps and back on day 2, legs and triceps on day 3 and do some abs and cardio on day 4…
This approach — isolation training — is all about building muscle mass, but it seriously lacks substance. Not only is this type of approach completely dysfunctional for increasing functional strength and tissue quality, it’s very outdated and has little, if any, carryover to any sport or activity in real life.
Not to mention, it’s a fast way to develop some serious misalignment within the musculoskeletal system and can be a huge cause of lower back pain, migraines and joint degeneration.
All in all, this should be left for people who simply want BIG STUPID muscles, not a healthy, lean and functionally strong body!
Generally, this group never changes their programmes too much. Plus, mixing this programme with taking steroids or even using protein powder can cause digestive issues and some serious hormonal balance issues!
Don’t confuse powerlifters and bodybuilders! Powerlifters tend to use a bit more science than bodybuilders. Usually, they wear a weight belt and protective knee and elbow strapping (from joints that have degenerated over the years).
The theory: Use muscle type IIB fibres to create power and bulk within the body. Unlike bodybuilding, which focuses on an 8-12 rep range, powerlifting generally concentrates on the 4-6 rep range and heavier weights.
In my opinion, powerlifting can be highly advantageous with solid planning, EXCELLENT form and other disciplines mixed in. However, in most cases, powerlifters sacrifice form and planning to lift as much as possible, an even quicker way to pain and injury!
The Cardio Junkies
Cardio junkies are people who tend to live on treadmills, X-trainers, rowers or other cardio equipment. What’s surprising about this group: They NEVER seem to change in appearance. If they have any time off from the gym, they always seem to gain the most weight on their return.
Of course, cardio training is very important, but the majority of these junkies usually don’t mix in any free weight work into their obsessive focus on chasing the treadmill belt!
The theory behind the constant cardio is to keep the weight off, usually coupled with a need to “deplete calories”, another outdated misconception from the 70s.
Like the other kinds of training I’ve mentioned here, excessive cardio leads to a whole range of dysfunction and even early joint degeneration. If people are training with any pain issues (like back pain), this can hinder their recovery.
So, what should you be doing with your time to maximise your results in the gym?
First of all, EDUCATE YOURSELF! Get informed about how to exercise properly for your specific body type. I guarantee it will pay dividends!
Then, buy Paul Chek’s book, How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy, or invest in working with a CHEK Practitioner.
As a Licensed CHEK Clinic, our team members are trained in advanced health and exercise techniques. Many have backgrounds as personal trainers, sports therapists and physiotherapists, but all of them have undergone the hardest education system in the industry to be called CHEK Practitioners.
Not only will working one-on-one with a CHEK Practitioner for 12 months teach you how to exercise the right way for your body type, you’ll learn about lifestyle changes — including stress reduction and nutritional habits — you’ll want to make to enjoy a healthier, better you for the rest of your life.