Regardless of what your reason is, there is always something beneficial about working out. Getting our bodies to move, while toning muscle and losing excess fat, has been proven to prolong lifespan and even strengthen your mental capabilities.
If you have been stuck in a routine that isn’t really giving you the results you want, or you are a beginner and don’t quite know how to start, we have a few things we want you to be aware of when you begin creating your own workout routine.
Set a Goal
Is your goal to lose weight or gain muscle? Deciding what your health goals are will help you map out a workout routine.
Doing so will also help you gauge what type of exercise you should be doing, and for how long. Do you want to target belly fat or strengthen your glutes? Do you want to squeeze in as much activity as you can in a short period of time?
Setting goals gives you a much clearer path, a plan of action, and ultimately a workout routine that will be the most beneficial for you.
Consistency is Key
Any workout, no matter how perfect you think it is, would render itself useless if it is not consistently executed.
Create a workout plan that you know in your heart you can stick to. Plus, it doesn’t have to be time consuming. Half an hour a day should be long enough to give you results, as long as you’re working out 100% during that time frame.
Before and after every workout routine (say, on a weekly basis) log yourself so you can see how far you’ve come. When you see yourself progressing over time, you’ll feel more motivated.
You can track how heavy your weights were this week, how many reps per set, among other things. If you are trying to build muscle, then focus on weights. You should slowly progress to heavier ones every week.
A Routine to Build Muscle
When you want to build muscle, you want to focus on lifting heavier weights with low reps. Breaking the routine down into small parts is also a must, so that each muscle group gets your special, undivided attention (as opposed to a whole body workout). You want to achieve hypertrophy (increasing muscle size) and exhausting one muscle group at a time will help you do just that. The active recovery period between workouts should be long enough for your
muscles to do its magic: recover and repair itself and in the process of doing so, increase in size.
A sample five-day workout routine can look like this:
Monday: Chest and triceps
Wednesday: Back and biceps
Thursday: Active recovery *
Friday: Shoulders and abdomen
Sunday: Active recovery *
*During active recovery, it is recommended to remain physically active. Opt to do activities like yoga and walking; both aren’t physically strenuous but will help strengthen your muscles.
A Routine to Aid Weight Loss
If you want to lose excess weight, you may want to avoid a workout that is heavy in cardio. Instead, focus on creating a routine that includes both cardio and weight training.
Weight training affects your body up to 24 hours after working out. Your metabolism is still on high hear and can effectively help you lose weight. Cardio doesn’t have the same caloric burning effect than weight training.
Outside of your usual workout routine, continue to stay active by walking at least 10,000 a day. This is easily doable if you make choices like walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or enjoying a quiet moment at the park on your way home.
Ideally, do two days of a full body workout, four days of cardio, and one day of active recovery weekly. This, on top of the 10,000 walking steps, should be enough to lose those inches.
Wednesday: Full body workout
Friday: Full body workout
Sunday: Active recovery
Why a Trainer Helps
Getting a trainer, of course, is still the best option. They are professionally trained to come up with a plan that will best suit your needs and goals.
When you do decide to meet with a trainer, be aware of the following:
● You should be honest with them about your goals and schedule
● Be upfront about what you can and cannot do
● Let them know what your schedule is like
● It will cost you extra, but worth every penny
You can scour the internet for advice about the perfect workout plan, but nothing will beat a personal appointment with a trainer. At Rec Xpress, we have a group of amazing trainers who are equipped to help you on your road to healthy living.