Using Focus to Achieve Extraordinary Results in the Gym

2 May

I recently had the opportunity to read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover I highly recommend reading the book if you haven’t done so already. It will truly change the way you think about money. One of the themes that he talks about in the book and preaches on his radio show is the “Power of Focus”.  Essentially, you list all of your debts in order smallest to largest. You put all of your focus on paying everything you can toward the smallest debt while paying the minimum on the others. When you payoff one debt, you concentrate on the next until your debt is cleaned up. READ the book! I highly recommend it (did I say that already?)!!!

This got me thinking though that when it comes  to working out there is old conventional wisdom that you focus on single body parts when you workout. A lot of times bodybuilders will use this and have leg day, chest day, arms, back, and whatever else they want to concentrate on.  The new conventional wisdom seems to steer clear of this ideology and has shifted toward high intensity interval training and total body workouts.  The idea behind it is that everything gets worked in synergy and all of the muscles are forced to worry about balance which in turn makes you stronger. What about putting Dave Ramsey’s theory about the “Power of Focus” and applying it to our workouts to create a hybrid of convention as you might say.
Let’s face it, we all have weaknesses that drive us nuts and under today’s convention with the whole body concept, the weaknesses we host are likely to get exponentialized as our body uses the strongest muscles to make up for weakness.  What I am proposing is that on certain days during the weak we put all of our focus on those weaknesses.  For me it’s chest and legs.  So on two days during the week, I would focus on these items, one day chest, one day legs. On the rest of the days, I would concentrate on the total body concept.  With this idea, you work on strengthening your weaknesses so they have a chance to catch up with the rest of the body.  By doing so your putting less strain on the muscles that have to pick up the slack and working on getting better in your weakest areas.
This isn’t a totally new concept.  P90x has a similar focus but instead of focusing on weaknesses, Tony Horton intermixes focus days with what he considers “cardio” days.  These workouts include Cardio X, Plyo X, and Core Synergistics. On the other days he has you focused on things like legs and back, back and biceps, chest, biceps, and triceps, and so on.
The concept is compelling and something I am going to test over the next few weeks.  Remember, we all need to shake up our workouts once and a while. Getting into routines causes us to plateau.  Step out on a limb and try new things.
What are your thoughts on the idea?
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