Updated: Dec 26, 2021
One of the reasons I have learned why people avoid working out is because they have the false belief that in order to get benefits from your workout, you must push hard and every set must go to failure. They also believe that you must feel sore the next day after the workout to indicate that you got benefits from the workout. None of these things are actually true, and the sad part is that many fitness professionals still promote this kind of mentality.
The fact is that if you want to tone your body, lose weight and improve your health, all you have todo is a workout that challenges your body a little bit more than it is used to. You don't have to bring every set to failure, and, by the way, one set will do the job. Around 90% of the benefits of weight training come from the first set. In my opinion, the third set is a complete waste of time for the average person who is trying to get in shape. Also, you don't need to run or jog; walking will do the job. Obviously, if you enjoying running or jogging that is fine but that is something you don't need to do to get health benefits and lose weight. Also, keep in mind that too much running or jogging is bad for your body.
Of course, if you are looking to compete in the next Olympics, then you do have to push hard in every workout. Maybe you will need to do the third set, even though you only get maybe an extra 1% of benefits because, as you know, in a sports competition there isn't a big difference between winners and losers. In that case, 1% of benefits may be the difference between winning and losing.
So, are you joining the next Olympics, or are you trying to lose weight, get in shape and lower your risk of developing heart disease and other lifestyle-related conditions?
If you are not joining the next Olympics, you do not need to train that hard to get the results you want. One of the main benefits of working out lightly is that you have a much better chance of sticking with your workouts long-term and remember, consistency is the key to results and also presents a much lower risk of injury.
I know many personal trainers like to push their clients hard, so they can get the best results as quickly as possible. However, the best results in the world will not keep you motivated to keep going, if you start hating the process of working out, or even worse, get injured.
The best workout is the one you can do and do consistently. My advice is to keep your workouts short and simple and not overly intense. Yes, you want your workouts to be challenging, but they don’t have to kill you. By doing that, you are more likely to stay consistent with your workouts and consistency is the key to sustainable results.