Yesterday I launched the modern form of TV known as YouTube and guess what I saw? Another home workout by the legendary six pack wizard Mike Chang, who according to the comments underneath most clips is a nice guy desperately trying to make the whole world fit. This time he is laying on his belly with a heavy backpack on top while pulling a white bathroom towel towards his face. The exercises look really painful and completely exhausting. You can feel Mike’s sorrow just by watching him train. The clip was full of ninja style “ahhs” followed by constant heavy breathing. I am not sure, but I think the workout was called something like “Get Turbo Shreds At Home In 5 Minutes Or Less”. Stats: 5 millions views; 10 million likes;
Ironically, the video actually reminded me of an ancient and long forgotten secret which goes like this: “There is a big difference between doing things and doing useful things.”
If today I watch a mainstream music video clip on repeat for 20 hours, I would be exhausted and probably have vivid hallucinations too. My eyes would be red and severely irritated while my head would be begging me to cut it off or at least freeze it for a few days. In other words, this example represents an experience that’s quite hard on your whole system. However, are moves like that leading to any meaningful progress? The answer is a strong “No”. You just get overwhelmed without actually moving to a higher league.
It’s the same with many commercial home workouts, which usually give you a great pump and exhaust you, but rarely make you stronger or more proficient at your sport. Similar routines cannot be classified as optimal because they rarely come with real goals and mechanisms pushing you forward month after month. You can do the same workout for 20 years and continue to feel pumped and exhausted at the end. Real progress? Not even once.
I am not an investor, but I can tell you that spending your money on projects with no return will not get you ahead. Usually people don’t have unlimited amount of resources and your energy, just like your money, must be spent wisely too. I don’t think wiping the floor with a towel could be considered smart training, although I have to admit it is indeed difficult and better than doing absolutely nothing.
Another important element part of commercial home workouts is the entertainment factor, especially when we are talking about guys like Mike Chang and his rivals, who are allegedly cultivators of ancient techniques for alienesque muscular growth. Their main goal is to create a glossy movie that can grab the attention of as many people as possible. This immediately reduces the quality of the presented information while increasing the Hollywood element. Therefore, it’s very likely that some of the presented techniques there are just for the show.
At the end of the day, you are not really learning how you can program your workouts in order to become better at something specific. Without a focus you are spending your resources on random stuff that does not lead to real progress. Watching guys getting a sick pump using broomsticks and towels is not as educational as some may think. I am sorry, but if you believe that getting a massive chest pump using the cross-over machine is the secret to growth or exceptional strength, it’s not the case. It’s nothing but a muscle fiber show. Similar content is no different than the bodybuilding magazines selling fairy tales since the 50s.
“This routine is very effective. I am already bigger. I’ve doing it for the last two weeks,” says an unaware teenager in the comment section who thinks he can get as big as Mike Chang over the summer break. There many people like that who are either trolls or individuals suffering from the epidemic mainstream delusion that long lasting changes can be achieved in a few “short” months “as long as you are willing to work hard.” Sorry, bro. You can’t get bigger in 2 weeks by just playing with your parents’ towels.
People need to understand that just because something is hard physically and mentally, it does not equal real progress. Fatigue and strain are part of growth but only when used in the right direction. The sooner you learn this, the faster you will get out the cross-over and chest flies trap. If you want to wipe the floor, do it, but don’t call it hardcore training. The proper world is cleaning.