Basics of Workout Routines: Good, Bad and ROI

fat burning workout routines that work fat loss
When it comes to workout routines, there are plenty of them.  You can find them both offline and online.  With so many of them out there, it's hard to choose.  It becomes even more difficult to choose a workout routine because of the slick marketing and the continuous perpetuation of myths and misconceptions by the fitness industry which tends to place profit over truth.  In this post, I will help show you how to separate the good workout routines from the bad and why ROI is important. (Some fitness companies are not going to be happy with me.)

First, lets start by discussing what makes up bad workout routines.  One thing you will notice about a bad workout routine is that it focuses more on the exercise tool or tools, rather than the method.  


The fitness industry and fitness equipment companies are notorious for this.  Through their big budget slick marketing ad campaigns, they will attempt to make you believe that a particular piece of exercise equipment stands above all the rest. They'll try to make you believe that it's the only thing you need, that it can accomplish anatomical impossibilities (i.e. muscle toning) and that it is the holy grail of fitness. This kind of misleading marketing and perpetuation of myths sets the foundation for the creation of bad workout routines. They miss the forest for the trees.

You've probably seen a few commercials and examples of this where treadmills, kettlebells, battle ropes, home gyms, ellipticals and the multiplicity of abs exercise devices are shoved down our throats.  These last few years, bands have been the cool tool on Instagram.  


What you need to understand is that pieces of exercise equipment are just tools.  In order to improve your fitness, remodel your body and or just plain get healthy, you'll need more than just one tool.

What you're really going to need is a proven method, a plan (blueprint, program, etc.), and several tools is better than one (basic and inexpensive will suffice).  When you need to hammer in a nail, a basic hammer will do.  No need for a diamond studded one ; ) But you do need to know how to use a hammer. 

Another important thing to understand about bad workout routines is that they tend to follow or regurgitate bad advice, old wives tales, and or methods based on tradition rather than proven science.  

A great example of this are workout routines that perpetuate the myth and misconception that high rep training is for toning muscle (an anatomical impossibility). Another example is that a specific exercise will burn fat in one area, another anatomical impossibility.  So no, ab exercises will not burn fat in your stomach area.  

I'm not sure how or where these workout myths started, but a basic anatomy class or an informed professional trainer will teach you that muscle either gets bigger, or gets smaller (hypertrophies or atrophies). Unfortunately instead of educating the public, fitness equipment companies and some fitness personalities perpetuate the myth because it's easier to sell their products that way. 


So if you want the "toned" look. You need to lose body fat to see muscle tension. Fat loss requires you to burn more calories than you consume.  Workouts that highly tax your metabolic processes will raise your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and will help effectuate that fat loss process.  

Myths, misconceptions and old wives tales are usually at the bottom of time wasting ineffective workouts. Avoid them, save your time, money and effort and invest that on good workouts and routines.

Good workout routines don't focus so much on the piece of exercise equipment or exercise tool, rather they focus on the science of fitness, proper methods, proven philosophies and time tested techniques. (HIIT, EDT etc.) 


It's like baking a pie. You can bake a pie with different ingredients (apple, peach, pumpkin etc.), but you'll need an oven, a pan, basic ingredients and the most important thing is knowledge of the baking process. In other words, no need to buy expensive apples, if you don't even have a pan, an oven and the knowledge of how to bake.  Work on those things first.  

 Let's say you want to work your leg muscles, there are several ways to do it and several methods with or without equipment that can accomplish that specific goal.  You don't need to buy an expensive piece of exercise equipment/tool, you can use a barbell, dumbbells, a kettlebell, boxes, sand bags etc. (or your own bodyweight). 

A good leg workout routine will focus and place emphasis on the movement required to tax and stress the leg muscles, and not so much on the exact exercise tool that will help provide resistance. This goes for all other body parts as well by the way.  

The method is what will ultimately make a workout routine successful, not the tool or tools.  Look for workouts that follow proven methods.  


In many of the workouts in my free fat burning workout section, I use simple pieces of fitness equipment.  And, if you don't have access to those, if you're creative enough, you can actually make your own equipment with sandbags and other things.  In the Zombie Hunter Workout, all you need is a backpack/bag.  In the Bermuda Triangle Workout all you need is cones or something similar just to mark your spots. 

Another important feature of a good workout routine is that the exercises, rep range, and the order of exercises are set up to work synergistically to accomplish a specific goal.  


Random exercises, in random order, within a random workout, will only produce random results.  You'll see these on social media all the time.   When I look at those, all I see is chaos.  Can you imagine baking a pie without specific ingredients, without a specific order of how to assemble those ingredients and without a specific temperature and time in the oven?  Yikes!  Good luck with that! 

ROI (return on investment) is a term I learned when I first started investing in the stock market back in 1999.  I applied that concept to fitness because it made sense!  Why spend 2 hours working out, when you can get the same or even better results with a 40 minute workout if done properly?  Any workout routine can get you decent fitness results. A
 good workout routine gets you specific fitness results in an efficient manner. A bad workout routine will have you slaving away and you'll barely see any results.  Even worse, it might even lead to injury. 

It's no surprise that good workout routines have a good ROI.  In order to have a good ROI, workout routines need to follow the tenets of fitness science and avoid  common misconceptions, myths and old wives tales that only lead to excessively long, unproductive and time wasting workouts.  


Workout routines that have a good ROI produce solid short term and long term results.  Those that have a bad ROI ……well, they easily fall into the bucket of inefficient and ineffective workouts that will waste your time, money and effort. Whether you're investing in your body or in the stock market, you want a high ROI! 

If you have any questions feel free to contact me, as I always say, I only succeed when my clients and Fat X 101 readers succeed! 





Personal Training in Pasadena, California