When it comes to working out, it seems that people take a very binary approach to what they do. That is to say, that people either don’t work out at all, or they work out incredibly hard. And when I say ‘incredibly’, that really is what I mean: people will hit the gym three or four times a week for an hour at a time and it will end up taking up a big part of their lives. Each of these sessions will leave then shaking and sweating and they’ll have posters in their bedroom of muscle-bound people punching the sky and saying inspiring things.
In general, people either don’t train at all, or they train almost like athletes. I’m here to tell you that that doesn’t have to be the case. As with most things, there is a ‘middle way’ and it’s probably the healthiest option…
The Problem With Training Like an Athlete
Training like an athlete is a good thing in many ways. If you are hitting the gym that hard on a regular basis, then you can be almost guaranteed that you’re going to see positive changes in your body composition and in your general health. This is to be encouraged.
Unfortunately though, what you’ll also probably see if you train like an athlete, is a gradual loss of motivation as you find you struggle to keep up that kind of commitment. It’s hard work, it’s sweaty and it’s boring. Oh dear. And if you don’t give up, then you might find yourself developing an injury, over training or causing other problems. And even if you keep at it and you keep getting stronger and better, then you’ll still be spending an awful lot of time and money on working out.
This is taken to the absolute extreme when you see people spending a lot of money on supplements like BCAAs, or on creation monophosphate. Do these supplements work? Yes – technically – but you certainly don’t need them at the level you’re at. These are the supplements that give professional athletes an edge over the competition, not the sort of supplements that even a dedicated gym rat should probably bother with.
Training hard is a lot of fun for some people. For me it’s a hobby and I love it. But for the vast majority of people, it’s completely unnecessary – or it certainly is to begin with. If you’re not terribly overweight or very skinny, but you just want to feel a bit better about your health, then you’re much better off spending a little more time in the gym or playing some sports. Twice a week will do the trick and you don’t need to be gasping and panting all the time.
Start with a training program that you can actually hope to stick to, and don’t punish yourself with something impossibly difficult. And certainly don’t spend tons of cash on supplements that you don’t need!