If you are searching for a workout program that is right for you and have explored fitness websites and magazines for ideas, you have probably found a wide array of exercise philosophies and suggested workout programs. Often times, the information can seem conflicting and confusing. Some workout plans seem overly elaborate and complex, while others appear too simple and gimmicky to be effective.
Where can you find a simple, straightforward, and effective workout routine that anyone can follow, and achieve great results by getting into the best shape of their life? Let’s explore a workout that is not flashy or the latest fad routine, but will, if followed diligently, yield outstanding results in terms of improved overall fitness levels.
The Workout Basics
1. This is a six day per week workout. Why so often? A noted fitness expert was once asked the question, “What do you feel is the key to overall fitness?” His reply was simple, yet profound: “Keep your body moving.” Getting fit, reaching fitness goals, and staying in excellent physical condition is a commitment that requires time. Therefore, it is beneficial to view a well-planned daily exercise routine as an investment in your health. From such a perspective, six days per week of physical exercise, accomplished wisely without overtraining, is a sensible and healthy lifetime habit to establish. What if six days per week is simply not possible for you right now at this stage of your life, with your busy schedule, family commitments, physical limitations, etc? No problem. The workout can be adapted to a four day per week routine, but try to establish six days weekly as an eventual lifelong fitness plan.
2. This workout combines strength training, muscle toning, fat burning, and cardiovascular/aerobic exercise activities. A key to an effective workout routine is to follow a plan that integrates a combination of important fitness indicators. This routine is multi-dimentional in its components. It simply uses the following format: Monday – upper body weight training, Tuesday – lower body weight training, Wednesday – specific cardiovascular training. Thursday through Saturday – repeat the cycle. This allows you to work each muscle group twice per week, plus do a cardio workout twice per week. If you prefer to do the four day per week routine, simply use the following format: Monday – upper body weight training plus cardio training at the end of the workout, Tuesday – lower body weight training plus cardio training at the end of the workout. Thursday and Friday – repeat the cycle. This plan still allows you to work each muscle group twice per week, and complete some significant cardio training as well.
3. For weightlifting training, this workout follows a simple plan. Do two to three exercises per muscle group. Do three sets per exercise. In terms of repetitions, select a weight that you can do comfortably using proper form for 12 repetitions in the first set. Increase the weight by up to ten pounds for the second set and do 10 repetitions. Increase the weight again by up to ten pounds for the third set and do 8 repetitions. Following this format will build strength, muscle stamina, and muscle tone. It will also burn fat.
4. For cardiovascular training, simply select an exercise activity that increases your heart rate to an aerobic level, and do the activity for 30 to 60 minutes.
The Workout Details
1. Upper Body Workout: You will be working chest, shoulders, triceps, back, and biceps all in the same day. You also will warmup by working the abdominal muscles. Select up to three exercises per body part from the following menu of exercise options and do three sets of each exercise following the format outlined earlier in the article.:
Chest: Bench Press, Flies, Incline Press, Dips, Pushups
Shoulders: Military Press, Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises, Dumbbell Front Raises, Dips (for both chest and shoulders)
Triceps: Tricep Pushdowns, (Dips and Press exercises all work the triceps as well)
Back: Pull-ups, Lat Pulldowns, Seated or Bent Over Rows
Biceps: Alternate Dumbbell Curl, Barbell Curl
Abdominals: Crunches, Leg Raises, Crunch Machine
2. Lower Body Workout: You will be working hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and the gluteal muscles on the lower body day. You will also warmup by doing abdominal muscles on this day. Select from the following exercises:
Quadriceps: Leg Extensions, leg Press, Hack Squat
Hamstrings: Leg Curls
Calves: Calf Raises
Leg/Gluteus/Lumbar Region: Squats, Deadlifts
Abdominals: Same exercises as upper body day
3. Cardiovascular Workout: get your iPhone and iPhone 6 armband ready, put on some motivational music, and select any one of these exercises to get your heart rate to an aerobic level: Stationary Bicycle, Cybex, Treadmill, Walking, Hiking, Trail Running, Jogging, Walk/Jog Combined, Jogging in a Mini-Trampoline, Outdoor Bicycling, Cross Country Skiing (seasonal). Start with 30 minutes per session, and gradually increase to 60 minutes per workout as your fitness levels allow.
As you follow this routine consistently, excellent gains can be realized. Remember to stay with it, and keep working hard. Good luck on your fitness journey!