Look, we understand all the hype and bro-science that supports going to the gym on a regular basis and staying on your grind; it’s a great way of keeping yourself motivated and doubling down as fuel for your workout routines. However, we can’t ignore the fact that just lifting weights and maxing out your PRs every week or so isn’t a sustainable way of reaching that Greek god status nor will it ever get you anywhere close to your body goals.
Of course, there’s no denying that there are still objective benefits to progressive overload. However, approaching your overall fitness with a narrow mindset will only get you so far until you hit a brick wall that you can’t brute force your way to the next milestone. Sure, some people are blessed with peak bodybuilder genes, but relying too much on things beyond your control is not a healthy outlook either, and a more holistic strategy is a lot easier than you think.
Raw Strength Isn’t Always the Most Functional Dimension of Fitness
We need to recognize that raw strength isn’t the only indicator of progress because muscle endurance is one dimension of the entire fitness scale. So, instead of adding more weight to your exercises and playing around with total volume, you should mix things up with the help of cardio, sprinkle in high-intensity interval training when possible, and play some sports to round out your coordination.
Mix Things Up With a Bit of Cardio
Nowadays, your typical cardio exercises like running on the treadmill or challenging yourself on the Stairmaster aren’t as popular. While they may look repetitive, they promote heart health and improve stamina. Sure, we won’t deny that mustering up to motivation to do some road work takes extra patience, but getting your cardio done first thing in the morning isn’t as hard as you might think once you get into the swing of things.
Training Your Explosiveness With H.I.I.T
Explosiveness is a trait that only a few athletes like powerlifters, sprinters, and elite-level sportspeople exhibit. While some consider it not as important, you’ll be surprised at how well it translates into everyday movement. As a result, trying your hand at high-intensity interval training is a great way to challenge yourself or maybe even squeeze a back finisher workout for some extra gains after your main routine.
How Sports Improve Total Body Coordination
Last but not least, since lifting weights doesn’t highlight any of your athletic skills, especially coordination, playing a few basketball and soccer games is great for rounding out your overall fitness. Plus, the physical benefits of getting your entire body to work together, nothing beats the camaraderie and social aspect of cooperating with a group of people.
Moving Weights From Point A to Point B Gets Boring
Secondly, besides the counterargument that proves lifting weights only trains one dimension of your overall fitness, when we start accounting for the “boring” factor, moving dumbbells and barbells all over the place can get pretty repetitive. At the end of the day, incorporating an active lifestyle should be equally fun and engaging, so exploring other aspects of fitness such as living the gym culture, planning your meals over the weekend, and varying your workout routines should influence your exercise choices as well.
Immerse Yourself in the Gym Culture
Although most people strap on their headphones and get into that flow state for exercise, connecting with other regular gym-goers and participating in spotting is something everyone deserves to try. There are so many people to meet and different things you could pick up, and even small talk can lead to the most profound insights like getting firsthand knowledge on the benefits of non-surgical fat reduction or performance-enhancing steroids for those battling with hormonal imbalances.
Explore Meal Planning and New Recipes
Everybody’s heard the age-old saying that abs are made in the kitchen, and while dieting often gets a bad reputation by today’s standards, meal planning and becoming a good chef are part of the progress. Sure, the vast majority of fitness celebrities will keep telling you to eat chicken breast, broccoli, white rice, and adding protein shakes on top of it all. But there are so many more recipes out there to explore if you take the time to pick up a cookbook and count your macros!
Vary Your Workout Routines to Keep It Fresh
Just like food, everybody has that one comfort workout routine they default to when they don’t feel like challenging themselves to the max for that specific day. However, you might want to vary your workout routines to keep things fresh because doing the same movements is something even your body will start to notice. Adding accessory exercises and trying more complex movements are a great way to build upon the foundation of compound movements, and you can always go back to the basics after cycling through other routines.
Bench Press Alone Won’t Get You Those Body Goals
In conclusion, you won’t ever get that dream body if you just keep maxing out your bench press and don’t go beyond the basic compound movements like squats. Fitness should be about building habits and self-improvement, so learning your way around a healthy rice bowl and trying different exercises is something everyone should try!