Firstly, if you have joined a fitness centre near you, you have made a great decision to improve your health and fitness. Now you just need to make sure you train right to incorporate the right workouts to achieve your fitness goals.
It is common to see people going all gung-ho in the first few days at the gym. But many don’t have a specific purpose or aim at the gym. As a result, after a few futile sessions, they give up stating that the gym is not effective for them. But the root cause was actually something else, i.e. the lack of a concrete plan. You need a plan so that every minute at the gym extracts maximum benefit for you.
This post looks at this precise problem and suggests a few ways to get the best results from the time spent at the gym.
A workout plan that works for your gym mate may not necessarily work for you just as effectively. In fact, workout plans differ from person to person according to the level of their activeness.
If a person has no history of exercising, he/she will need to start off with a lighter workout plan from day one. Whereas, if one has a previous history of working out many days in a week, one or two days of working out might not be appropriate.
Firstly, it’s important to decide how much time you would be able to dedicate to achieve your fitness goals. If 4 days seem a good option for you, go for 4 days and if 5 days seem ideal for you, then opt for 5 days.
Say, if you are working out for 5 days, you can include 3 days for strength training, 2 for cardio exercises and 2 days of active rest. If you are working out for four days, then 2 days for strength training, 2 days for cardio exercises, and 3 days of active rest could be a good plan. But a consultation with a personal trainer will provide the right plan for you.
Here, active rest means that you should not opt for any training sessions but must be active with other chores all day long. This will benefit your body by taking a break from the exercises but you are still being active with different types of work or chores around the house.
Your workout plan totally depends on your goal. So, if you are aiming to gain more muscles, you can add an extra day of strength training and cut out a day of cardio. If you are aiming to lose weight or improve your stamina then you can add a day of cardio and cut out a day of strength training. In either way, it is important to take active rest.
If you are looking to lose weight, a gym or workout session of 45 minutes 4 times per week can be helpful. To lose weight, your targeted aim should be to burn more calories than your intake.
For this, include resistance training along with cardio exercises. Strength training is also a good option as it will continue to burn calories. Try rotating your exercises and include new ones regularly to challenge your body.
Toning up your body depends upon the fat deposited on each part of your body. Your intensity of exercise should focus on the part of the body you want to tone and how much you are aiming to tone up.
For the ideal tone up plan, add strength and resistance training. Cardio exercises should be included with moderate-high intensity.
Exercise plays an important role in getting a good night’s sleep. People who are active and regularly exercise typically report an improvement in their sleep.
Some find exercising in the evening very helpful for maintaining sleep patterns and enabling good quality deep sleep. Exercising just before bedtime can be beneficial to some. However, some people may have an adverse effect by not being able to sleep and eventually will stay awake. If this is applicable in your case, then try exercising in the morning for better results.
If you wish to make the transition from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one, then a good first move would be to join a health club near you.
Once this step is done, you should aim for multiple visits to the gym each week, and each workout visit at least 45 minutes. Start off with moderate exercises and then step up the intensity. Make sure to do this under the gym staff supervision.
In addition, moving every hour from your chair for a few minutes will help to reverse the negative effect of sitting for a prolonged period of time. Go for water breaks every hour. This may compel you to get out of your chair and move your body. You can even opt for stairs instead of elevators or escalators to be active and burn those extra calories.
The most important thing after making a workout plan is to stick to the plan. Once you are seeing progress, you can then make variations to optimise your plan. The above points should help you recognise the importance of an effective workout plan, and we recommend you consult a personal trainer to get a custom workout plan that suits you best.