Knowing Your S.T.A.T.S.
by Braxton A. Cosby
Most may ask the question, “What is a good training regimen? I challenge most people to instead ask the question, “What kind of regimen is right for me?” Here’s why: it’s a fact that most exercise programs aim at meeting goals such as losing weight, building more muscle and increasing activity tolerance all the wrong angle. Reason being is that they try to place people in programs that work well for others, rather than structuring programs that work well for that individual.
Working along the right parameters that meet both the expectations and goals of the individual and utilize the strengths of the person, while accounting for their weaknesses is much more effective and productive. Most people go to the gym, work out like crazy, spend countless hours there, and quite honestly waist a lot of time. Just because you hang out in the gym for 2-3 hours at a time, does not guarantee you will lose that spare tire or those love handles.
You have to first make goals for yourself that includes each body part you want to improve and then perform the appropriate exercises that target those areas. It’s an exercise principle called Specificity of Exercise. It’s simple: if you want big arms, legs, chest, and back muscles— lift big. If you want lean, flexible, and strong arms, waist, legs and hips – do cardio-exercises and lift moderate weight. Example: volleyball players don’t really emphasize bench press and pushups because they need to be flexible in that area so they can open their chest and hit the ball over the net.
Therefore, they focus on back muscles and pectoral muscle flexibility. Another example: take the average NFL offensive lineman. He plays a full NFL football game and each play lasts for about 3-5 seconds. He needs to be able to perform at a high rate for only 3-5 seconds then take a rest break. It would be insane for him to train like a marathon runner because it is unnecessary for the skill of his profession. So is the same for those of us trying to meet our personal fitness and wellness goals. Want to lose weight?
Increase the number of calories burned per day and decrease those consumed. Want to put on more muscle? Lift heavy weights and provide the body with foods such as protein and carbohydrates so that the body can adapt to the stress by building more muscle. Want to “lean up”, especially around the hips and waist? Cardio, plus strength training, along with a healthy diet that encourages high energy foods, loaded with fiber and protein, in order to increase metabolism.