The best training program for you, is the one you’re not on


There are too many workout programs out there to count. Understandably, quite a few people are confused when the latest and hottest thing comes out with people flailing around, making loud breathing noises, flipping babies upside down (and catching them of course), chasing after chickens, or working out in the snow in your undapants. To the average gym member, this could be daunting.

When I was a youngling, I wanted to get bigger. Being 150ish pounds soak and wet my freshman year in high school, I knew I needed to put on size if I wanted to play football. “You gotta lift some heavy weights kid”, said one of my high school coaches. So, that’s what I did. I followed my schools “Weight Training” Program all four years. By my freshman year in college, I put on about 10#’s, but I wanted more. Was I bigger? Sure, but only by a little. And I still couldn’t bench 225, even for a half of a rep. So I ate and ate, trained 5 days a week, and by my Sophomore year I was around 180 lbs! I became friends with my buddy Dave, who was on the Illinois State football team at one point, and my buddy Mike (“The Hulk”) all lifted together in our dorm-gym at “South Side”. It was epic. These dudes were hyooge to me at the time. We didn’t follow any program in particular. We just lifted. And it worked.

Fast forward to my career as a Personal Trainer at a local gym, where I had 20+ clients, each and everyone of them were different. Some similar in goals and abilities. Programming for these folks at the time was hard because I was more familiar with what I had done for myself to get strong and lean.  A member one day came up to me and asked, “So my girlfriend is doing P90x. She’s done it for 2 months and I could tell a difference in her already. I’ve been doing Spin and some of the other classes for a while and haven’t seen much. Should I do that??” Given my experience with results and training some of my clients, I replied  “I don’t think so. They don’t use any real weights. If you want to get results, you need to lift heavier weights.” Since then, my view point has changed.

A couple years ago, I attended the Perform Better Seminar in Chicago. I was heading to a class, only to run into one of the best Strength Coaches in the world, Coach Dos Remedios (if you don’t know who that is, check him out here). I took the opportunity to ask him

“Coach, how do you feel about Zumba?”

As he always does, he dropped a knowledge bomb on me saying, “I love it…”
“What?!? Why??”

“Ya know…..because it gets my mother off of the couch.”

I thought about that conversation for a long time. From that point on, anytime and every time I saw a new workout program or DVD that came out, I kept thinking to myself “that may be what someone needs to get them to reach their goals.” Something new. Something different. That is the key to constant progression and success.

Whether it’s changing up your rep count, adding in new exercises, going to a different gym, getting a trainer, or even doing Zumba.

                                          “The best program is the one you’re not.” 

Now, don’t go jumping ship and on to the next one. It’s important to note, that if what you are doing is working, stick with it. The downside to all the programs that are out there, is people are suffering from “paralysis by analysis” and are quick to do the thing that their closest friend is doing that got them to lose 20 lbs in 2 months. Programs tend to have an end. Follow through and make sure to give it your all. Full programs aren’t meant to be used “half-assed”. To expect 100% of the results when the same amount of effort isn’t there is foolish.

If you’re not having fun with your “4 easy payments of $59.99” DVD you purchased-yet busting your butt and not even meeting your short term goals, it would be wise to consider switching gears. When that time comes, consult with a fitness pro or shop around for a trainer to build you a program that fit’s YOUR needs. It just may be the best thing you haven’t done…yet.