Exercise is good for the body, and so is proper nutrition; together, exercise and nutrition can produce dramatic results, almost as good as 3 week diet results with little effort. The key is to know what works before investing time and energy.
Results Are Not Instant
Any weight training program, and especially cardiovascular exercise, takes time to see results. There are two sides to this coin.
On one side there are the people that try really hard for a week and then stop because they didn’t go from a size 22 to a size 6. These people put a lot of hard effort into their workout, but they gave up before getting out of the gate.
On the other side are the people, usually women, who limit their weight lifting because they don’t want to get bulky. These are usually people with higher metabolisms – they see how fast the fat melts off of them and think their body will put on muscle just as fast.
The fact is that women don’t have as many androgens as men do, and they would have to intentionally work very hard for years to put on “bulky” muscle. Even guys, with much more natural testosterone, have a hard time putting on bulky muscle.
Diets Don’t Work
The word ‘diet’ puts people in a temporary mindset. Exercising is about changing a lifestyle, not a quick fix. The body adapts continuously to how it has or has not been used, and the moment a person stops dieting the body will re-adapt to the way it is fed.
They body requires protein for muscle, carbohydrates for energy, and vitamins and minerals to catalyze. Beauty is virtually synonymous to healthy, and starving the body is unhealthy. Seek health where it is to be sought.
This is true, too, for those who choose to skip meals. When starved, the body will begin to eat itself, muscle as well as fat. This is an unhealthy practice which will never produce a modeled physique, and no informed source will say otherwise.
People on diets often weigh themselves daily. This is fine, except that gaining weight is not bad. Muscle weighs more than fat, and the body needs muscle to burn any significant amount of fat. The goal to aim for is a change in the body’s composition, not a lowering of weight.
Women who weigh 120 pounds can appear more fat than women at 140 pounds if they have a higher body fat percentage. Every body has a natural weight and stature it is born with, and it is much easier to change the amount of fat in the body than it is to lower the weight toward which it is genetically predisposed to level.
More is Better
Many people overwork their bodies with ridiculous reps everyday. This will help the body shed fat and become healthy, to be sure, but if the goal is to gain muscle (common to men) the regimen must accommodate rest. Rest allows the body to heal and muscles to grow.
An optimal (full-body) weight-lifting routine can be completed in 15 or 20 minutes. If a person is working out for hours per day, whether his goal is to lose fat or gain muscle, it is a clear sign that the routine is not designed as well as it could be.
To build muscle with weights, the optimal workout is one where the muscles used are tired after two sets of 8-12 reps. If endurance is the goal, the muscle should tire from a lower weight after about 25 reps.
Many people waste many hours, which adds up to many days and weeks, because they are very dedicated but not very well informed. A solid education on fat-loss and weight training, even one night of research before jumping in, can produce a beautiful and solid body much easier than blind intention. It is easier to arrive at a destination if one has a map.