Traits of Effective Workout Programs

October 29, 2009

Steve Chambers asked the following in response to a recent post on this blog:

“I was curious whether or not you were familiar with Matt Furey’s “Combat Conditioning” stuff. It simple, easy and can be done quickly in a hotel room, which is important to me. I’d like to know your opinion of it’s effectiveness.”

Hey, Steve, I’m not familiar with Matt Furey’s “Combat Conditioning” beyond having heard Matt speak about it on an audio series a couple of years ago, and reading about it online after you asked your question.  However, you can make a judgment on a fitness program by keeping your fitness goal in mind, and then by using the following criteria:

stretching1.Does it have warm-up and cool-down portions, a stretching component, and a solid workout included as parts of the overall program?  These should be a part of any complete training program.

2. Does it exercise all of the major muscles in the body (arms, legs, chest, back, core)?  This, too, should be a hallmark of all effective training programs.

Red flags should go up if you see a device or program that exercises one part of the body (e.g. the abs), and it is supposed to make you look like the head-to-toe, exceedingly well-built fitness models that are in the advertisement.  Those fitness models built their bodies in a gym, and they got their bodies by working their entire body.  They did NOT build their physiques on the piece of equipment advertised that works only the abs, or only the “buns”.

3. If it purports to help you lose weight (fat) and/or make you “lean”, does it provide instruction on how to eat?

If you are in good health and you want to reduce your body fat level, but you don’t control what you eat, then you won’t lose body fat.  This can be true even if you exercise.  Don’t believe me?  Go to 10 aerobics classes and look at the instructors and participants.  Then go to the weight room portion…hek, go to all portions of the 10 facilities that you’re visiting.  How many people with low body fat and nice physiques do you see that are over the age of 30?  Precious few.  Why?  Because they exercise without controlling what they are consuming (and they don’t exercise hard enough — a topic for another post).  When we pick up our exercise levels, we will unconsciously increase our energy (food) intake to compensate for the extra energy expenditure.  You’ve got to make sure you don’t do this if you want to reduce your body fat level.

4. If your goal is to “tone” up , then the program needs some sort of resistance training component, whether the resistance is supplied by your body weight or some external weight source (resistance bands, weights, etc.).  It should also have a diet component for fat loss.

5. If your goal is building muscle, then, again, resistance training and diet need to figure most prominently in the program.  If muscle building is your primary objective, then the diet in this case will include MORE calories than you need to maintain your weight.

Now, Steve, having read Matt Furey’s advertisement for his program, it looks pretty good.  However, I cannot speak about the program with certainty without trying it.  I will order the combat conditioning book (I’m assuming that the book has the same program as the DVDs) for myself and try it out.  I’ll put a review in the product review portion of my website.


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14 Responses to “Traits of Effective Workout Programs”

  1. I have never heard of him but I like the idea of a workout you can do in a hotel room. I’m always in a rush, so any little thing I can do here and there to help myself stay in shape is good by me.

    Lisa McLellan
    Babysitting Services – Babysitter in your area

  2. John Ho says:


    Good to see you list out the check list to evaluate the effectiveness of an overall exercise regime.

    This certainly helps us a lot!

    John Ho

  3. Kate McKeon says:

    There’s nothing more portable than body weight exercises.On the plus side, the more you do, the less you weigh, the easier they get! 🙂


  4. JJ Jalopy says:

    Fantastic overview!

    There’s tons of exercise advice out there – most of it trying to sell us a new gadget. Yours has fantastic, practical, workable advice all in one place.


  5. Hey Daryl

    What a great checklist. It’s so easy for consumers to be influenced by all the wrong things when it comes to exercise equipment and program marketing.

    And I really like the look of your site these days (sorry it’s been so long since I stopped by).

    Consumer Behaviour Expert
    [The Consumer Behaviour Research Resource]

  6. Keeping your goal in mind is a great way to choose the right program

    Jose Escalante

  7. Mister P says:

    Good job outlining the main components of any good workout course.

    Bert (alter ego- Mister P)

  8. Vicki says:

    I can tell you that some of those fitness models in ads have many times been air brushed or built up to look like that too. It is pretty easy to do now days with all the computer programs out there. I’m not saying all but it does happen. It is called advertising and advertising with a good looking gal or guy brings in money.


  9. Darryl:

    I only have the book, which I liked but thought some of the exercises pretty advanced. He focus on three, Hindu Squats, Hindu Push-ups and bridges I think…not to clear on the third exercise. He claims the combination of the three work your core and allmajor muscle groups.

    I have followed his routine for some time and felt like it helped me maintain a pretty good level of fitness. I will probably go back to it and am very interested in hearing your opinion.

    He also advocates using elastic bands and tries to upsell you to them when you get the book. I willsend you more info when I get back home cause I found this pretty interesting stuff.

    Steve Chambers, Body Language Speaker

    • Katie says:

      You can get quite a lot accomplished with a handful of exercises and those using body weight are the most portable for sure.

      Matt himself looks a bit thick, but the right cmbination moves will provide you functional strength through working both major and minor muscle groups.

      You need not look like a pitbull to be fit and healthy.

      “Get your own Get Healthy Headquarters Journal,

  10. I should send you my picture for future posts.

    Martin O’Connor

  11. Lynn Lane says:


    Great information. I’ve used some of Matt’s stuff in the past…not easy.

    Have you ever heard of Pit Fit? Chuck Liddel of the UFC trains in the MA of Kenpo under the Pit Master.

    Pit Fit is like hard core “Cross Fit.”

    Lynn Lane->
    The Warrior Of Success

  12. Great illustration of why diet is a key part of any exercise program, and useful tips on finding the right exercise program.
    Strategies For Success

  13. Keri Eagan says:

    No body ever put things quite like you just did. I feel motivated to make bigger changes in my diet. Before I’d just think yeah yeah I know. The example of a gym and low body fat over age of 30 was great.

    Keri Eagan



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