5 Basic Rules For A Successful Workout
1. Hydrate and Eat
You need to make sure your body has enough energy to perform the tasks and stresses you intend to put it through. Stay hydrated throughout the day and do not skip meals. Avoid heavy meals at least 2 hours before your workout.
Failure to adhere to this could result in lean weight loss and reduced metabolic rate.
2. Mental Preparation
Remind yourself why you are going to the gym and what your vision of personal success looks like. Motivate and stimulate your drive to reach these goals. Do this at least one hour before your workout.
We don’t always want to work out but we are always glad we did.
3. Physical Preparation
Before you engage in any strenuous activity, it’s important to properly oxidise and mobilise your body. This can be achieved with light to moderate aerobic exercise for around 5 to 10 minutes. Move every joint through its full range of motion for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Poor physical preparation leads to poor physical effort.
4. Physical Effort
Any effort that you make from this point on should be clearly understood and anything less will reduce your ability to reach your goals. If you want a muscle to change shape it has to go through some physical stress.
Resistance Exercise. The best way to achieve physical stress levels with resistance exercise is through repetition. If your goal is to achieve a lean body with increased fat burning capabilities, then an average of 15 to 20 reps per set of exercises is a good starting point. The weight that you push or pull will be totally controlled by these reps.
· If you choose a random weight for this proscribed amount of reps and fail before the 15 reps mark, the weight would be classed as too heavy.
· If you chose a weight and achieve more than 20 reps, then the weight is too light.
· Your failure point should fall between 15 and 20 reps per set of exercises, no matter the amount of sets.
Failure means, to the point of muscle exhaustion, no longer able to perform another rep within that set. This is also a great way to gauge your progress. Your reps will stay the same but as you get stronger, your resistance weight will increase, stimulating your metabolism and changing your body shape.
Aerobic Exercise. If your goal is to expend calories during aerobic activity and develop aerobic fitness, following a curve of aerobic activity would be the safest approach.
Visualise this curve with time markings from 0 to 30 minutes for example.
· Start your aerobic exercise at a relaxed light level (just above your resting heart rate).
· Slowly increase your effort to moderate (around 65 – 75% of your maximum heart rate / slightly out of breath during conversation) over 10 min.
· Increase to moderately high (around 75 - 85% of your max HR/ unable to hold a conversation) for a short time. Reaching the peak of your aerobic curve.
CAUTION. Depending on your fitness level and experience, the time spent at this high level or peak will differ tremendously. Listen to your body.
· Reduce back to moderate for a while, then slowly to light intensity until you feel the same relaxed level you began with (just above resting heart rate/ able to chat comfortably). Finishing around the 30-minute mark, the other side of your aerobic curve.
If it feels less than hard work, you have less chance of reaching your goal.
5. Stretch and Reflect
Take the time to stretch out the muscles you have worked. Returning them to normal length. Hold each stretch for 40sec to 1min to reduce the chance of injury and muscle stiffness, especially after strenuous activity. You should take this time also to reflect on the effort you made during your workout and take some mental notes on how you performed but more importantly congratulate yourself on your personal achievement.
Personal achievement doesn’t come to you. You go to it!