This post is for anyone who's had one of those days at the gym. You know, those days when you walk in without any kind of plan. I've seen you, I've been there. You walk in and say hi to a few people, wander over to the machines and do a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Say hi to a few more peeps. A few biceps curls and chest presses. And some leg presses for good measure. Before you know it you've been there for over an hour and you're not really sure whether that was a good workout or not. Feels ok, kind of. You're not pumped. You're not motivated for the next great workout...
Well I'd like to share a little bit with you about training and program design. It's a sure way to get an efficient, well rounded workout. It's how I train my clients and myself and it doesn't have to take more than 30 minutes. You tack on a quick warm up, a little cardio and some stretching and you have a complete, satisfying workout that will keep you motivated. And you won't need more than an hour!
Here are some good rules of thumb:
Start with a quick all over warmup like a series of dynamic moves in Warm Up 1 or Warm Up 2. Or hop on a cardio machine for five minutes. The rower is a good one as it works your upper as well as lower body. But any cardio machine will work too.
A sound workout incorporates a double leg move, single leg move, a push, a pull and something core specific.
If you're new to lifting shoot for something you can do fairly comfortably for 12 reps. Two sets.
Experienced lifters, use a weight as heavy as you can manage for 8 reps. Three sets are ideal.
The whole workout should take about 25 minutes, resting about 30 seconds between sets. Good form is key and always trumps quantity! In fact lifting more than 12 reps really does nothing for strength gains and it puts your joints and muscles at risk of injury.
So here is a sample workout plan. Please make sure you're warmed up!
Superset 1: Alternating Exercises
Shoulder Press/Assisted Pull Ups
Superset 2: Alternating Exercises
Standing Lunges/Plank with Alternating Leg Raises
If you have any energy left over now would be the ideal time to do some cardio. Your body has used up most of it's available energy in terms of glucose and glycogen and now it's ready to burn fat!
Twenty minutes of cardio is plenty at this point - you don't want to overdo it especially if you've lifted some good heavy weights.
And finally a little stretching - the major muscle groups, legs (hams and quads), back and chest. Check out my Stretch It Out video for an easy to follow flexibility routine. And you're done and hopefully can't wait for your next session.
Let me know your thoughts and check back here for more workout plans. Until next time take care of you and don't forget to "Take me to your gym!"