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Popular Workouts - Are they any good for you

Popular Workouts - Are they any good for you

Hi Moez, just wanted to know your views regarding P90X workout routines? Are they effective?

Effective Workout RoutinesEvery now and then comes a routine like that. Generally speaking, they are better in marketing than training. Just like their TRX friends selling a piece of plastic for $200.

If you can't perform a good looking squat or a push up you have no business doing those sort of stuff. 95% of people are better off if they stay away from them. Look for something more progressive and sustainable.

Then what are your recommendation for losing weight and getting stronger? I don't have any gym in my city and I do have lots of workout dvds like Jillian Michaels 90 daz shred, p90x etc.... And I am following a pretty healthy diet, tracking my calories and maintaining a journal.........please guide me regarding the best possible way to loose weight at home. Will highly appreciate your help.

I don't recommend any of those. A good workout plan takes into account the followings:


  • Goal
  • Age
  • Mobility issues
  • Recovery ability
  • Basic strength level
  • Diet
  • Schedule and number of training days
  • And imbalances and movement compensation

Those useless products take none of those into account. They don't even know if you can perform any of those moves correctly. You might think you do but you probably aren't. I have had clients coming to me who had done several of those workouts. None could even perform a body weight squat properly. I have no idea how they were doing those push ups and v-ups. Also relearning is harder than learning. So they just make my job tougher.

The other factor these products neglect is "periodization". I have seen clients getting weaker, their forms getting sloppier, rate of injuries going up and their muscle imbalances worsening. Periodization has been around for 70 years now and every fast, muscular, or strong athlete uses it. We have gyms here in Islamabad where they make you do 30 seconds of jumping jacks for rounds in a circuit. What good that is except making one look stupid and out of breath. These workouts you have in your library aren't any better. Jillian Michaels can't even perform a 'kettlebell swing' with good form herself.

If you wish to put yourself in the hands of these money making corporations no one can do anything. McDonalds, Kfc and other junk food is no good but people go there all the time. Doesn't mean it's good for you or it works. The intention might be good but I am NOT in.

Generally speaking I don't like to associate weight loss to training although there is about 10% weight loss you might get from hard training. Maybe a bit more initially. But only the goofs do that and the ones who preach it are generally obese or fat themselves. Nothing near lean. The guys you see on those DVDs and magazines aren't doing what they tell you to do. They are "dieting". Bodybuilders eat a lot during their off-seasons (when they are trying to put on muscle and have 6 to 8 months till their competitions). On stage they are only flesh and bone. What do think they do? Train harder? They in fact train easier and try to just maintain muscle as they reach their competition. All of them 'diet' to get ready on stage.

We workout for other reasons:
  • To get more insulin sensitive (this means being leaner in the long run)
  • Put on muscle, (muscle mass is directly proportional to how long you live)
  • To stress the cardiovascular system (so it gets stronger)
  • To correct basic movements and get stronger at them (like doing a heavy squat)
  • To get some stability and avoid injuries that otherwise normally happen to weak people frequently,
  • To improve muscle, bone and connective tissue density,
  • To stay physically independent for as long as we are alive and enjoy a quality life,
  • And to generally keep pain and muscoloskeletal issues away (although bad exercise can cause this)


Regarding calorie counting:

This is one way dieticians make people drop weight. But this can be extremely misleading. A calorie is not a calorie and those who say it is are nothing but morons who haven't gotten anyone in great shape. A calorie from carbs isn't equal to a calorie from fat or protein. Proteins and fats don't release insulin. Carbs do. A calorie from potato isn't equal to a calories from cherry. They are both carbohydrate sources but excess of one gets turned into fat via insulin release and the other one through the liver. A calorie is a calorie but one calorie can destroy the body and the other one can heal. Feed someone junk food for days sticking to to a below-maintenance calorie level. The person might lose weight but he won't get much leaner. Read this article to see what calorie counting does in the long run.

I have been working out for the past 6 months. I lost 6kgs initially but it's been 2 months now that I have not lost anything.

This brings me to my next point. A healthy diet doesn't mean it's going to make you lose fat and keep you losing fat in a linear fashion.

The best way all people in great shape lose weight is in the kitchen not in the weight room. Keeping lean is also lifestyle. Strategies will also have to change as you move on. The way you lose your first 5kgs you aren't going to lose the next 5kgs. What are you going to do next? Drop calories? Till when? Read the article I mentioned above again.

Regarding how we design our diets read this:

Smart Lifelong Dieting In A Nutshell

Thank you,
Moez Aryan

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