“I wish I could spend hours in the gym like you.” A friend said to me a couple months ago.
“Well I work at the gym, but I only spend 3-5 hours working out a week.” I replied.
They looked at me like they didn’t believe it. I reassured them that I have a very busy schedule too.
“I wish I could run all time like you.” Another friend said to me earlier this year.
“I can’t run all the time. I have injuries from college. I’ve only ran a hand full of times this year.” I replied.
“Didn’t I just see you placing well at a race?” They asked.
“Yes, I did place well for my age group, with a time much better than the last couple years. But that is the only race I’ve done this year, and I most likely won’t race again this year. I don’t really enjoy running. I like to lift.” I answered.
Just yesterday I was working out with a trainer friend. We had agreed to be workout buddies, and I could tell pretty quickly into the workout, it may not be a good idea. We come from very different training styles and belief systems. We had already had several debates back and forth as he lead me through a “back” day. We were chasing our “back” day with cardio.
“You never do the stair mill?!!” He exclaimed... in an alarmed voice.
“No… I hate the stair mill. I am not here to hate my workouts.” I answered.
“Well you are doing a real workout today, at my pace… on the stair mill.”
I just laughed and shook my head.
I agreed to it. But merely to prove the point that though I don’t do “hard core” training as he considers it, I can still hang with his style of training.
At the end of the workout he was impressed with my ability to “hang”, and I was slightly irritated by his idea, that his way was the best way to train. It definitely was working for him. He has an incredible physique. However, he did have some parts of his body he wanted to develop. I gave him some suggestions. By the end of the workout, we agreed to disagree.
There is mounting evidence to suggest that multiple full body workouts are more effective, even for those looking to build muscle. Circuit style workouts are not just for weight loss (if designed properly). For the last several years, most of all my training with clients has been a full body workout training model.
For 6 weeks last year (from July to August 2013), I put my full body training method to the test, on a rugby player for our local Kansas City Blues. His goal was to lose weight, and maintain his strength during the off season between spring and fall rugby. He also followed my nutritional advice.
Ross dropped from a size 48 pants - to a size 40. He lost 15 lbs, and 12 inches across his body.
For 8 weeks this year (from April to June 2014), I put my full body training method to the test, on my already fit trainers, at a YMCA where I was the Fitness Director. Danny and Cherae wanted to gain muscle mass and drop in body fat. I wanted to lose body fat and inches. We all did the same workout, and tweaked our diets for our different goals.
Danny gained 9 lbs (now 184 lbs), gained 1 inch in chest and legs, lost one inch in the waist, and dropped 1.5% body fat (he is now 5%).
Cherae gained 8 lbs (now 148 lbs), lost 1.5 inches in the waist, and dropped 3% body fat (she is now 17%).
I lost 10lbs (now 155 lbs), lost 2 inches in the waist and 1 inch in the legs.
For the last 3 months I have put out a FREE workout of the month on my website. It is a strength training circuit, designed for individuals looking to lose weight or maintain general fitness.
I strongly believe that no matter what other type of training you are doing, strength training is essential for a healthy weight and to maintain your muscle and bone density. My goal is to provide a basic program for free, that anyone with general gym access or free weights can utilize. A body weight program is a good start, but I do find it critical to “lift weights”... or at least use exercise tubing.
**** 2017 update ****
If you are feeling lost at the gym, (or overwhelmed by what to do when you are there), you can follow the 6 simple exercises I provide each month, through
Mai Trainer 365 FREE
Also, visit my YouTube channel for over 200 exercise videos!
You do not need hours at the gym...you can start with 30 minutes, 2-3 days a week. Just get started!
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