You asked for it, I wrote it. Finally.
If a trainer isn’t in your budget, or you simply don’t know where to start, and you find yourself wandering the gym aimlessly and intimidated, this post is for you:
DIY workouts and how to make them actually useful, while avoiding this kind of circus entertainment:
We have all seen them. We have all judged them.
However, chances are, you’ve been that guy too. Let me teach you how to never end up there again.
1. Be realistic, and go in with a plan. The first step to failure is biting off more than you can chew physically and mentally. Please save yourself and others the embarrassment (and injury!) of you failing to bench your weight in a disastrous manner. Start off small and build gradually, being too eager leads to injury. Know your injuries and modify to make the exercises work for you. Next, always make a workout plan or look up one of many great plans that are offered in various fitness magazines or their sister websites, and take it with you.
Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer is a great place to start if you are completely new to strength training, complete with photos showing the correct form. It’s a great tool!
2. Cardio warm up/cool down. This is often the piece that many people leave out due to sheer laziness. It is imperative to begin and end your workout with something active or cardio based, otherwise you are leaving out a huge piece of training and fat burning potential. I prefer jump ropes, TRX, or jumping jacks. This applies to running workouts as well. NEVER start a run without a warm-up. I recommend at least 5 minutes on each end.
3. Strength training. Yes. Weights. For all you gals thinking you are going to get jacked, stop. If you want definition and that lean look, you need weights.
For resistance training, each workout should focus on a group of muscles, in either pulling or pushing movements (i.e. chest/triceps, back/biceps, etc). 3 sets of 12 repetitions is standard practice for such workouts, scale the weight to your ability level and go! I rest for one minute in between reps and 3 minutes in between exercises.
If you choose to put together a circuit, try putting together 3-5 exercises that encompass each area of the body: arms, abs, legs, and repeat them consecutively. Rest for 1-2 minutes, and repeat the circuit 3-5 more times depending on the time you have allotted. Choose from a few of these:
Standing Squat/Sumo Squat
Single Leg Bridge Lift
Plank (add alternating lifting legs as a bonus!)
Incorporating all 3 of these aspects will give you a well rounded workout, and one that will actually help you see results quicker (coupled with clean eating of course!).
The more you know…. 🙂