Science tells us there is always one best way of doing anything!!!!
Insanity… Basic Training… Science
Ask any marine, navy seal or ranger what was the toughest most hated part of their training and they will respond basic training…the first 10 to 20 weeks where they went through incredible physical hardship as a group to get ready for the horrors of war. This physical training was done as a group to build a team mentality…but mostly because it was the only practical way to handle large numbers of soldiers in need of training at one time. Better physical results with less injuries would have been produced with one on one training…that is one instructer to one trainee….but it was just not practical. And yet group exercise is all the rage today in many health clubs. Women and men gather together to perform these group exercise classes that are 100% compromise…they can’t be right for everybody…in fact they are perfect for nobody. To me as a trainer in the fitness industry for the last 40 years I have seen few trends that are more troubling and not based in science. The over 40 population is particularly at risk in these classes. High Intensity Low Force principles are never followed, pulse rates probably vary from 60% to 105% of predicted maxes, egos are at the root of form discrepancies so that a lagging trainee can appear to be keeping up, and injuries or worse can occur at any time…the benefit risk ratio of doing one of these classes is just horrible…and we have already seen the casualties and “wounded” from this poorly conceived endeavor for the over 40 man or woman. People always ask me why these classes are so popular…I call it insanity…I can’t explain it…If insanity could be explained, it wouldn’t be called insanity!!
So, how should people train for strength, health, fitness, and to look their best. I learned the answer to this from 1970 to 1972…from Arthur Jones the inventor of the Nautilus machines and the Nautilus Philosophy. Arthur said exercise should be intense, brief, infrequent, and slow. Most programs today are the opposite…not intense, long, frequent, and very fast. It’s laughable what passes for exercise today. These classes and even most personal training involve throwing light weights quickly…doing it for rather lengthy periods and doing it very often.
Everybody seems to have missed the cause/effect relationship of exercise and results. Exercise is the stimulus…the stronger, fitter, better looking body is the result. The body produces the result if it can…but it can’t be forced to do so and it requires recovery time to produce the desired changes. No amount of low intensity exercise will stimulate positive change…but these highly repetetive classes performed several times per week do a number of very bad things…excessive joint wear and tear, depletion of bodily resources, and immune function impairment….there is no upside except an exercise high caused by this addiction to exercise. A trainee must question…am I intelligently committed to progress or mindlessly addicted to exercise.
Here’s my prescription for a safe, sane, scientific approach to exercise.
1)Perform 2 thirty minute strength training workouts per week…high intensity/low force circuit strength training…8 to 10 exercise performed with no rest between them carried to momentary failure
2)Perform 2 thirty minute cardio workouts per week as long as your strength is increasing and you’re not constantly tired…
That’s it…remember more is not better…perform the least amount necessary to stimulate maximum change…you will be rewarded with strength, fitness and health that you never dreamed of.
Any Questions…..Joel Waldman firstname.lastname@example.org