Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Are You Really Working Out? - By Jim Duggan

Peary Reader's Ironman magazine was published from 1936 through 1986. He published articles on all facets of the Iron Game. Weightlifting, Bodybuilding, Powerlifting, just about every strength endeavor was covered in the pages of his magazine. Ironman was generally considered to be the least biased of all the various "muscle magazines." Mr. Rader was a true Physical Culturist who not only wrote about having a balance of mind, body, and soul- he actually lived such a life. The great authors who wrote for his magazine are too numerous to mention. Needless to say, if you can get your hands on some old issues of Ironman ( before 1987), I encourage you to do so. You will be glad you did.

Recently, while looking through some old issues, I came across the March 1985 edition. The editorial was written by a gentleman by the name of Ivan E. Bright, Jr.. It was titled "Are You Really Working Out?" It struck me that this was a valid question to ask, even though it's been over thirty-five years since the original article was written. Incidentally, one of the great things about Ironman in those days was that Mr. Rader would present articles from authority kany different and diverse viewpoints. He had many outstanding guest editorials over the years. In this particular editorial, Mr. Bright relates a recent workout that he had in a gym. While at the gym, he had encountered an acquaintance named "Ed," who was also at the gym to work out. Or so he thought.

While Mr. Bright was doing heavy Bench Presses for sets of five, his friend Ed was at the front desk, talking with the owner of the gym. Eventually, Ed made his way to the Pec-deck machine, and did a few light sets. After his Bench Presses, Mr. Bright proceeded to several sets of heavy Presses. Ed, meanwhile, was still jaw-jacking, this time at the water fountain.

I think you see where this is going. One person engaging in a heavy workout, while another is basically wasting his time. Ed is a classic example of someone who thinks he works out by virtue of the fact that he simply shows up at the gym. But merely showing up doesn't make you a lifter. The contrast between these two individuals- one working hard, while the other is doing nothing- is something that plays out in every gym, every day. It also leads to a couple of important questions.

1) What type of trainee are you?

2) Do you actively "train" when you work out or are you simply "going through the motions?"

Before you answer those questions, it is important to note that you don't necessarily have to belong to a commercial gym to waste time. You can be in the comfort of your own home and still be "spinning your wheels." Cell phones, social media, texting, and tweeting are the domestic equivalent of jaw-jacking at the water fountain.

To avoid wasting time, you have to decide what it is you want to accomplish from your training session. Do you want to get bigger, strongr, and healthier? If so, then you have to determine whether your workout is sufficient. If it is not, then quit kidding yourself.

If you want to train more productively, then you have to be serious and dedicate yourself to the goals that you have set. You also have to commit to a training program which consists of basic, heavy movements. There is no need to train six or seven days per week. "Body part training," which is a by-product of six day per week training, is a waste of time. Training body parts is something that originated with steroid users, and has no place in the training regimen of a hard-training natural lifter.

Something that goes hand in hand with basic, heavy workouts is the recognition of the importance of adequate rest and recuperation. Getting sufficient rest between workouts is crucial, especially for drug-free trainees. Two, or at most, three workouts per week are more than sufficient for most Lifters.

When it's actually time to train- be it at home or in a commercial gym- then do it. Don't waste precious time doing things that will impede your progress. One of my favorite sayings goes like this: "Time is the only thing of real value that you possess. Don't waste it." Only you know whether you're working out hard enough or not. Are you really working out?

Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com

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