Picture this: It’s Monday evening. All day you’ve spent mentally preparing for your first workout since, well, a long time ago. You’ve got your cute pants on (the super comfy yoga ones), new shoes and Bieber’s latest album in queue. As you step foot into the gym, familiar sounds and smells fill the air. Treadmills buzz along, dreadlocked fitness enthusiasts hang nimbly from the ceiling as overgrown men drag their fists and grunt at one another. This is it. The moment you’ve prepared for all day! A workout like none other: one for the record books… If only you knew where to begin.
Breaking News: Scientists have now confirmed these grunts/groans to be an informal means of communication amongst other overgrown men in the group, more on this subject later.
One of the most common issues for people returning from their health hiatus is simply being unsure of where to begin. It’s a huge buzz kill and a major reason why people quit before they even begin. The solution is a two-part answer; first I’ll start with a simple question and then explain the two most effective approaches to exercise programming and why I think each one may benefit you.
Ask Yourself This Question.
How many days per week can I truly dedicate to exercise? Most of us are busy and may only be able to squeeze in two or three days each week and honestly, that’s plenty; especially if you’re de-conditioned. Once you have this answer you’ll need to figure out the main reason for working out in the first place. Do you have a vacation closing fast? Ski season? How about a summertime wedding? Whatever it may be, this will determine which of the two options will work best.
Two Types of Programs.
The classic size/strength program that’s been around longer than Arnold has been in a weight room. This approach requires a minimum of four days per week. Each workout you’ll be training different muscle groups and usually falls on Monday/Tuesday, Thursday/Friday.
If your main fitness goals are centered around muscle size or strength AND if you are able to commit to four days per week. A 4-day split requires attention to intensity because only two main muscle groups are being targeted in each workout. Try to keep your rest periods (time between exercises) around two minutes or less but above 30 seconds. This gives you plenty of time to recuperate since the focus is to lift heavier weight. Ideally, your reps should be around 4-8 per set and three sets per exercise.
DON’T DO THIS:
If you’re on limited time (1 hour or less) or you’re main goal is reducing excessive body fat.
Full Body Program:
The Charlie Hunnam of workout routines; guaranteed to get you hot and sweaty in less than an hour. Full body programs are also the best way to burn through extra calories since your rest periods are typically 30 seconds or less. Ideally, you reps should be around 15-20 per set and exercises are performed in circuit fashion.
If you have limited time and love you some Charlie. Other good candidates for this style of training are those looking to lose weight and tighten up the ship. Look to this program if improving cardiovascular endurance is important to you.
DON’T DO THIS:
If your main goal is muscle size/strength or you already have a good foundation of fitness. In that case, a more specialized approach may be a better fit.
These two types of programs have been proven to be the most effective in today’s realm of fitness. Try to avoid drowning in the sea of opinion. If you haven’t noticed already, everybody has their own way of doing things and it’s best to pick a couple different ideas and build on them. Fitness is constantly evolving and as of today, these are the best ways I’ve found to help you attain your fitness goals.
Like fitness, life is refinement process. Day-to-day operations, training regimens, relationships; they all need constant attention to detail in hopes that in the end, we have produced this resilient and vigorous being. If you are still kinda lost and need help getting started, I’m giving away a copy of an e-book I wrote called the “10 Best Functional Exercises You SHOULD Be Doing” (a $55 value). In it, I explain why I think each one is critical and I even provide high definition photos and witty commentary on each movement.
To download your FREE copy, visit my website at www.danholguinfitness.com
After a few seconds you will be prompted to enter your email address in exchange. I’m only doing this for a short amount of time so you’ll have to act quickly. Not only will you get my e-book for free but it also gives you access to my exclusive fitness newsletter I send out regularly. Don't wait!