Do you think you have the perfect workout that will produce the results that you want? Don’t be so sure. You just might have a ghastly workout if it has a number of elements that are not obviously harmful at the outset.
Chances are, your workout regimen is not faultless. By experience, there are three not-so-obvious ways that show if you still need to work on your workout. Here are the three things that will determine if your existing workout should be ditched or not.
1.You are not using the right percentages
- How many sets of exercises do you perform to develop your lower body every week? If you perform 2 sets of the lunge and 2 sets of the squat, that will give you a total of 4 sets.
- How many sets of all exercises do you perform every week? All exercises will include curls, lunges, pull-ups, bench presses, squats and some more. To get the percentage, divide your answer to question no. 1 with your answer to question no. 2. Remember that percentage.
- What percentage of your total body muscles is located below your waist? A safe answer would be about 50 per cent for most people.
- How does this percentage compare to the percentage that you have computed earlier in question no. 2?
If there is a big difference between your no. 2 answer and your no. 3 answer, “your workout is probably way out of balance,” says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., the co-owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California.
“Whether you’re trying to lose fat or build muscles, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your results,” he explains.
But this shouldn’t be the only test that you should take to determine if you have a balanced workout. You should also be concerned about the time you spend working the front side of your body compared to the backside of your body. Do you have a balanced set of exercises for your quads, arms and chest as you have for your back, hamstrings and glutes?
“I know guys who spend 90 percent of their time working 50 percent of their body,” adds Cosgrove. “This slows their results, and over time, can lead to injury due to strength imbalances,” he continues.
Although this is really not the scientific way to determine if your workout is balanced or not, nevertheless the percentage that you will be able to obtain will tell you where you should be focusing on.
2. You Can’t Pass the Core and Stability Test
Don’t assume that because you don’t have an ounce of fat, that you have good waist muscles. You can determine if such is true by trying this core strength test. This test was the idea of Gray Cook, P.T., author of “Movement: Functional Movement Systems.”
But take note: even if you regularly do your workout, it will not guarantee that you will be able to pass this test. Mike Wunsch, co-creator of 24-Hour Abs, says “You can do lots of crunches and sit-ups and still have a weak core.”
The basic core test goes like this:
- Start with the plank position, with your body on prone position being supported by your forearms and your toes.
- You will be raising your arms and toes alternately starting with your left arm, then your right arm, then your left toes, and lastly your right toes.
- You will see the strength of your core if you don’t wobble and maintain your stability each time you lift an arm or a toe.
- However, if you become unstable in any of these movements, your core is not that strong.
The verdict is: if you can’t pass this test, which can take about 1 to 3 minutes, you need to upgrade your abs workout.
3. You Rest and Lie Down for More Than 2 Sets of Exercises
Most gyms, including Workout Anytime and XSport Fitness have plenty of spaces for their members to rest and recuperate after their workouts. But the benches and seats in these gyms are not intended for long rests in between exercises.
For instance, the leg curl, leg extension and leg press all require you to sit or lie down when you’re working out your lower body muscles. But it’s funny how people in the gym use them.
“It doesn’t make sense. People sit all day, and then go to the gym and sit there, too,” laments Alwyn Cosgrove, of Results Fitness in California.
According to Cosgrove, most of his gym members want to correct the bad effects of their desk jobs. “Sitting contributes to all of those problems,” he says.
“That’s why we keep people on their feet. There are always exceptions, but I don’t want anyone sitting or lying for more than two exercises,” he concludes.