There's a reason why they say good things take time. NY1 Health & Fitness reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report on how starting out with a little less in your workout routine can help you wind up with a whole lot more.
As a banker working long hours, Nick Kumar says he was often hitting a wall with his workouts.
“I really didn't enjoy lifting heavy weights, and in fact, I couldn't do a regular squat with 60 pounds or even a lighter amount of weight,” Kumar said.
The same goes for Neil Mack, a busy rock musician often on the road.
“I'd done the weight-training thing a few times in the last few years and I'd always get some results, then I would plateau and not go to that next level,” said Mack.
Mack and Kumar both said that all changed with the introduction of DeltaFit, a new body transformation program from Marc Perry – founder of BuiltLean.com. On the eight-week men's fitness plan built around three workouts per week for 45 minutes each, Perry was able to transform the two men.
One of the secrets to the plan is a progression workout approach, starting out with light exercise and steadily building up over time to gain strength.
“A lot of guys, they try to do too much too soon,” Perry says. “So let's just say a guy hasn't worked out in a while, he'll try to work out like six times in one week and try to push it too hard, whereas I think a smarter approach would be maybe start out with one or two workouts per week, and increase progression where workouts become harder and harder, which is much safer and it won't lead to burn out.”
Almost any exercise can be adapted to go from easy to hard. For example, Perry's abdominal workout takes crunches from basic to the super advanced, with feet on the ground, to variations with legs in the air, to hanging leg raises and windshield wipers.
The key to it all is gradually increasing the volume of exercises, while decreasing the amount of time it takes to do them. Exercises have to become more challenging as you go to have an impact.
Perry said the speed at which you should progress your workouts pretty much depends on you.
“For someone just starting out, you really want to be slow and take your time, because you might experience soreness after the workout,” says Perry. “It's really important to listen to your workout. For someone who is a little more advanced, you can increase the intensity of the workouts a little bit more quickly than someone who is not in great shape.”
And in this case, slow and steady clearly wins the race.