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:
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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