If you’ve seen any of my many YouTube videos you’ve probably heard me say 1,000 times that if you want to build athletic muscle you must avoid overtraining, and train with a purpose in mind! Working out just to say you do is FAR different from TRAINING with a specific plan to get you straight to your goals (without the bumps along the way).
I just can’t stress that enough.
I also emphasize that in order to build athletic muscle AND lose fat at the same time (yes, as I hope you see by now, it’s completely possible to have both!)…then you have to start TRAINING like an athlete…period. After all, these guys define the “ripped and muscular” look because their plans guide them in that exact direction! There’s that “plan” word again!
Even with how important I think these concepts are to the results you’ll see, I feel there is even one more issue that is at the very top of my list when it comes to workout sins.
And The Craziest Thing Is…
You’re not to blame at all…at least in my eyes! Let me explain.
What I’m talking about here is something I call “Program Surfing”
And just as it sounds, it’s the tendency that guys have for jumping or “surfing” from one workout program to another…sometimes even a few times each month! Must be our inborn mastery of the remote control that guides these urges huh? Well, regardless of where our habits are formed, the interesting thing about them is…to me…the sin IS NOT program surfing!
It’s the reasons that you’re feeling the need to hop from one to another in the first place!
And that my friend, has EVERYTHING to do with your options and very little if not nothing to do with you.
Why Do We Program Surf?
Lets look at the reason WHY you and other guys you’ve trained with may be jumping from one program to another.
Well, in my mind it’s pretty simple.
It’s because your current option is either NOT meeting an expectation you had for it, or it’s making an aspect of following it for the long term…very difficult. In both cases, I don’t blame you for stopping it. As I always say, continuing to do what you’ve been doing hoping you’ll suddenly start getting different results is an exercise in futility!
Let’s take the first situation…when your program is failing to meet your expectations for it.
In plain English, this sucks. I can’t tell you the look of disappointment that I’ll get from an athlete when I first meet with them and have the “goals” discussion, and I uncover what they’ve been doing in their workouts to try and get there. Often times, I’m left shaking my head saying “who told you to do that again??”. Deep down inside they know they’ve not only not reached those goals but wasted a lot of potentially productive time chasing them.
Then there is the second scenario, where an aspect of the program itself is making it nearly impossible to follow it in the first place! Remember, I always say, even the GREATEST PROGRAM IN THE WORLD, not followed, is no better than the WORST!
How NOT to be a “workout program dropout” ever again
So, what causes this drop-out?
Mostly, it comes when the philosophy of a program is built around either deprivation or short term sustainability. So that means, the second you feel INCONVENIENCED or CAGED UP, you’re starting to crack. Good luck keeping that up for more than another week or two! But, this is what happens over and over. Even the most popular programs are committing this workout sin.
For example, have you ever been asked to:
1. Cut back or give up on Carbs?
They are the preferred source of fuel for your muscles and brain for crying out loud! Long term, this is a biochemical nightmare that is doomed to fail. Next.
2. Prepare meals and recipes with the ability of a Culinary Institute graduate?
Yep. That’s not going to last long, unless the new girl you’re dating just finds your similarity to Emeril in the kitchen to be more attractive than even your smile! As soon as your life’s daily responsibilities cut into your “food prep” time, you’re once again reaching for that “oh so simple” premade bag of Lay’s Potato Chips. Next.
3. Repeat the same workouts over and over again?
I’ve always wondered what my pet goldfish Crunch could find so appealing about the same four walls of the same fish tank? He seems happy though, but then again, we’re not goldfish! Variety drives us and it certainly drives results when working out. Next.
4. Follow DVD’s in order to do your workouts?
This one follows up on the last one. How in the world can your muscles be “confused” by following the same Chest and Back DVD over and over and over and over? This actually violates one of the oldest principles of muscle building…the need for PROGRESSIVE challenge. Not to mention, when one of the recommended pieces of “equipment” needed for a workout requires you to plug it in to a TV or carry around a laptop, the whole idea of traveling with your workout becomes pretty impractical. Next.
5. Workout for 60 minutes or longer?
Look, lifting weights is a “stress” to the body just like sun exposure. Stay out in the sun even a minute too long and you start turning that nice golden tan into a crisp red emergency! Same applies in the gym. Overdo it and your muscles will rebel and stop responding, while your mind starts thinking of better things you could be doing to it with that hour. Not to mention, not many guys HAVE those 60 minutes every day even if it was good for you (trust me, it’s not!)
6. Rely on magazines for your workout plans?
There is a major flaw with this…magazines give you part of the picture without regard for your progression. The magazine doesn’t see it as their responsibility to get you a complete thought out program. Not when their ability to stay in business centers around their ability to sell you the NEXT issue too! If you only had to buy one issue to find all of your answers, there would be a lot more room for souvenirs on the empty shelves of those airport newsstands!
7. Choose just one muscle to isolate for results?
If you do nothing else, remember what I tell you here. The human body is a fine tuned machine! Each muscle is designed NOT to work in isolation but rather in concert with almost EVERY single other muscle to some degree to produce your MOST powerful movements. It’s how they prefer to function! So don’t fight this. Instead let them operate this way and you’ll see a huge difference in what they (and you) are capable of!
And Then There’s This…
There is also one other “behind the scenes” reason that program surfing can short circuit your results instead of being a shortcut to reaching them, and that is that the very idea of randomly jumping from one program to another stands in the way of effective periodization.
When you jump around you have the tendency to create REAL muscle confusion…the bad kind! You see, in order for a program to deliver plateau free results it should allow you to build upon the qualities and strengths you developed in earlier weeks of the program. When this happens, your ability to achieve next level gains becomes that much easier…since the foundation of what was needed to get there was built before. This again is the essence of program progression!
Periodization and progression are cornerstones of the most intelligently designed programs, and because of that, people who use them not only get better results in the short term, but are also set up to make better progress in the long term. Yet another reason why program surfing is not good!
How to Solve the “Surfing” Issue for Good…
So by now I hope you can see why jumping from program to program in search of the muscle holy grail is not only costing you your chance of obtaining it…but really not your fault in the first place. Look…if what you were doing was really working, I mean REALLY working, you would be foolish to depart from that plan at all.
But often, they aren’t…so you surf.
Instead, an ideal solution would have you training with a program that CONSISTENTLY VARIES ITSELF, at just the right time your muscles need the variety the most…to keep you progressing, while still remaining true to the stuff that worked so well for you all along!
It isn’t built on short term or temporary concepts, that are impossible to follow or downright impractical for a regular guy with regular guy responsibilities.
It isn’t going to take you hours and hours each week to complete. I can tell you first hand, guys that get paid to look and perform their best (pro athletes) work out FAR LESS than the average guy that wants to look like them. Instead, their training is based around efficiency and intensity…and I’m excited to be able to share the same exact formula for success with you.
The ATHLEAN-X™ Training System – Train Like an Athlete!
The ATHLEAN-X Training System is hopefully not just the NEXT program you do, but the LAST program you’ll need.
Using the same exact workouts and training principles that I use with today’s top pro athletes, I can help you to significantly up the intensity of your workouts while cutting back the time you spend doing them. In fact, almost 90% of them are 30 minutes or less!
I also make sure that you don’t overlook the importance of rest and recovery (so key in the muscle building process since you actually don’t grow in the gym…but when you’re resting!) so I script in your specific “off days” throughout the 90 day program, to ensure that when you are training that you can give your best, most energized effort while giving your muscles something they have been most likely craving for months…especially if you’re current program has you overtraining (which I highly suspect is true).
The Bottom Line
As you’ve seen, “program surfing” can be a major mistake when it comes to seeing results from your time spent working out. But as I pointed out, often the times the choices we are faced with are to jump around from program to program in search of results or just keep doing a program we know hasn’t been able to deliver the results we wanted…hoping that something magically will happen that will turn that around. I can tell you, it almost never does.
But these don’t have to be your ONLY two choices.
Imagine every time you worked out…
- That you did exactly what your muscles needed to elicit a response, without a single rep more?
- Instead of spinning your wheels and guessing what should come next…you had a plan that led you to the next step?
- Being able to start seeing results much more quickly because you aren’t wasting any time or having what I call “throwaway workout days” to slow down your progress?
- Being able to look ripped AND muscular like an athlete because you’d be training like one by following the actual workouts being used by today’s top professional athletes, designed by a true sports medicine professional with a background as a major league baseball physical therapist and strength coach?
What would you look like just 90 days from now?
Well…you don’t have to imagine, because with ATHLEAN-X I’ve taken it as my responsibility to coach you as if you were a paying one-on-one client to get you where I know you should be with the right type of training.
So if you’re looking for a step-by-step program that has your 90 day path to an athletic and ripped body already laid out for you…from the workouts you’ll do to the food you’ll eat…(and all you have to do is trust in me and follow along) then I would invite you to get my ATHLEAN-X Training System and join me on “TEAM ATHLEAN”!
Start Seeing Plateau-Free Results in HALF THE TIME!
I hope to see you on “TEAM ATHLEAN” and I look forward to hearing from your suXXess in the next 90 days and beyond!
STAY STRONG… Jeff
P.S. Remember, the sin is NOT “program surfing” but the reasons that you may be doing this in the first place…and I feel that onus falls on me and the others in the fitness industry to make you NOT have to. Obviously I can’t control what every other fitness professional is doing, but I can certainly make my own commitments to help you and control what I’m doing about this.