Admit it, you've broken more New Year's Resolutions than you care to admit. And, likely, many of those resolutions have had to do with fitness, whether it involved getting stronger or losing those last 10 (or 20, or 30) pounds.
But this year is the year you're going to set a goal and stick with it until you achieve it, right?
What if I told you that you could do it with three hours in the gym a week? And no, this isn't a fad, nor something so revolutionary that it's worthy of a 2 a.m. informercial on Lifetime.
It's common sense.
"Some people are convinced that if they're going to do something, they have to do it every day. But when it comes to strength training, you accomplish more with less. If you're working as hard as you should to get the results you want, your body needs a full day in between workouts to recover,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of The New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged, the fifth book in The New Rules of Lifting Series.
That's easy enough to stick to right? By now, you're probably asking what the catch is. There is no catch, unless you consider working out smarter to be a catch.
"Over time, the combination of increased strength and muscle fatigue help you build more muscle tissue, which over even more time should increase your resting metabolic rate, which means you'll get longer-lasting results from every single workout you do."
Sounds pretty enticing, doesn't it?
Pause for a second and think of the ways you move around and accomplish tasks in your daily life. You don't pick things up from the floor and put things on shelves while seated, do you? Now think of the last time you were in a gym. See all the people sitting down on all the machines? Given how we move in our regular lives, how does that make sense?
Training the ways that our bodies naturally move may seem uncommon in many gyms, but not only will you feel better, you'll look better too than if you worked strictly via machines. And besides, does anyone really care how much weight you can awkwardly hoist on the leg press? (Hint: The answer is no.)
In the New Rules of Lifting Series, the workouts focus on training our bodies to push, pull, squat and hip hinge, four of the major movements that our bodies are designed to do. Training these movements not only helps our bodies feel better, but also get stronger and burn more fat. And all it requires is a belief that you can do it -- a belief much like the one required to keep a New Year's Resolution.
"New Rule #1 in Supercharged says, "It's great to be good.” It's based on research showing that belief in your competence is directly related to your motivation to do more of the thing you do well,” Schuler says.
"So if you think you're a good lifter, you're more likely to pursue it. On the flip side, if you think you suck at lifting, you won't lift. The best way to develop that belief is to make it true -- to actually become good at lifting. This is another process goal -- develop skill rather than worrying about how much weight you can lift, or how many sets and reps you do."
Every single person in the gym was just starting out at some point. Maybe it was five or 10 years ago. Maybe it was yesterday. Or maybe yesterday was the fifth or 10th starting point. You don't have to be that person. With a little gym common sense and some sweat equity in just a few hours a week, your New Year's Resolution has never been more achievable.
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