Physical exercise is one of the biggest factors in attaining total health and wellness.
The biggest tips for physical fitness success, are to find something you enjoy, setting goals, and having accountability.
Exercise does not have to be miserable. While it is true that there will be times you do not enjoy yourself, it shouldn't make you sick to your stomach every time you have to go work out.
It is not a simple thing to provide exact and detailed information about how to workout for several reasons. Everyone has a different body type, different goals, different life style and different experience. It is always important to start where you are and increase exercise appropriately. If you do have medical conditions, we always recommend getting evaluated before starting a program. As a Health Coach, Doctor of Chiropractic, Certified Exercise Specialist and Yoga Teacher, Dr. Todd Drybread can set up very individualized workouts for every person we work with. For more information please refer to the health coaching section of this website. This page will outline some basics to help with your workouts.
Be careful of Plateaus
When a person performs the same workout over and over, their body quickly adapts to the work. Once the body practices the same activity repeatedly, it grows more proficient at performing those moves. This means it requires less energy and therefore also burns fewer calories. As a result you don't lose weight or gain muscle as efficiently as you once did. This is what we call a plateau.
To avoid plateaus in your workouts, you should change your routine about every 4-6 weeks. The modification doesn't have to be dramatic. A totally new exercise is a possible option, but alteration of a current exercise can be just as effective.
A simple way to determine how to transform your current workout is using the F.I.T.T principle. F.I.T.T. stands for frequency, intensity, time and type. This strategy can be adopted for both cardio and resistance training.
Frequency - increase or decrease how often you workout.
Intensity - increase or decrease the difficulty or level at which you workout.
Time - increase or decrease how long your workout sessions last.
Type - change the type of exercises you perform.
There are two types of exercise, cardio and weights: If you want to look good, lose weight and get healthy it is best to combine the two.
When we use the term cardio, we mean a cardiovascular workout, such as walking, running, swimming, biking, etc. The goal is to get your heart rate high enough to burn fat. To understand where your heart rate should be, you need to first find your maximum heart rate.
To find your true maximum heart rate (MHR) you would need to have a thorough physical examination done first, and be supervised while testing. However, most people use a simple formula that works pretty well. It is to simply subtract your age from 220.
Example: You are 36 years old. 220 - 36 = 184. Therefore your maximum heart rate is 184 beats per minute.
Now that you know your MHR, you can workout in different heart zones. The main heart zone for fat burning is 75% - 85% of your MHR. Therefore, if your MHR is 184, 75% would be 138 and 85% would be 156. So, if you are 36 years old, when you do a cardio workout, your heart rate should be between 138 - 156 beats per minute. The easiest way is to check your pulse, is for 15 seconds
You must learn to manage your time. Creating time for your workout is incredibly powerful. For more information, please see time management portion in the Obtaining Wellness section.
and multiply that number by 4. Time spent doing your cardio workout is also very important. A good goal is between 30 – 60 minutes, but it is important to start where you are.
As you do some research, you may find people say that 50-70% of MHR will burn more fat calories. While part of this statement is true, it is only partially true. At 50-70% of MHR you will burn a higher percent of fat calories in relation to total calories, but you will burn a lot less calories. If you find it too confusing, just ignore it and workout at 75% - 85% of your MHR.
Tip # 1: A Notebook
In general, people who are weight lifting are doing so very inefficiently. To get a good workout in, you do not have to spend hours in the gym. You should be able to get a great workout in 30 to 40 minutes plus a 10 minute warm up.
To accomplish this, you need to know what you are going to be doing before hand. The day you walk into the gym to workout, you should know what exercises you will be doing, where they are located in the gym, what amount of weight you will start with and about how many repetitions you will be performing. In order to know all this, you will need a small notebook to carry with you in the gym.
In your notebook, you can also keep track of how much weight you lifted for each exercise on that day. This will not only prep you for the next time you come to the gym, but helps motivate you because you can see the progress written down.
Tip # 2: Less Rest
People rest too long in between sets. You can get a great workout by performing quick sets. These allow you to get a workout in for an individual body part in as little as 3 minutes. This is the ultimate way to perform resistance training. Notice the secret is very little rest.
Types of Quick Sets:
Pick one exercise and do it for 8–12 repetitions until failure.
Rest 5-6 seconds.
Lower the weight 5–20 pounds and do the exercise again for 6–8 repetitions until failure.
Rest 5–6 seconds.
Lower the weight 5–20 pounds again and do another 6–8 repetitions until failure.
Pick one exercise and do it for 8-12 repetitions until failure.
Rest 5-6 seconds .
Using the same weight, do the exercise again until failure.
Rest 5-6 seconds
Repeat this process until you cannot do the exercise for more than 1-2 repetitions.
Monster SetA Monster Set is when, after performing an exercise for one body part, instead of resting, you immediately perform an exercise for another body part. The other body part should be one that was not used while exercising the first body part. For example: chest and biceps, or quadriceps and hamstrings.Monster Sets are combined with Decline or Pause Sets so you can get a tremendously effective workout done in a very short amount of time. For example, after you perform a Pause Set with the Incline Flye Press for your chest, you can immediately begin performing a Decline Set with Hammer Curls for your biceps.
Working out with weight is called resistance training. It is incredibly important for the physical function of your body. It not only builds muscle, but activates bone growth as well. Resistance training is the number one way to prevent osteoporosis. Using weights also helps with balance, stimulate nerves and increases overall efficiency of the body organs.
For those who have entered a gym, you know there are many ways to do resistance training. There are free weights, dumbbells, barbells, benches, machines, etc. If you have never used weights before, it can be overwhelming. If you do not have experience with weights, we highly recommend you hire a personal trainer or health coach to help you establish a safe program for you.
While, I am not going to go into detail about the pros and cons of the different areas of resistance training, I am going to give two tips about how to gain efficiency in the gym.