I've had many revelations over this last year or so of my fitness journey. I spent some time in a commercial gym observing trainers setting people up for future injury. I read more blogs about exercise and diet than should be allowed by law. I spent an entire year trying to master just three exercise movements (the squat, deadlift, and bench press). All in the name of finding or creating a program that would be simple to follow, give me results, and keep me healthy without overtaking my life.
After all, I'm married with two boys who, at least for now, want me around. I ended up spending a little money on a Craig's List deal and setting up a home gym in my garage, which has been great. I can fit in a quick work out on the weekend, and stir a pot in the kitchen between sets if I have to. Not having to drive anywhere or share sweat with anyone (or fume when some bro is curling in the squat rack or whatever) has been a sweet deal all around.
There are those of us who want to get into shape, and stay that way, in the most efficient way possible. We have families and limited time to get anything done in the gym. We are The Lone Gym Rats who may need a little guidance about programming or nutrition, but due to scheduling, personality, or some other reason, just can't commit to anyone other than themselves when it comes to getting fit.
Several months back I decided to look for a change in programming. I had been lifting weights on the same basic schedule for over a year, and the time felt right to mix things up a little. I started reading up on on-line coaching, and quickly realized that doing this remotely is easy with this here handy-dandy internet.
Initially, I searched for online help for basic programming. What to do when kind of stuff. How many reps? Sets? How much cardio? Once you start looking it's like opening Pandora's Box. There's simply too much stuff out there, and most of it is bad. Having my particular educational background helped me screen through a lot of stuff initially, but I'm no exercise physiologist. When it comes to the gory details of what makes us bigger, stronger, faster than before (and helps me look my best for my wife, patients, and impending 25 year high school reunion), I turn to the experts. And in my estimation, the guys who know the absolute most about fat loss and strength gain are body builders. It's their sport.
Besides, you can only do P90X or Insanity so many times before you get bored, hurt yourself, or get a scratch on the DVD (I did all three). And having some form of coach you can ask questions of is a really good thing when you need it. Having some accountability for your progress (or lack thereof) is motivating too, even if you favor the lone wolf method of working out. Ahem.
I say all of this as the background information. By the end of the year I had bought several e-books, consulted with one online coach for a particular nutrition protocol, and read a ton of stuff written by various coaches on different programming methods. And I found something that I really like: an e-book written by a body builder who's stayed up on the research. And more than that, a community of people (online) who are going through the same program, asking questions and getting them answered. Pulling for each other. Pushing each other. And all being led by the man who wrote the book in the first place.
And whether or not you are following a "Paleo" style diet (or have other dietary restrictions or preferences) this can all work for you. The best time to start is yesterday. If you're looking to make some changes, and the luster of your New Year's resolutions hasn't faded into total apathy, but you find you need some guidance, check this out. Here's the link: Burn The Fat Inner Circle
The e-book in question is called Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle. I'd recommend buying the e-book before joining the Inner Circle, because you get two free months with your purchase.
You will be encouraged to set goals for yourself. Goals you can actually track. You will be advised to lift weights, which in my opinion is the single best way to change your appearance for the better (ladies included). It's a simple program, really, but it's not easy. Of course, if this stuff was easy, we'd all be lean and mean and I wouldn't write stuff like this.