What should I do for a workout?
The one person who knows what’s best for you: YOU. Developing a workout routine for yourself can be scary, but it’s really not too difficult and kind of fun once you understand the basics.
First of all, what are you doing now. Is it working? Are you safe and is it making you healthier? If so, keep doing it! However, if you’re JUST getting started, you want to mix things up, or you’re ready to start lifting weights it’s good to understand what goes into a program so you can build one for yourself.
What Exercises Should I Do?
Unless you’ve been lifting weights for years, I recommend doing a full body routine that you can do two or three times a week. You want a routine that has at least one exercise for your quads (front of your legs), butt and hamstrings (back of your legs), your push muscles, your pull muscles, and your core. Yes, this means you can develop a full body routine that uses only four or five exercises
Quads – squats, lunges, one legged squats, box jumps.
· Butt and Hamstrings – hip raises, deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts,step ups.
· Push (chest, shoulders, and triceps) – overhead press, bench press, incline dumbbell press, push ups, dips.
· Pull (back, biceps, and forearms) – chin ups, pull ups, inverse body weight rows, dumbbell rows.
· Core (abs and lower back) – planks, side planks, exercise ball crunches, mountain climbers, jumping knee tucks, hanging leg raises.
Pick one exercise from each category above for a workout, and you’ll work almost every single muscle in your body. These are just a few examples for what you can do, but you really don’t need to make things more complicated than this.
Add some variety – If you do the same routine, three days a week, for months and months both you and your muscles will get bored. If you do bench presses on Monday, go with shoulder presses on Wednesday and dips on Friday. Squats on Monday? Try lunges on Wednesday and box jumps on Friday. Pick a different exercise each time and your muscles will stay excited (and so will you).
Lastly, your muscles don’t get built in the gym, they get built when you’re resting. Give your muscles 48-72 hours to recover between workouts. A Monday-Wednesday-Friday workout works well to ensure enough time to recover.
How Many Sets Should I Do?
Not including a warm-up set or two, I recommend doing between 3-5 sets per exercise.
Keep your total workout number of sets for all exercises is in the 12-20 set range (5 or 6 exercises of three sets is a good start). More than twenty sets in a workout can either be overkill (doing more harm than good).
How Many Repetitions Should I Do?
If you’re looking to burn fat while building some muscle, keep your number of repetitions per set in the 8-15 range. If you can do more than 15 without much of a challenge, it’s not difficult enough for you. Add weight or change the exercise so that it’s tougher.If you’re looking to build size and strength, you should vary your rep ranges depending on the workout.
What’s the significance of the different number of repetitions?
Reps in the 1-5 range build super dense muscle and strength (called myofibrillar hypertrophy).
Reps in the 6-12 range build a somewhat equal amounts of muscular strength and muscular endurance.
Reps in the 12+ range build muscular endurance and size (this is called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy).
By doing rep ranges at each of these different increments, you’re building well-rounded, balanced muscles – full of endurance, explosive power, and strength.
You can even mix up your amount of weight and reps within a single exercise. Here’s an example of what I’d do for a dumbbell chest press on a Friday:
12 reps at 45 pound dumbbells, rest 90 seconds.
10 reps at 50 pound dumbbells, rest 90 seconds.
8 reps at 55 pound dumbbells, done!
Always try to keep your muscles guessing, and you’re less likely to plateau (get stuck lifting the same amount of weight).
How Long Should I Wait Between Sets?
There is a very basic formula for how long to wait between your sets based on how many reps you’re doing for the exercise:
1-3 Reps: Rest for 3 to 5 minutes
4-7 Reps: Rest for 2 to 3 minutes
8-12 Reps: Rest for 1 to 2 minutes
13 Reps+: Rest for 1 minute or less
Now, pair this time between sets with how many reps you are doing. If you mix up rep ranges on a daily basis, you need to mix up your rest time between sets too. This is how you build well-rounded muscles, and a well-balanced body
How Long Should I Exercise?
45 minutes to an hour.If you’re doing 15-25 sets of total exercise, you should be able to get everything done within that 45 minute block. Now, factor in a five or ten minute warm-up, and then stretching afterwards, and the workout can go a little bit longer. If you can go for over an hour and you’re not completely worn out, you’re simply not pushing yourself hard enough.
Less time, more intensity, better results.
Keep Track Of Everything
Keep a workout journal! You should be getting stronger, faster, or more fit with each day of exercise. Maybe you can lift more weight, lift the same amount of weight more times than before, or you can finish the same routine faster than before.
Write everything down so that you can compare yourself against a previous workout.