If you have made it this far, congratulations! You are now done with the general exercise course.
We have discussed:
- the physiology of movement and energy production
- physiologic adaptations to resistance and aerobic training
- exercise guidelines for general health as well as the expected health benefits of regular exercise
- relevant terminology and concepts of resistance and aerobic training
- evidence-based approaches to generate effective workout programs
- how to perform a large variety of different exercises to target different muscle groups and movement patterns
- how to pull all of this information together into effective programs with strategies to make alterations whenever our progress stalls
- additional potentially relevant miscellaneous topics
It can take some time for all of this information to sink in. It may not sink in at all until you actually try to apply this information to yourself while exercising. After you attempt to apply the information feel free to read through the lessons again for further clarification. If things are still unclear then send me an email and I will try to address your concern.
It is important to understand that while I have attempted to provide a fair overview of the literature, the vast majority of the studies only consider group averages, not individual results. Yet, it is widely known that some individuals respond much more significantly to certain training interventions than others. Thus, if you create and utilize a program and do not find it to be very effective, do not be afraid to change something and try again.
However, you won’t know if a program is good until you give it a proper attempt. Plan out the workout program you wish to follow, set a schedule for when you will perform your workouts, keep a log book with you to track what you do, and train hard. If anything is obviously wrong (ie, you’re feeling pain beyond regular soreness), then make adjustments immediately. Otherwise stick to the program for 4-8 weeks prior to determining if it is working. Remember, it takes much longer to see changes in a mirror than it does to see strength numbers increase with specific lifts. If your strength is increasing then things are likely going well even if the results are not visually obvious.
When life is hard for whatever reason and you are unable to workout the way you would like, try to keep the intensity of the sessions you do perform high and otherwise try to stay active in some capacity. Remember, any activity is better than no activity. If working out becomes less enjoyable then change things to make it more fun again. This may involve incorporating new exercises (ie, plyometrics), new methods of progression, a different full body or split routine, different rep ranges, staying further from or going closer to failure, changing up your aerobic training modality of choice, or simply changing goals. For example, rather than train simply because you are “supposed to” for general health, perhaps you would enjoy setting specific goals (ie, performing an unassisted pull-up, performing 10 push-ups with good form, squatting your body weight, etc).
Before performing any new workout program, if you have health concerns and are unsure if it will be safe then consult your healthcare provider to be sure. Start things slowly with low-intensity and light weight and build up gradually over time. Slow and steady wins this race and consistency is key.