It’s always a bit frustrating for us to see people constantly searching for the perfect workout routine. And it’s something that we come across quite frequently, especially online but offline as well.
We often hear comments such as “I wish I knew what her shoulder routine was” or “Wow, what amazing abs, I wonder what her ab program looks like”, or “She’s so shredded, I’d love to know what kind of cardio she does”, and so on.
The media and the fitness industry has to bear a lot of the blame for this kind of thinking among people trying to get into shape. That’s because collectively they’ve essentially brainwashed the public into being product-focused rather than education-focused for their results.
Why have they done this? Well, it’s simple . . . because products sell.
The bottom line, as cynical as it may sound, is that the media and a large part of the fitness industry aren’t out to help anybody. They’re out to make money, plain and simple.
Couple that with the fact that people have a natural tendency to want to look for shortcuts and easy solutions to their problems, and the end result is the current cycle of people on a constant search for the latest and greatest answer to their prayers. That means the next fad diet book or program taking the world by storm, the latest ab exercise gadget, or the perfect workout routine being pedaled in this month’s TV infomercials.
Does your workout routine even matter?
So does this mean that you don’t need to concern yourself at all with what your workout routine looks like? Of course not. You can’t expect to get decent results with a workout routine that has been haphazardly thrown together without any thought.
The quality of your workout program definitely is important. The problem, however, is that while people are focused intently on getting that perfected in minute detail, they’re overlooking the fact that there are numerous other things they are or aren’t doing that greatly overshadow the influence of their workout routine’s quality.
As an analogy, take the example of a competitive sprinter. Let’s assume that over 100 meters, he’s about three seconds slower than his competitors on average. In other words, his performance just isn’t up to par. In that situation, it would be silly for him to be focusing all of his attention on his shoes to boost his performance.
It makes sense that he needs to be improving his running technique and increasing his strength and speed, among other things, to become competitive with the rest of the field. Then, once he has optimized his own performance, he can focus on getting the tenth-of-a-second or so advantage from flashier shoes that have more grip, are more flexible, 50 grams lighter, and so on.
The problem with the perfect workout routine mentality
So getting back to the typical comments we hear from people, what exactly is wrong with admiring a fitness model’s abs and wondering about her ab routine?
Well, the main problem is the belief that if you were to do exactly the same program yourself, you would get the same results, or even anywhere near approaching the same results for that matter. This implies that the program itself is the key to the results (again – that product focus), but in reality there’s far more to it.
Keeping with this example of the fitness model’s amazing abs, here are a few simple facts about her achievement:
- If you took 10 other fitness models with equally impressive abs, it should come as no surprise if each of them has quite a different ab routine to the others, even substantially so. This tells us that there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and that one thing may work well for one individual while another thing works well for someone else.
- If you took 10 other women and had them follow the exact same workout routine, diet and lifestyle as this fitness model in every detail, they would all experience different results. This again tells us that some things work well for certain individuals and not so well for others. It also shows that everyone is genetically and physiologically different, so they develop differently and at different rates.
But the most important points to understand if you want to have a realistic chance of having similarly impressive abs are:
- Your diet would need to be of as high a quality as hers, and you would need to be as disciplined and consistent as her in following your diet.
- You would need to train with the same consistency and intensity as her, for as long as she did to achieve her results.
- You would need to be as disciplined as her in consistently making the most healthy lifestyle choices.
These three points would in fact be far more influential in getting results than copying what you believe to be the perfect workout routine for developing the best abs, shoulders, physique, etc.
It’s pointless, therefore, for someone who isn’t consistent and disciplined with their lifestyle, training and nutrition to be concerned about someone else’s supposedly-successful perfect workout routine. It’s like the sprinter who’s too slow but is looking for improvements in his shoes. They’re not going to solve his problem, so there’s no point him wishing he had the best.
Does the perfect workout routine actually exist?
So given the fact that everyone is different, does that mean that the perfect workout routine just a myth?
Well, yes and no.
Yes from the point of view that there’s no such thing as perfect. Regardless of what you or anyone else, including a world champion, is doing right now, there can always be improvements. So perfection is an always-unattainable goal.
But no from the point of view that there are good, better, and even better still routines out there for you as an individual. And of course these can be quite different to someone else’s.
But the point is that there are always benefits to be achieved by looking for improvements in your workout routine. You’ll never attain perfection, but you can make it more and more effective. You won’t find these improvements in a book or in an infomercial however, it’s up to you to figure out what works best for you as in individual. That takes time, research, effort and thinking.
Not what most people want to hear, I know. But it’s reality, unlike the idea of some universal perfect workout routine that gets results for everyone.
The first and most important step
When you’re building a house, the first and most important step is to lay good, solid foundations. It’s the same with a workout routine. And if you’re looking for optimal results, those foundations are discipline, intensity in your training, and unwavering consistency.
Until these are in place, don’t even bother looking to optimizing your routine, it’s not going to happen. It’s like trying to fine-tune a racing car while you’re only driving it at half speed. Not only can it not achieve success at half speed, you’ll also have no idea about which changes make it better and which make it worse.
People make this same mistake with dietary supplements. They spend so much money on lots of fancy supplements, needlessly because their diet is a disaster. The reality is that even improving their diet by 20% would provide a greater benefit than all the supplements they’re taking.
Imagine someone thumbing through a fitness magazine with a slice of pizza in one hand, coming across a photo of an amazing physique and saying to themselves, “Wow, I wish I could look like that, I wonder what supplements she takes!” It’s silly!
Finding your own perfect workout routine
Hopefully by now you’re getting the idea about how to find the perfect workout routine for you.
Put the foundations in place first. Make sure you’re working out with intensity, and make sure you’re consistent. No skipping workouts because you’re busy one day or not in the mood the next. Also be disciplined and consistent with your nutrition and lifestyle choices.
Once you have those points established, you can start focusing on optimizing your program. You don’t need to buy the latest gadget or 10 minute a day workout wonder program on TV. Connect with some reliable and reputable sources of information and learn some basics. Then start experimenting and find out what works best for you. Be diligent and be patient, and the results will come.
This is essentially the DIY amateur version of what professional coaches do for their clients. With some initiative, you can do it on your own.
Next time you see your favorite fitness model’s photo and find yourself wishing for her delts, back, abs, entire physique, or whatever, ask yourself first whether your foundations are in place before wondering what she does specifically to get her results. Because you can rest assured that hers are!
Which fitness models inspire you personally, and what specific part of their physiques? How are you currently going with trying to duplicate their results? Please leave a comment below and let me know!