An effective workout program builds lean muscle, burns fat, strengthens your core, improves your cardio endurance, and creates a body that performs well and looks even better!
Every workout should include a warm-up, a cool down, and should be challenging. Exercises should never be too easy. If it is, you aren’t working hard enough to achieve your goals. When planning your workouts to reach specific fitness goals, consider these options:
To Burn Fat – Start with cardio. If your focus is fat loss, cardiovascular exercise burns calories, increases your heart rate, and exercising large muscle groups by running, rowing, or swimming will help you lose weight. Unfortunately, over time your body will adapt to your cardio training, and you will plateau. Your weight loss slows or stops as you won’t be burning as many calories as when you first started. When this happens, it’s time for an unfamiliar approach, interval training, alternating intense exercises with moderate intensity exercises. Interval training, also known as HIIT or Bootcamp training, can help you get the fat loss results you want.
To Build Muscle – Do more resistance (strength or weight) training. Resistance training is a wonderful way to build muscle using the resistance provided by weights, machines, resistance bands, or bodyweight. Regardless of the type of resistance you use, you must “overload” a muscle to make it grow by choosing a weight or resistance that your muscle must struggle against. Eventually, your muscles will adapt and grow, and you will need to increase the weight or resistance; again, this is called progression. Examples of simple yet effective resistance exercises include squats, shoulder presses, rows, and chest or bench presses. Burpees, squat jumps, and mountain climbers are good examples of bodyweight resistance exercises.
Improve Overall Health – Find the proper balance of cardio and resistance training to remove excess body fat to expose your new lean muscle. Just as interval training improves your cardio, resistance training performed in an interval or circuit training fashion is much more efficient, combining cardio and resistance training into one efficient and effective workout. Alternate brief cardio exercises with quick weight training exercises with no rest between. For example, a sprint from one resistance exercise to the next or jumping jacks or burpees between resistance exercises. This would be an excellent time to add core training to your workout. These are exercises that build strong muscles in your abdominal muscles, lower back, and hips, the muscles considered to be the core of your body.