My initial background was built around functional fitness and corrective exercise, and while I still draw significantly on this background, over the years I have gradually become more and more influenced by an extensive study and practice of Eastern methodologies such as yoga, meditation, and qigong. I utilize all of these resources to create a well-rounded approach that I call Non-Resistance Training (NRT). Modern exercise tends to be very forceful in nature, which is much harder on the body and usually leads to tension (both physical and mental) and unnecessary wear and tear. NRT is about tuning into your body and moving in more natural, less rigid ways. Nature always follows the path of least resistance, and this is the essence of NRT practice.
Focus on mastering a few exercises and doing enough of each for a better impact instead of incorrectly and insufficiently performing more exercises. This also leaves room to try more variations during the week. When lifting weights, focus on technique to avoid injury, and don’t overstrain yourself. Ensure your workout includes basics like push-ups and squats along with more innovative combinations.
30-min intense workouts (functional strength training, conditioning, and targeted stretching) twice a week suffice for a healthy living. Hit the gym 3 or 4 times a week for an athletic physique. Additional cardio is not needed as cardio is part of functional strength training. Eat healthy to see quicker results. Short, intense (but safe!) routines are more effective than longer ones.
Begin by performing every exercise very slowly to help your muscles do the work than stress your joints. Push, pull and lunge movements help build stability and activate your core muscles. It not about how much you can lift, or if you can do a pull-up, or how many lunges you can do, but how you control each exercise, activate intended muscles, and stimulate positive changes.
Exercising better brings out effective results than trying to do better exercises. While there’s a place for progressing to tougher exercises, it shouldn’t be done at the expense of poorly executed basic ones. Master basics by focusing on your breathing, observe sensations in targeted muscles being exercised, and also how easy or flexible movements feel.
Enjoy exercising rather than thinking of it as a punishment. Do not just follow and wait for your trainer's cues; own your fitness program to speed up the process. Choose healthy food that you like eating. Don't exercise to cover for bad diet choices. Set small short term and bigger long term goals. Do not be obsessed about goals; focus on the process instead.