My business partner Shane has a story about when he was a teenager. He was fed up with being skinny and tried swimming to become big, muscular, and strong.
It sounded so silly to me.
But I did something just as idiotic when I was 16 and sickly skinny.
I went to the gym, used the bench press machine nervously a little bit, but then spent the rest of the time jogging. You should have seen my horror when I dropped another ten pounds when I was already dangerously skinny. Why did I think I could jog my way to muscle?
This problem can happen with women too. I’d get applications to work with me, and I’d ask how I can help. They’d say they want a toned tummy and bigger glutes. Then I’d ask what they’ve tried.
Oh boy. Yoga is a type of exercise, but it won’t help you get closer to being toned and curvy.
Those are silly examples, but the message is true, and it happens to the best of us. Even after lifting for a couple of years, I still thought powerlifting would help me put on size fast.
Here’s the point:
Be sure that your exercise matches the results you want.
If you want to be healthy, fit, strong, and lean—be sure that your exercise is comprehensive and includes lots of different training types.
Exercise Goals + Exercise Type Examples
- Improve your vo2max >> sprints and high-intensity aerobic work
- Improve your strength >> low reps lifting weights with big rest periods
- Improve your size >> reps in the hypertrophy range with more volume (usually means shorter rest periods and more frequency)
- Improve your size of your “insert-stubborn-muscle-here” >> exercises that hit all directions, full range-of-motion, easy to progressively overload, etc.
- Improve your speed >> practice explosiveness and tendon stiffness
- Improve your vert >> practice jumping and tendon stiffness
- Improve your posture >> diaphragmatic breathing and reducing time spent in poor posture (look at your office chair as the main culprit, try a wedged seat cusion)
- Improve your health >> get outside in the sunshine, breathe fresh air, spend time connected to the earth and nature
I can’t tell you how many times I made this mistake of mismatching my training and my goals.
Don’t be silly like old-Jared and think doing lots of squatting would help my chest grow. How could I possibly think working out my legs would help my chest? “Through hormones or something.”
If your upper body is lagging >> prioritize upper body lifts. If your lower body is lagging >> prioritize lower body lifts.
Anyways, if you want to learn how to become strong, lean, and healthier all at once, and you’re game for lifting weights (or even doing bodyweight workouts to ease in) and open to doing some targeted but minimal cardio, take a look at our True Gains program.