[My meager hit counters indicate that readers are far more interested in reading about fitness and sports performance than rehab related topics. So okay, here are some training information/motivational type thoughts for the day.]
Quit worrying about the fluff of your training and diet. Focus on getting stronger in a few basic movements. Add in some measure of athleticism (vertical jump, sprint or other run time, discuss, whatever), and there you have a program.
If you do this over a relatively long period of time (for the "extreme" transformation crowd, it's going to be more than 90 days!), you will not be out of shape, especially if you're under the age of 45.
You will not achieve awesomeness (aesthetic or performance) or physical and mental resiliency by doing endless cardio and three sets each of three variations of bicep curls and tricep extensions, or by worrying if the fructose in apples is making you fat. Do you seriously think that people get fat by eating apples? Or strong and ripped by doing the elliptical and abdominal crunches?
On the other hand, all awesomeness could be yours if you'd settle on a handful of big basic weight training movements, forge that coveted love/hate relationship with them, apply yourself to them at regular intervals, and allow rest and healthy living in between.
Entire workouts devoted to body parts, like "shoulders and triceps?" They have to go. A few friends and I have been doing three workouts per week for about, oh, 2 years:
Deadlift day with some heavy bench and miserable single leg squats thrown in
20 rep squat day with some heavy chin-ups, rowing, and overhead pressing thrown in
and Plyo Friday with about 50 minutes of jumps and sprints.
That's it. An entire program with less than 10 resistance training exercises and about 5 plyo/conditioning activities.
Do you believe that it works?
Cort can deadlift 320 for 5 reps. Ben has squatted 315 for 20 reps. With over a decade of training years on them, I've recently dead lifted 500 pounds for 5 and squatted well above 400 for 20. We all do chin-ups for reps with 45 pounds and more added on. We've managed to not get fat. Lets just say that we've been ready for beach season all fall and winter and spring.
If we are consistent and eat well and recover well, we absolutely progress on most lifts, most of the time. Sure, those are some big "ifs." But progress isn't that much of a question when you narrow your focus, refine your goals, and pour yourself into just a few exercises.
On the other hand it's hard. Single leg squatting well over your body weight for a total of about 30 reps each is damn hard. But it's FAR less painful than "working out" with little real progress to show for it.
And again, the point is not how much we lift. In fact, it's quite the opposite. We're not special. We've made training a priority, just three days per week, and we focus on getting stronger in a handful of movements.
In case you were wondering, yes, we do train biceps. The next installment will include a video which reveals to the world my top secret bicep activation routine.
Until then, focus on strength, getting stronger in a couple hard movements like chin-ups and/or bench press variations, shoulder presses, dips, squats, lunges, whatever you can do regularly. Focus on getting stronger, be patient, and much of the rest will come.
There will be set backs, bumps, and glitches.
Focus on getting stronger.