Hi, everyone. Over the next two weeks I’m going to address workouts geared at two groups: beginners and Intermediates. I want to share my thoughts on how much you should workout (number of days) along with how much time (number of minutes). I hope this will help you to create a plan as we move forward or offer you some clarity if you have already started one.
If you are just starting out on a workout plan:
Number of days
As a beginner I would focus on resistance training three days per week with a focus on full body workouts (hitting both upper and lower movements in the same workout). I would add an additional 2-3 days of cardiovascular training (walking or running) for 20-30 minutes per session.
Number of sets and repetitions per exercise
The number of sets would be 1-3 and the number of repetitions would be higher in the 12-15 range with the weights being lighter. This will help the muscles to adapt and develop to the stress and create strength/endurance.
Amount of weight
Focus on picking a weight that allows you to leave 2 repetitions in reserve, meaning if I said lift for 15 repetitions you would choose a weight that when you hit 15 you felt you could possibly do 2 more repetitions, but not more. If you could have done 5 more, it’s too light and if you tired at 10 or 12, it’s too heavy.
What about rest
In doing a full body workout, I would recommend between 30-45 seconds rest between sets for most exercises. Leg exercises like squats or deadlifts, I would recommend 60 seconds. Note that this can change based on the weight being used and how you are feeling in the workout. I recommend taking a few more seconds if you are tired, but not cutting rest period short.
How long should the workouts be
Personally I feel that you should be able to do a workout in 45-60 minutes. My motto is “Come in with a plan. Execute it. Go home.” Most of us don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to the gym, especially when you add in time to drive there, workout and get home.
Monday - Strength training (45-60 mins) Tuesday - Cardio (20-30 mins) Wednesday - Strength training (45-60 mins) Thursday - Cardio (20-30 mins) Friday - Strength training (45-60 mins) Saturday - Active rest / movement Sunday - Rest
No matter the plan you are on, remember these keys to success.
Consistency will always trump intensity.Good nutrition must still be followed. Protein will be your friend to help keep you satiated and full, feed your muscle and aid in your recovery. (Hint: Zedric's has some great protein meals ready to go!) Sleep is your friend to help maintain a healthy weight and develop muscles.
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