Unfortunately, this serious problem often goes undiagnosed in many gyms and has long-term effects resulting in inefficient workouts that do not help the affected individuals reach their fitness goals. You will know someone suffers from Exercise ADD with symptoms that include, but not limited to, taking extended rest periods between sets and exercises, workouts that consume over 60 minutes, and sessions that include more than 10 exercises! The cure for this harmful workout disorder is something that is called Pareto’s Principle, others will recognize it as the 80/20 principle.
OK, I’m having a little fun with the title of this blog and the above paragraph. However, I do really believe that many people do not get quality workouts because they are so focused on the quantity of their exercises. When you walk into most gyms there is so much fancy, shiny equipment and in order to have a great workout, so many gym-goers believe they should do every machine at least once for so many repetitions (and if they like the machine/exercise, they may do it twice) and there is no return on their investment of time and money for that particular session. The argument can be made that calories were burned, heart rate elevated, and body temperature raised – but was it very effective and/or efficient? My answer: an emphatic no. All that time put in and all those exercises and what do you get in the long-term, zilch.
What if I proposed to you the ability to get your fitness with less exercises and better results?
Like I mentioned in last week’s BLOG, it’s all about efficiency. Pareto’s Principle, it’s the Ritalin for Exercise ADD (and no side effects). It’s all about the 80/20 rule: 20% of the exercises will give you 80% of the results. Now, it’s a matter of deciding what exercises fall within the 20% and what exercises don’t make the cut. So, if I asked you to choose only three exercises to do for the rest of your life; what would you choose?
It is a really hard decision, I know, especially if you have an abundance of exercises that are in your fitness catalog. It basically boils down to priorities – what three exercises are going to match up with your fitness priorities? If you are looking to burn fat, are bicep curls and tricep extensions going to burn a lot of calories? NO, but a solid, multi-joint, multi-planar (remember from the last blog: sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes?) exercise will give you exactly what you are looking for.
If you were to complete the above exercise for 3 – 4 sets with 2 – 3 repetitions per side with a 30 second break in between sets … not only would you feel that you had a good workout, but it would easily suffice for one of those three exercises. No matter what your fitness goals are, it’s not about doing the most amount of exercises in your workout; it’s about doing the most effective exercises (20%) which, in turn, will yield that 80% of what you’re looking for in results. Do that 20% and do it well; master those exercises and enjoy more of your time outside the gym’s four walls with those results!