When I go to the gym these days, I get a little depressed. Not because I hate exercise – in fact, I love it. I feel bad because I see men wasting their time and not hitting their goals.
Granted, there are some men there who know exactly what they’re doing and why. Unfortunately most men working out think they fall into this group, but they really don’t.
It’s not their fault.
They’ve gotten nothing but horrible advice and horrific role modeling. On TV they see ads for treadmills and marathons, in magazines they get “AB-Busting Crunch Routine” and “Build Huge Biceps”. When they sign up for their free personal training session on their first day, they get a ridiculous concoction of bosu balls, “cardio”, and weight machine training – because those “low-risk” exercises are viewed favorably by the gym’s insurance providers.
The problem I have is that these workout methods are not helping these men toward their goals.
When I ask men what their goals are, these are by far the most common answers:
- Be More Attractive
- Lose Weight (Fat)
- Build Muscle
- Feel Better
- Improve Athletic Ability
Of course, individual men weigh the priorities differently, and “Improve Athletic Ability” is often left off the list entirely.
You may scoff at “Be More Attractive,” and it usually requires a little drilling down to get men to admit this, but if it’s what someone wants, it’s what they want. Judging someone’s goals is silly; instead judge their pursuit of those goals.
Let’s look at how well the common exercise strategies help men achieve these goals:
Now you see why the scene at the gym depresses me so much. On the plus side, I never have to wait for the free weights or the squat rack (unless of course, someone is doing curls).
“Cardio” on the treadmill or exercise bike is a complete waste of time – it’s too low intensity to get any real conditioning benefits, and it certainly doesn’t build any strength.
Weight lifting alone can lead to tremendous strength increase and muscle growth, but if all you ever do is lift, you’ll be slow and easily tired when it comes to something as simple as climbing stairs in your home. And you’ll likely still have that gut.
HERE’S THE SECRET:
The big ingredient these guys are missing is Metabolic Conditioning, the main feature of workout programs like CrossFit and (to a lesser extent) P90X. Metabolic Conditioning includes High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), an incredibly effective modality that combines strength training with intensity that absolutely blows the treadmill out of the water.
HIIT is a very effective form of Metabolic Training.
Here’s an example of a workout employing HIIT:
Notice that he’s kicking ass the ENTIRE time. He just got a better workout in 5 minutes than most men will get their whole lives.
We call this “Metabolic Conditioning” because this type of exercise literally trains your metabolism to be more effective.
Your “metabolism” can be said to include your digestive tract, bloodstream, brain, hormones, and the mitochondria of every cell in your body. Metabolic Conditioning does work on your bloodstream, brain, your hormones, your mitochondria, and even gives birth to new mitochondria.
Think of mitochondria as the engines of your cells. They take energy in the form of incoming calories and convert it to perform cell functions (like contraction in the case of muscle cells). Metabolic Conditioning not only improves the function of your cell’s engines – it actually causes your body to make more cellular engines, through a process called mitochondrial biogenesis. Now your cells are like cars with two engines.
So, in addition to burning extra calories for upwards of 24 hours after a workout, HIIT also causes muscle growth and makes your body better at burning fat even when you’re sitting still.
When a HIIT regimen was compared to a jogging program, HIIT caused more fat loss in 15 weeks than jogging did in 20.
Let’s see that chart again with HIIT included:
Pretty clear what you should be doing at the gym. This is why every workout in The MasculON Six-Week Guide to Six-Pack Abs includes HIIT. The book included in the course lays out the logic behind these workouts, empowering you to create your own awesome HIIT sessions for the rest of your life.