Design your workout to get ongoing results

 In Blog

People often do the same exercises for every workout: We are creatures of habit and we do what is familiar to us.  However, the body adapts to doing the same exercise. In order to see improvements, it is essential to change up the workout to keep challenging ourselves.

So how do you design a your workout to keep getting results? Here are four basic workout planning tips:

1. Functional Strength Training

Choose exercises from these six major groups:Personal Training

  • Squats / Leg Press (2 leg exercises)
  • Lunges (and other 1 leg exercises)
  • Hip Hinging Exercises (Dead Lifts, Bridging, Hip Thrust)
  • Push Movements (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
  • Pull Movements (Back, Biceps)
  • Core

2. Repeated Supersets

Next, pair the exercises together in supersets. Perform Exercise A followed directly by Exercise B. Ideally, the two exercises use different muscle groups. For example, you can perform a set of walking lunges followed immediately by incline dumbbell chest press. Take a 30-60 second rest and then repeat the superset for the desired number of sets. Beginners should start with one set of each exercise and gradually increase to 2 to 3 repeated supersets.

In a gym, it may not be feasible to leave your machine or equipment to work in supersets. It is easier if you are using free weights and a bench. In contrast, supersets are entirely workable in a dedicated space with a personal trainer.

3. Workout Periodization

Third, design a periodization schedule. Periodization is the progressive cycling through different phases of training to both challenge the body and give it the rest it needs. As the body adapts to an exercise at a certain level of intensity, it is important to progress the exercise, increase the resistance, increase the number of sets, or change the tempo. Typically, as difficulty is increased, the volume (number of repetitions) decreases. These phases are:

  • muscular endurance (12 – 15 repetitions)
  • hypertrophy (8 – 12 repetitions)
  • strength (6 – 8 repetitions)

Beginners should start with a light enough weight or easy enough exercise to be able to complete 12 – 15 repetitions. This will develop muscle endurance. It will also establish the necessary neuromuscular connection between the brain and the muscle it is contracting.

The resistance or difficulty can then be increased so that you are working in the 8 – 12 repetition range. This range is best for muscle hypertrophy (size increase).

At the end of a strength phase (low volume / higher intensity), you can return to the muscular endurance phase (high volume / lower intensity). This time, you will be training at a slightly higher intensity for 15 reps than when you started. This is how you will constantly see progress.

A personal trainer can assess how your body is adapting to the challenges and design a periodization program for you.

4. Switch it up

Finally, you can work the same muscle group many different ways. You can:

  • Change the angle
  • Switch from a barbell to dumbbells
  • Use a cable machine
  • Work bilateral or unilateral
  • Choose a different type of squat or lunge

As a result, you can complete three whole body strength workouts a week without doing the same exercise twice. The following week, you can repeat the same three workouts, but this time, the periodization may be different. A personal trainer can help increase the variety and the challenge safely and effectively. Contact Vital Active Living for a free consultation Contact

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