The fitness industry has told us many times that we must work hard in the gym; We must work out five or six times a week and spend two hours per day. As someone who has tried to dedicate five or six days out of the week to lift weights, to hit each muscle twice a week, I can personally attest that this is not a way to build a great physique for the long run when balancing a social life and work life. You may be able to maintain it for a short period of time with extreme dedication, but sooner rather than later, it’s inevitable that you will break unless you lift weights for a living.
What to Do Instead
I work out two or three times a week (I usually work out closer to twice a week). Now before you call it bogus and close this blog, I was just like many others. I was tied to the gym, and it became a huge part of my life, literally. Everyday I would plan for two hours out of my day to be spent in a gym lifting weights with lots of volume. I had less of a social life; I was always tired and sore. I now work out two or three times a week and spend no more than 45 minutes per session. I really built an amazing physique with that. Not only that I became so much stronger. I define strength in the gym as how much I can push or pull. Below are my current weights for my important lifts at a 140 pounds.
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 90 lbs for 4 reps
- Military Press – 110 lbs for 6 reps
- Shoulder Dumbbell Press – 65 lbs for 4 reps
- Deadlift – 225 lbs for 4 reps
- Rows – 150 lbs for 6 reps
I will warm up at the beginning but will start at the heaviest weights first. This is because I will be the most fresh at the beginning and will use this to push heavier and become stronger. Most of the time if you start from the lower weights and work your way up, by the last set, which is usually the heaviest set, you are exhausted leaving you with less energy for the more important weight to build muscle.
My Honest Opinion
For the longest time, the sayings were “gym six times per week” and “six small meals a day”. This essentially forces our lives to revolve around the gym and prevent us from having more of a social life. I have adapted my gym routine into a simpler and more maintainable routine where I can live life to its fullest while also feeling and looking great. Give it a try for a month. Work out twice a week, and give it your all every time you work out. If you lift weights five times a week for two hours each time, try lifting twice a week at 100% effort and spend one hour in the gym. Focus on the key movements and lifts that target the muscle group. Say you want to focus on chest, keep it simple: bench press, incline bench press, and flys. If you want to work out your shoulders, shoulder press. Keep the workout as simple as possible focusing on the most important exercises. Do every set with 100% effort. After a month, look at the results, not only in terms of gym life, but your social life. I have found that I have had a lot more time to do things I want to do.
Again, give it a try and let me know in the comments below how it has worked out for you. It has worked wonders for me and I believe it can do the same for you. But until next time…
We appreciate y’all for letting us be a part of your Break Time.
Checking out, Kenny