Workout Routines: Good, Bad and ROI

Good Workout Routines Fat Burning FX12
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 and show you how to separate the good workout routines from the bad and why ROI (Return on Investment) is important. 

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, 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.

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.  What you need to understand is that pieces of exercise equipment are just tools.  In order to improve your fitness, remodel or maintain your body, you need more than just the tool, your workout routine will require a proven method, a plan, and several tools (basic and inexpensive will suffice).  Just like if you were to remodel or build a house, buying a hammer and a paint brush isn't going to magically make it happen. You still need a proven method, a plan, and the right tools (not necessarily the fanciest or most expensive).  

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)  or burning fat, while low rep training is for building and increasing muscle size.  Body pump type classes and workout routines are based on this "muscle toning" myth. People usually take those classes or engage in those so called "toning" workouts because they're led to believe that light weight, high rep training is the best method to "tone" an lose body fat. 

I'm not sure how or where this workout myth started, but a basic anatomy class will teach you that muscle either gets bigger, or gets smaller (hypertrophies or atrophies). There is no such thing as "toning" muscles. If you want to see muscle tone, you need to lose body fat. Body fat is what covers your muscles and makes it difficult to see muscle tone. These myths, misconceptions and old wives tales are believed by the masses of uninformed casual fitness enthusiasts, and their ineffective and or inefficient workout routines show it. 

On the other hand, 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.  For example, if you want to work your chest muscles, there are several ways to to it and several methods with or without equipment that can accomplish that specific goal.  You don't need a specific tool, you can use a barbell, dumbbells, a kettlebell, dip bars, sand bags etc. (or your own bodyweight). A good chest workout routine will focus and place emphasis on the movement required to work the chest muscles (kinesiology), and not so much on the exact exercise tool that will help provide resistance. This goes for all other body parts as well. 

The method is what will ultimately make a workout routine successful, not the tool or tools. If you take a look at Fat X Program Workout 1, you'll notice I suggest using dumbbells, but, if you don't have dumbbells, you can easily substitute in a barbell without losing the workout's effectiveness.  I actually suggest that for the Deadlift exercise, advanced users should use a barbell so that they can utilize more weight.  If you're creative enough, you can actually make your own equipment with sandbags and other things. 

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 goal.  If your looking for efficient results, a good workout routine should fit together in a complete workout program so as to take advantage of the synergy principle and produce better results faster. Random exercises, in a random order, within a random workout, will only produce random results. 

The bottom line is that good workout routines provide the best ROI (Return on Investment).  Any workout routine can get you decent fitness results, but if it requires months of hard long training, eating a strict diet, day in and day out, is it a good workout routine?  I say no!  I say a good workout routine gets you specific fitness results, in an efficient manner, without needing to revolve your life around long, drawn out workouts every day while having to follow a super strict diet. 

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 while avoiding common misconceptions, myths and old wives tales that only lead to excessively long and unproductive workouts.  Those workout routines that have a good ROI  produce solid short term and long term results, while those that don't……well, they easily fall into the bad bucket of inefficient and ineffective workout routines that will do more to waste your time and money than they will to help you build a better and more fit body. 

If you need a workout routine/program that will help you get extremely fit while helping you lose body fat in an efficient way, take a look at my 12 day Fat X Program

Are you in the Pasadena or Los Angeles area?  Need private a.k.a personal training or fitness coaching?  Feel free to e-mail me at

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