Using The Gym Intelligently
Someone once said, “The greatest wealth is health.” It was Audrey Hepburn who shared, “Happiness is health.” And finally, as Josh Billings stated, “Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.”
In light of the inestimable value of health, following are some principles to both maximize wellness and dispel some exercise myths.
- Weight lifting is for everyone.
Many women believe that if they lift weights they will take on a masculine physique; this is simply not so unless you take massive hormone treatments, which are often illegal.
Lifting weights will tone your body and bring out your sex appeal, not make you muscular like a man.
2. You don’t grow in the gym.
In reality, your body grows while it repairs itself during sleep. Whether your body is recovering from the flu, an argument with your spouse, or a hard workout, it is during rest that it rebuilds itself, especially during REM sleep.
The key to recovery is plenty of rest, so train a muscle no more than twice a week. Indeed, there are some bodybuilders that train for one day and rest for six. They are genetically inclined to this growth, most however need to hit the gym 3 to 5 times a week, spacing what part of the body they focus on. Either way, growth happens during sleep and rest, so give your body plenty of both.
3. Include protein to maximize your results.
Protein is what your body uses to repair and build muscle, so you need it daily. The challenge is most don’t get enough in their diets.
Many experts recommend one gram per pound of body weight. (So someone who weighs 150 pounds should daily consume 150 grams of protein.) Incorporating protein shakes into your routine will help you get enough.
4. Train correctly.
Injuries happen in the gym when someone uses improper form. There are thousands of excellent books and trainers to help you with a plan for transforming your body in a safe manner, use them extensively.
5. Train the right muscles more often.
This may be the biggest error people miss in working out. Go into any gym and you will see people working on their arms and chest. These are the more glamorous muscles so they get a lot of focus along with abs.
However, as Stuart McRobert shares in his seminal work Beyond Brawn, your legs and your back are your body’s largest muscle groups, so train them twice as often as you do your arms and chest. Most people have this sorely reversed. Don’t do what everyone else does, do what works.
Save yourself the time of trying to learn by trial and error. Incorporate these five principles into your exercise routine. If you are healthy then you are already wealthy, so maintain that vitality so you have energy each day to pursue your dreams.