Are you getting bored of the same old workout routines? Not a fan of mundane cardio workout? Is your progress slowing or plateauing? Well I’ve got some tid bits that may help spice up your workout life!
Strength & Growth: Utilizing a variety of resistance types (barbells and dumbbells most common), focusing on heavy weights, low repetitions (6-10) and 1-2 exercises per muscle group. This will help you build stronger, harder and more dense muscles. Ladies, do not stray from this form of exercise because you don’t want to get “big and bulky”. Women do not have the levels of hormones that would build an excess of large muscles. Remember, building more muscle (whether mass or density) you will be burning more calories and body fat while you are exercising or at rest.
Conditioning & Toning: A great overall workout regimen that includes any form of resistance (free weights, cables, bodyweight, etc) focusing on moderate weight, mid repetitions (10-15) and 3-4 exercises per muscle group. Still working on building and strengthening that lean muscle but now there is more focus on toning or defining the muscles, building muscle endurance/conditioning as well as increasing the amount of calories you are burning.
Endurance: Looking for a high calorie burn and building up your muscle endurance? Utilizing lighter weights, high repititions (15-20) and numerous exercises per msucle group will do exactly that! Want to make things more challenging? Throw in some cardio intervals in between exercises or circuits to increase the intensity.
Steady State Cardio: 30-45 minutes of steady activity; this is great for building heart strength and lung capacity. “Old school” mindset has always led people to believe that if they want to burn calories and weight that they need to do hours of cardio; running on the treadmill for obscene amounts of time. As we have become more knowledgeable about the science of the body we have learned otherwise. Our bodies are resilient machines and can adapt to almost anything. When it comes to “steady state cardio” our bodies will eventually “learn” how to burn the FEWEST amount of calories doing the same amount of cardiovascular exercise. Example: say you jog on the Treadmill at Speed 6 and Incline 3 and you burn 600 calories within the hour. After performing that routine for 1-3 months your body will only burn 400 calories within the hour, therefore burning less calories within the same amount of time. So, simply put, if your goal is to burn calories and body fat, steady state cardio is not the route that will get you there. It is still very healthy and beneficial to you, so do not think that I am telling you not to do it. Just realize your goals and the proper tools to utilize to get there.
High Intensity Interval Cardio: 15-25 minutes of activity with 30-120 seconds of a high level “sprint”, where sprinting is relative to the activity your are performing. Example: If you are on the Treadmill perform a fast paced walk or a light job as a warm up for 5 minutes. Then increase your speed and/or incline to a Very Challenging Intensity for 30-120 seconds (as long as you can); you want to be struggling and out of breath doing this. Then return the intensity back down to a light jog or fast walk for 60 seconds to catch your breath and repeat this process for a total of 15-25 minutes. What does this do for you? By incorporating semi-short and quick bursts of energy output you are boosting your metabolic rate (rate of burning calories), preventing your body from being able to adapt to any certain level of activity (preventing a decrease in caloric expenditure), strengthening your heart, lung capacity, endurance and speed. You can even spice things up a bit more by incorporating Sprints into your workouts whether resistance, cardiovascular or core related.
Put It All Together
Now that you have the bits and pieces that make up the general world of fitness and exercise, mix it up any which way that you want depending on the goals you wish to reach. The main thing to take from all of this is that you should always cycle your workout routines, resistance training and cardiovascular training alike . This will ensure consistent progress and help prevent plateaus.
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Best In Health To All!!!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Mentor