With January near the end and February right around the corner, warmer months are not that far off. The winter months are typically thought of as a hibernation time, but for the “fit minded” we use them to drop body fat for the inevitable bathing suit season.
Now is the time to dial your workouts in if you want a drastic change come spring time. With that said, lets refocus and give your workout the tuneup It needs and get back to the basics.
The warm up
Most of us know the importance of warming up. Ideally, this is not the time to just jump on the treadmill. Doing this does not prepare your body for a complete workout. I recommend skipping that and focus on a warmup that consists of bodyweight exercises that will properly prepare your muscles and joints for exercise. However, if you are set on doing some “cardio” before hand, choose a machine that will utilize the most muscles at one time. The rowing machine is great for this because it utilizes upper and lower body versus the treadmill which is lower body.
With all the exercise fads and videos alike, people often lose sight of what they should be doing and what a proper workout looks like. The way you organize you arsenal of exercises within your work can make a huge difference. Strategically placing certain exercises and the beginning or end of your session can help tremendously with the outcome. So, do things in the following order unless you like injury and dislike results.
A. Skill or power exercises. Examples are plyometrics and power exercises such as cleans. These exercises should be done at the beginning of a workout while your neuromuscular system is still fresh.
B. Major muscle resistance exercises. Examples are straight or superset exercises. When training for body fat loss stick to super sets that utilize major muscle groups. This will maximize time and results.
C. Secondary muscle groups. Examples here are fitness circuits. A great way to finish the major part of a workout is the way you started it. Choosing metabolic circuits will yield more of a calorie expenditure than heading to the cardio equipment.
D. Core training or torso training. Finishing your workout with some specific training is a great way to end your session. Choose exercises that focus on your abs, obliques, and low back muscles simultaneously. No sit-ups. Select various types of planks or other stability exercises.
A few more tips
Keep the bulk of your workout to three days, four max. Adding some light days in addition is fine provided that your body is adequately recovered.
Train for 30-45 minutes max. This does not include rest time. If you can’t get the job done in this time, clean up your workout and possibly workout harder.
Choose big exercises that utilize the most muscles at one time.
Keep a training journal and utilize a multitude of rep ranges to prevent adaptation.
And always, seek professional guidance when beginning an exercise regimen.
Tim Hlivia is a trainer at Leverage Fitness Studio. Need help getting started on fitness? He will be happy to take the time and sit down with you and talk. 570-338-2386.