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7/29/13 2:39 P

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This is not a reprise of a bad TV show or what your mother might say about the state of your bedroom but some comments on exercise equipment and programmes. When I read what people have on hand as workout options I am often taken aback by the way it demonstrates the clutter of too many options and perhaps even too many false starts.

I lay claim to being a Luddite old school trainer but admit that I have a plethora of books, DVDs and workout equipment ranging from the simple to the sublime. I justify some of it by claiming as a trainer I need to stay on top of the various options to best advise my clients however that does not justify my keeping it when I am not using it with any regularity. I have everything from a Soloflex, a Total Trainer, and two sets of suspension training straps, a multiplicity of resistance bands, kettlebells, dumbbells and Indian clubs. The closest thing I have to cardio equipment is two adjustable jump ropes. What do I use? Resistance bands, kettlebells and Indian clubs. I will begin using the suspension straps when I get my rack for them built. Yes I have exercise equipment clutter.

Another form of exercise clutter beyond having too many equipment options is having too many programme options. These can be too many different DVDs which allow us to bounce from one to another on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to ensure we do not get “bored” with exercising. Having a wide variety of classes on a regular sequence can also be a form of exercise clutter since no one class gets adequate attention to produce long term results. We can clutter our minds with the premise that if X amount or duration of a certain exercise or type of exercise is not getting results we need to do X + Y amount or duration to get the results we seek. I call this the “more is better” clutter syndrome.
Our minds acquire exercise clutter when we are overwhelmed by the “mine is better than anything else” chatter of the advertisement for this that or the other programme or magic piece of equipment. I call this the “I’ve got a secret” clutter syndrome. This syndrome is continually refreshed and reinforced by the “let’s make money off of the obesity epidemic” mavens continually coming up with a rearranging of the same time tested material or misquoting and misusing some obscure research. Information or in most of these cases misinformation becomes too much information leading us to become frozen in place not knowing how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Some points to remember when we want to de-clutter our various forms of exercise clutter begin with the premise that no programme will work if you do not use it and that if you do use it you have to be consistent in using it. Virtually any programme will produce some results over time if used consistently for a sufficient duration; consistency and duration are the keys to obtaining results. Mixing and matching multiple programmes can be self defeating since each was designed to produce a specific result from the selected components. Contrary to the claims of the various “exercise gurus” results will in the majority of cases not be obtained in some magic X number of minutes per day for Y number of days, the reality is that the necessary duration is long and may at times seem tedious. “Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November” is great for remembering the calendar but it is not a sufficient duration to see results from an exercise programme. The research says the threshold is forty five days and the demonstrable results will occur around ninety days.
My proposed de-cluttering programme is to select a programme, follow it for 12 weeks as written then assess the results. Be faithful, consistent and give it enough time to produce results. This is the way athletes train and we are all athletes when we are working to get fit and healthy.

“Essentially, all good training materials have ways of getting people started. The three key variables that are involved with a good starting program are:
1. Focused towards your goals, and
2. Made in a such a way that keeps you injury free, and
3. Made such that you will stick to the program.
Get rid of all of the analysis. You will essentially learn as you train. In any sport or discipline you need to know how to do things – that is what the books and training materials are for. The other component that is often left out for many is that you actually have to put those things into practice as well. You cannot have one without the other.
Focus a program towards your goals, listen to your body, and train!”

Steven Low, author of Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength.

Remember the ranked order of the components for fat loss, nutrition (diet) first, followed by strength training and then cardio.
Comments or questions?

It is called WORK-ing out for a reason.

I said getting fit was simple, I did not say it was easy.

Cardio burns calories, strength work burns fat.

Eat well to lose weight, exercise to get fit

You can not build a six pack using twelve packs

Often when we seek a magic bullet for fitness we end up shooting ourselves in the foot.

"I think calories are little germs in food that all moms are afraid of" Dennis the Menace

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