Don’t Waste Your Time Exercising

From owning a large gym and employing many trainers and from careful one-on-one discussions with my patients, I’ve discovered that a lot of time and effort training is wasted.

Even if you are putting in the effort, sweating and tired, your time could be wildly more productive if you follow some clear guidelines. Let me explain and then layout the guidelines so your training time can be more productive; maybe even more fun.

If your job was to eat a bear – a big job – you would sidle up to that impossible meal and think ‘Hmmm, I better start slow and take it easy.’ We all tend to do the same thing with our workouts. We warm up, start light, do some treadmill, stretching and then do a few full range movements on each anticipated exercise. And then – well maybe a little more warmup – start crescendoing or pyramiding our weight work or resistance on the bike. No. Wrong.

Not wrong if your goal is to minimize injuries, workout phobias, and to enjoy the social niceties and the etiquette of the gym.

However if your goal is to maximize metabolic results and to minimize training time, sneaking up on that bear, that impossible meal, that daunting workout is the wrong way to go.

Attack! Use a large knife and fork and eat it as fast as you can.

For now, I will put aside the bear metaphor and speak plainly. Of course you need to warm up, protect your joints, ligaments, tendons and heart. But this should take no more than 5, perhaps 10 minutes.

After that, your first exercise should be exhausting, intense, preferably performed as intervals, and over in less than 10, preferably 5 minutes. The best example is a 2K on the rowing machine or, even better, 20/10’s – Tabata’s – on the rowing machine, an assault bike or steep hill sprints.

Well, you have just done 90% of the work to make you healthier, younger and fitter. This, yes, just those few minutes, is what turns on the metabolism, destroys defective mitochondria and induces younger, better ones.

From now, on all is gravy: build some athleticism – Olympic lifting, juggling, agility ladders – some muscles – squats, deadlifts, kettlebells, heck, even some bicep curls. Always and everywhere form must be perfect. The deep neuropatterning of perfect form protects your back and shoulders besides turning on the endocrine system that stimulates growth hormone and testosterone.

Yes, there is more detail needed to make your workout perfect but if you will adopt just this much of the detail you will change the first 30 minutes of your workout from a good thing to a great and life transforming thing.

Eat that bear!

Smile, Have Fun and God Speed,

Dr. Mike

  5 comments for “Don’t Waste Your Time Exercising

  1. Jim
    May 7, 2019 at 4:50 am

    Hey Dr. Mike – hope you are doing well.

    In your experience with patients you have worked with, have you ever split the workouts up? By this I mean, doing the interval work and the weight workout on separate days: M,W,F – weights; T,TH Tabata intervals.

    • Mike Ninchols
      May 7, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      Yes, Jim, I have, and it is a second tier approach if metabolic change is your priority. If muscle mass is actually the goal, it works fine, but not for maximal metabolic change.
      Great question,
      Dr. Mike

      • Jim
        May 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

        Interesting. What is it about doing high-intensity intervals first and weights second in the same workout that drives this?

      • Jim
        May 13, 2019 at 11:39 am

        Also had another question – what do you think are the proper strength ratios someone lifting weights should work towards?

        So if I can bench x-amount, is there an approximate ratio to how much I should be able to squat and deadlift?

        • Mike Ninchols
          May 15, 2019 at 4:25 pm

          Short version to number one: it is the only way to truly exhaust the mitochondria enough to induce mito. suicide and up-regulate the intracellular cohort.
          As far as ratios, it deeply depends on your body type, arm/leg length and trunk ratios. The standard answer is bench/squat/dead of 1.0/1.5/2.0. However this so physique dependent I’ve seen it more often turn out to be a bludgeon rather than an aid. By the way the value of the interval early is metabolic impact and not strength. Dr. Mike

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