How many people really know what they are doing at the gym? Many go to the gym, do a few weighted exercises (think beach muscles) and leave. Did they get a workout? That depends on your definition of a “workout.” How much more could they have accomplished if they had an actual plan? What if the plan included more than just weight lifting? What if it maximized the hour by also incorporating cardio, core training and more in the workout?
To achieve the maximum results from a workout, you need to head to the gym not just with a sense of purpose– but also with a plan. In the next few blogs, I am going to focus on simple things you can do to get more out of your time spent before, during or after lifting.
Add Cardio to Your Weight Lifting Workout
Get your heart rate high during and in between sets in order to burn more calories and to build cardiovascular endurance.
While weight lifting will help you develop muscle, and muscle will help you burn calories all day long, adding a short burst of cardiovascular activity will help you burn more calories during your one-hour workout. You can do this regardless of what your weight routine may be (I will address this in a different blog).
I have two suggestions for maximizing your workout.
First suggestion: Add bodyweight exercises to your weight routine.
Not only will body weight exercises add an extra challenge to your workout, it will also decrease the amount of time sitting, waiting to do the next set. By performing the circuit with no break, you will increase your heart rate.
Here is an example of a full body circuit:
- Jumping Pull-ups with negative resistance (although the videos show jumping and the negative resistance separately, I suggest combining the two exercises into one motion– jump up and slow down.)
– Lat Pull Down
– Seated Row
– Plank Hold with Hip Rotation
– Dive Bomber Push-ups
– Tubing Bicep Curl
Second suggestion: Add a short burst of cardio between sets.
At the end of this circuit, try adding a jog around the track, running sprints in between cones or two to three minutes on a treadmill at the highest pace you can handle for that duration of time. You may normally jog at a level 6 on the treadmill for a mile. Try pushing it up to a 7 or a 7.5.
By trying these suggestions your weight workout will turn into a calorie burner and you will also give yourself a challenge by mixing things up!
If you find these suggestions helpful, please post a comment below or email me at Stephanie@startfitness.com. HOOAH!
Need some new exercise ideas? Try our free fitness video clips. Or, if you prefer a full workout, try our fitness DVD set, Operation Living Fit. Military.com subscribers can get $4 off the trilogy by entering the promotional code, “military”.
Are you located in Nashville, TN the San Francisco Bay Area and want to train like the military? We have the longest-running Boot Camp fitness program in the U.S. We would love to have you try it out! Contact me at Stephanie@STARTfitness.com for a free two-day pass, or sign-up on our Web site at www.STARTfitness.com.
Looking for a career that can move with you? Become a certified personal trainer! For information on earning an accredited fitness certification, visit the American Council on Exercise website. Military programs and discounts available.