You have a busy life, yet have made the commitment (or will be making the commitment) to enhancing your health and fitness through exercise. Learn the top ten effective ways to maximize your time at the gym. Follow these tips to a focused, results-driven workout.
1. Know Why.
Knowing why you are exercising is paramount to having the motivation to continue. Make a list of at least 5 reasons (more is better) why exercising is important to you. Be as specific as you can.
Start each statement with "I will workout ___ days per week for _____ minutes so that I can/am...."
Keep one copy of this list in your planner and one in your gym bag. Read the list when you schedule your weekly workouts (see #2) and while you are warming up for your workout (see #5).
2. Plan when you will exercise.
We've all heard that it is important to schedule your workouts just as you would schedule any other important appointment. You have heard it so much because it works. Bottom line; schedule your workouts in your day planner each week.
3. Plan what you will do at the gym.
For the most effective workout, it is best not to decide what you will do at the gym while you are walking into the gym. Instead, decide what activity you will do prior to hitting the gym doors.
That way, you will have a focused workout before one foot hits the treadmill.
You may consider recording you workout plan in your day planner. For example:
o Monday 6 a.m. Treadmill 30 minutes and Lift
o Wednesday 5:45 p.m. Stair climber 40 minutes
o Thursday 6 a.m. Lift
o Friday 6 a.m. indoor cycling class
4. Plan to eat a snack.
Having a healthy snack prior to or after a workout serves many functions. Here are some suggestions specific to the time of day you workout.
Morning exercisers, pack a snack for after your workout.
Typically, morning exercisers are unable to tolerate a complete breakfast before their workouts. In this scenario, the post-workout snack not only provides much needed nutrients to aid the body recover for the workout, but also will prevent getting over hungry too early in the morning.
Evening exercisers, have a snack 30-60 minutes prior to your workout and on your way home from the gym.
The evening exerciser can be sidelined by hunger and opt. for dinner instead of working out. Snacking 30-60 minutes prior to your workout provides the energy required for the workout and prevents getting over hungry and potentially skipping the workout.
After their workout, most evening exercisers head home to make dinner. If this is true for you, I would encourage a small snack on your way home from the gym to prevent the extreme hunger most evening exercisers experience while making dinner (and the accompanying mindless snacking that occurs while cooking dinner).
If you do not feel the need for the snack that you packed after your workout, do not feel obligated to eat it. Get in the habit of packing it, though. Having that snack available might just be a lifesaver one evening.
Be sure to give your body and mind at least a 5 minute warm up. Warming up means hopping on a piece of cardio equipment at an easy pace and slowly progressing until you feel warmer and are breathing slightly harder for 5-10 minutes. Warming up helps prepare the body physiologically (the body takes a few minutes to understand that it will be exercising) and psychologically.
Use these precious 5-10 minutes wisely. Read your reasons for exercising and consider how the workout you are about to embark upon will ultimately get you closer to your goals.
6. Enjoy the Journey
It would be unrealistic to believe that you will absolutely love every single part of every single workout; however, there is no reason to agonize through it either.
Choose exercises that you enjoy. You should never have to do an exercise you ate. The choices of effective exercises are endless and there is bound to be one that you enjoy, or at least can tolerate.
7. Be Balanced.
In general, at the end of the week, your workout time should be balanced in the following manner:
o 30%-60% should be dedicated to strength training.
o 35%-55% should be dedicated to cardiovascular training.
o 5%-10% should be dedicated to stretching.
For someone who exercises 3 days a week for 60 minutes a day, their time could be divided like this:
o 30 minutes cardiovascular exercise
o 25 minutes strength training
o 5 minutes stretching
Also, keep in mind these tips on balancing your workout:
o Spend equal time on upper body and lower body strength training exercises.
o For every exercise you do for the front of the body, do one for the back of the body.
8. Bring Water
With even modest water loss (1%-2%) due to sweating, workouts feel more difficult and performance decreases. To replace the water lost through sweating, sip water throughout your workout.
Although, the amount of liquid lost during exercise depends on the type and intensity of the exercise and your particular sweat rate, most people lose 17 to 50 ounce of sweat during one hour of vigorous activity.
Unfortunately, humans do not have a very accurate thirst mechanism. In fact, by the time we are thirsty, we are already dehydrated. So, instead of using thirst as a cue to drink water, take sips every few minutes. A good gauge of hydration is the color of your urine. Ideally, a well-hydrated person will have pale-yellow urine. Dark yellow urine indicates dehydration.
9. Reward Yourself
Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of the workout. This could be a simple mental high five, extra time to stretch, or a few minutes in the sauna.
Reward yourself for exercising for over longer periods, too (i.e. a week or month). Consider buying yourself a new workout shirt or socks, downloading new songs, or getting a new magazine to read during cardio.
Whatever you do, recognize the accomplishment you have achieved by sticking to your workout plan.
10. Change and Progress Your Workouts
To continue to maximize results from your workout, it is paramount that you progress the intensity of your workouts and vary the exercises.
That means, recording your strength training workouts to ensure continual progression in weight and varying the exercises so that your muscle are always challenged.
To accomplish this, follow these guidelines:
o Do at least 2 different cardio machines or types of cardio each week (i.e. treadmill, kickboxing, elliptical, stair climber, step class, etc.)
o Do at least 2 different intensities of cardio each week (i.e. one workout could be a comfortable pace and the other workout could include 1 minute bouts of high intensity, followed by a 2 minute recovery repeated several times).
o Change your strength training exercises every 4 weeks.
An effective workout does not happen by accident; however, the preparation does not have to consume your life, either. Start with #1 and define your reasons for exercising. Then, continue to progress through the ten ways to an effective workout until all qualities are present in your workout. There is no need to work through them sequentially, feel free to tackle the one you are most confident about first. In no time you will be having the most effective workouts of your life.
Best Abs Workout - How to Get One For You? 10/14/2011
Finding effective abs workout for a fit and toned body is not a magical procedure. You need to do workouts with full sincerity. The day will not be far off when you will have your body as you desire. However, answer to the question that which abs exercise is the best is a tricky one. As every individual has the body composition that may or may not respond as desired to a particular workout, it will always be a matter of uncertainty to comment on particular exercise.
There are a number of abs workouts such as knee and leg raises, crunches, reverse crunch, exercise ball crunches and bicycle exercise. The effectiveness of these workouts is the reason for gaining popularity. You might have come across these abs workouts and would have tried few of them but the big question is - have you tried them with abs workout training tips? This question is being asked because you may have a workout, but if you do not know the exact procedure of doing that workout then that workout instead of giving you positive results will have an adverse impact on your body.
If no results are produced by the adopted workout then it is quite obvious that you will give a negative comment for that workout. Actually, any workout has to be done in a systematic manner. Two types of workouts may not be same. In addition to the actual way of doing workouts, the number of repetitions and sets also vary among the workouts. How gradually the number of times the workout is to be increased is also to be followed in true spirit. The frequency of the abs workout in a week is also very important. The guide and technique for the workout should be followed strictly.
These techniques and procedures are developed over a period of time by the people who have done lots of studies in this field to get best results. The comprehensive guide to any workout program is to be understood clearly before actually starting a workout program. Doing any workout program with your own set of rules will not only produce failures but will also affect your body in a very adverse manner. If you have an intention of doing the abs workout cleanly and quickly for better results then make sure of going through the guide for workout thoroughly.
With people becoming health conscious, internet is full of workouts to make your abs perfect. While selecting the best abs workout, make sure that it is genuine since many of the workouts shown on the internet promising to be the best are really big scams. There are many shady offers that lure millions of people ready to shed extra fats on the belly. Any workout that suits your body together with a proper diet program will do wonders in achieving your aim of getting six-pack abs.
Choose A Workout Routine 10/14/2011
First of all you should know that the prime rule from which the best workout routines are based is that the workout routine itself should not be aimed to lose weight, but rather to lose fat. The "beginner" and "intermediate" workout routines are pretty decent (although, like other reviewers, I am a bit skeptical about the 6 day workout schedule and its potential for burnout). Pilates workout routines are different in that they are exercises that promote strength and sculpture of the body without over stressing the joints.
If your problem is trying to decide which workout routine is right for you and you cannot navigate the website jungle, then read on !
How Long Do Workout Routines Last ?
For better results train 2 times per day, because all workout routines are approximately 20 minutes long this is sufficient when you want just to tone your body. Benefits from home workout routines :- Train when you want. For example, it's not wise to weight train everyday, unless you're trying to build muscle and following split bodypart workout routines. The optimal workout routines include a combination of weight training and cardio.
What About Weight Training?
Weight training improves the performance of our muscles. Weight training covers exercises that work on muscular strength and muscular endurance. Weight training is not just for the body builders, it is important for all of us. Weight training is a very effective way to lose fat, but, when combined with cardio, it becomes a LOT more effective. One rule when making weightlifting workout programs is to make sure to split it so that you aren't overtraining.
What About Cardio Workouts?
Cardio workouts are becoming important for those who want to enjoy life even until their twilight years. While everyone has their own preference of workouts, the best cardio workouts are the ones you enjoy because they are the workouts you will actually complete. If you are looking for the one piece of fitness equipment that gives you the best cardio workouts, elliptical cross trainers are an ideal choice. If you are ready to get on the road to the best cardio workouts, choose a workout you actually enjoy and you'll be on your way to a much healthier life.
What About Losing Fat ?
When you were born, your parents did not get to choose your size. Many athletes and regular exercisers would love to lose body fat and improve their overall body composition. The most you should weight train as part of a fat-loss strategy is 3 times a week. During a fat-loss plan, each weight training workout routine should be limited to 20-30 minutes, in order to maximize the calorie burning effect. While your diet and nutrition plan is important, exercise gets your metabolism revved up and into an optimal fat-burning state. Too much exercise might also cause burn out and fatigue.
Choose The Right Workout Routine
Home workout routines are the best opportunity if you are short in time and want to stay at home with your children. You need very little equipment to practice home workout routines. Home gym workout routines are convenient, easy and reduce the hassles of driving and spending time away from home. With the advent of modern technology like the Internet, these workout routines are now available online.
Look at the link below for a selective range of workout routines.
I know many men and women decide to start exercising to burn off unwanted fat. But what exactly is a fat loss workout routine? What makes a workout effective for burning fat? These are the first questions that should be answered before you start exercising.
I know that asking, "What is a fat loss workout routine?" may seem like a stupid question . After all, the obvious answer is a workout designed to get rid of fat. Simple, right?
But the truth is, many men and women start what they THINK is an exercise program designed for fat loss, only they don't end up losing any fat. Even if they adhere to the workout as instructed day in and day out, they don't get the fat loss results they wanted when they started.
So, when you decide it's time to lose the fat hanging off your belly... make sure the workout is designed to burn fat!
Now, before you ask, "What is the best fat loss workout ?" I have a confession to make. There isn't one. There are many workout programs designed to burn fat. And there are a lot of different fat burning workouts that do work. The trick is to find the exercise program right for your goals, needs and personality.
Look for an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle and personality to ensure you will do it. This means a workout that you like, keeps you interested and one that you have all the equipment to perform the workout as instructed. If you hate riding an exercise bike... don't pick a program that focuses on biking!
Regardless of what workout program you choose, there are similar characteristics you should look for to burn the most fat...
- The workout should be a combination of resistance training and energy system training (commonly known as "cardio"). Aerobic only fat loss workout routines may work over the long term... but unless you want to be a Marathon runner, a combination of weight training and "cardio" is best.
- Use Full Body Weight Training workouts. Bodybuilding style split workouts can work, but you'll need to spend HOURS in the gym. Not something most exercisers can do. So, if you want results in the shortest amount of time, look for a workout that works the entire body.
- Don't just do "cardio" in your aerobic zone. The cardio portion of your workout should be as intense as your fitness level allows. If you want to get the fat off, you are going to have to get out of your comfort zone and FORCE your body to burn fat by pushing yourself. Instead of increasing the time of your cardio workout, keep the time the same and increase the amount of work you get done.
My advice for getting started:
Don't just pull a workout routine off the Internet that claims to burn fat and give it a try. In my experience, most workouts claiming to burn fat are just a "bodybuilding" workout in disguise. More often than not, this is not the kind of exercise program that fits your needs, lifestyle or time restrains. Think of it this way... you've probably done one of those workouts before and didn't get the results you wanted. So why do the same ineffective kind of workout program?
DO use a proven exercise routine from a well known trainer. No sense trying to figure out everything on your own. Look for a routine from a trusted fitness professional that has a combination of full body workouts, intense cardio and hopefully a nutrition guide as well.
Use a fat loss workout program ALREADY getting fantastic results for you best chance of getting rid of ugly fat.
Improve Your Body With Recovery Workouts 10/14/2011
I previously introduced the concept of recovery workouts and explained how they can improve your long-term health and fitness success. If you read that or similar articles, you already know why they are important. This article goes a step further and gets into more of the practical information and explains how to design recovery workouts and incorporate them into your overall training program.
As with all forms of exercise, the use of recovery workouts varies from person to person and is influenced by your overall program goals, current physical fitness, genetics, and the overall demand you put on your body. Therefore, you can have many different types of recovery workouts, depending on the situation. I previously stated that recovery workouts can also be regularly scheduled into your workout plan, but explaining that would involve discussing all the specifics in an entire workout plan, so for now I will focus on explaining how to add recovery workouts to your existing exercise program.
There are basically two different ways to incorporate recovery workouts into an existing program and you can use either or both ways, depending on your particular needs. The first way is simply to replace an existing workout with a recovery one. The second way is to keep all your existing workout schedule the same and add recovery workouts on top of your current routine. Each approach can be useful, but one approach will work better than the other in certain situations.
When replacing an existing workout with a recovery one, you are essentially causing a small decrease in exercise volume (total amount of work performed) and ultimately lowering the overall difficulty of your exercise routine. This can be a good thing if you do many challenging workouts in a week, especially if you find yourself getting run down or experiencing higher than normal amounts of muscle soreness and stiffness. On the other hand, if your routine is not very demanding, decreasing the overall volume and difficulty could be a bad thing, particularly if your body is not being challenged enough by your regular workouts.
If you keep all your current workouts the same and add new recovery workouts to the mix, you will be adding to the total volume in your program. Even though recovery workouts are designed to make your body feel better, increasing the total work of a training program that already has a high volume may not have the desired positive effect. If you are already pushing your body too hard and doing too much total work, adding more exercise may make you become run down even faster. In addition, adding new workouts will increase the amount of time you spend exercising, which could be a problem if you have a busy schedule.
There are obviously a number of things to think about before using recovery workouts in your routine, but with a few tips and a little planning, you will see that it is really not too complicated. It all starts with simply paying attention to your body and being aware of how you feel, both in general and after different types of workouts. Everyone recovers from workouts at different rates and when you understand how your body responds to exercise, you will learn how hard you can push yourself and figure out when you need to cut back on your training and incorporate some recovery workouts.
I should also point out that it is not only your workouts that determine how much recovery you need. Nutrition, stress, sleep, stretching, hydration status (water intake), your fitness level, and other factors also have a significant impact on your ability to recover from exercise. As a result, your ability to recover may change over time, depending on what is going on in your life. The good news is that even though things change, the signs that tell you when to include recovery workouts should be fairly constant and I will give you some tips to help figure out what to look for and what to do in certain situations.
Some of the most common signs that you need to add recovery workouts are increases in muscle soreness and/or joint stiffness. Increasingly stiff joints and sore muscles can be caused by performing a lot of challenging workouts or performing workouts that are too long, incorporate too little rest, or are too intense. The problems are compounded when the use of heavy weights is combined with a lack of stretching. In these situations, a good strategy is to take a day of heavy weight training and replace it with a workout using light weights (around half of the original weights).
Or better yet, you could stay away from weights altogether and perform a workout primarily using cable exercises. Cables or other types of resistance tubing/bands are great for recovery workouts, because they cause minimal joint stress and still provide a decent stimulus to your muscles. They will not have the same effect as lifting heavy weights, but your goal with this workout is to recover and not to increase maximal fitness attributes. Using cables will help your joints recover faster, decrease muscle soreness, and make your body feel much better than if you constantly push yourself with heavy weights.
Another great alternative for a recovery workout, if available, is swimming or performing other exercises in the water. A pool is a great environment for recovery workouts, because water significantly decreases the impact on your body. This is particularly useful when you are trying to minimize the stress on your joints. As with using cables, exercising in water provides a stimulus to your muscles, while allowing your joints to recover. Cable and water workouts not only prevent further stress to your joints, but they actually increase the speed that your body recovers, hence the name recovery workouts.
Sore muscles and stiff joints are not the only reasons why you may need to use recovery workouts. Many people, especially those who have exercised for a long time, can start to feel the effects of burnout or mental fatigue. These problems are often due to a lack of variety in a training program, so a recovery workout should involve performing workouts or activities that are significantly different from your normal routine.
For instance, if you typically lift weights, then just doing some new exercises or using lighter weights may not be your best bet. A better idea would be to do a completely different type of activity, such as biking, jogging, or swimming. If you prefer, you could also play a sport or other physical activity instead of doing a more traditional type of exercise. When training to prevent burnout or mental fatigue, your goal is really to perform a workout that you can enjoy, which should take your mind off your regular routine.
Regardless of the type of exercise or activity you use for your recovery workout(s), the important thing is perform a workout that suits the type of recovery you need. For example, if you are feeling run down from doing too many hard workouts, then replacing your normal workout with a completely different type of exercise will not help much if the new workout is just as challenging as your original one. Just remember to keep the purpose of your recovery workout in mind.
Another important point is that a recovery workout can serve a purpose in addition to simply promoting recovery. Recovery workouts can be used for working on weaknesses or improving things that may not be addressed by your regular exercise program. For instance, you could create a recovery workout that is made up of injury prevention or rehab exercises. You can also use the workout to work on attributes such as balance and stabilization, which are often ignored in traditional training programs.
It's really all up to you when it comes to determining what type of recovery workout will work best in a given situation. You may have to experiment a little to figure out how different recovery workouts impact your body, but just pay attention to how you feel, factor in what is going on the rest of your life, and think about what would make you feel better. Pretty soon you will become good at using recovery workouts to make body feel better, which will ultimately improve your entire workout routine.