Throughout my career with pro athletes, I’ve seen pretty much every body type, every physical ability level, different ages, different sports, men, women and teenagers. My goal as their performance trainer is to design specific programs that maximize what their body is physically capable of AND to target the specifics of their particular sport.

Pro athletes have to push their bodies to the limits day after day, in search of that 4-5% extra in performance that can be the difference between winning and losing.

For example, in my work with professional tennis players, we work a lot on movement technique (first step speed, change of direction speed, controlling balance as they move, controlling the upper body while the lower body works like crazy). This is tennis…move, hit, recover...move, hit, recover.

This idea of targeting just what we want shouldn’t be any less important in the general fitness and health programs that you and I do. The good news is, because we are not trying to break world records or win Grand Slam tournaments, we don’t need to train nearly as long, hard or intensely as pro athletes, far from it. And we don’t have to watch every tiny detail of our training program or our diet to obtain the lean, toned look and feeling we want.

If our goal is to have a lean, toned physique, then we need to set up our workouts to exactly target this goal.

If we over stimulate our bodies’ energy systems and metabolism, we can alter the proportions of our bodies, cause injury and damage mobility and flexibility in the body. If we stimulate them incorrectly (wrong exercises, wrong order of exercises, wrong duration of workouts, wrong intensity levels), then we will spend a lot of time working hard training and wondering why we are not seeing the results we want.

For example, if our goal is to lose fat and tone muscle but we are lifting too heavy in the gym, too many sets and volume overall. Then not only we will be more likely to develop larger, bulky muscles, but we will also stimulate our metabolism so much that we will be starving all the time and likely to eat much more than we need to achieve our goal. We would gain some decent strength for sure but also a lot of fat and thickness in our bodies as well.

As most of us have similar fitness goals…lose fat, tone/build muscle, sculpt a balanced looking body and to have more energy and capacity for our lives, I believe it’s important to understand the science and physiology of the body to achieve these goals as simply and directly as possible.

There is an optimal combination of exercises, optimal types of exercises, an optimal length of different sessions, so that we workout as efficiently as possible. Efficient means everything we do in the workouts should help us towards our goals as much as possible…the most calories burned, right type and level of muscle activation and the right energy systems challenged...all the time.

And while it is good to mix up the workout exercises and try new plans sometimes, we shouldn’t always be looking to lift more and more, heavier and heavier or to do a few more and more reps or go harder and longer. Once we have sculpted the look and feeling we want, staying with similar intensities, similar weights, similar durations of fat burning workouts etc. will allow us to maintain our look easily.

The workouts shouldn’t waste a minute of your time.

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