Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are you making the most of your workout?

Feel like you are in a rut or not making progress in your workouts? Here is a quick survey to make sure that you are reaching your potential:

Assess your cardio routine:
Cardio before or after strength training? If you are looking to increase your cardiovascular endurance, do your cardio exercise before your weight training. You will be fresh and more likely to push yourself. When training for strength or mass building, cardio should be done after.
What is your intensity? Do a spot check of your heart rate every so often. Here is a reference of what it should be:
((220 – Age) - Resting heart rate) X % of desired intensity. I would recommend somewhere between 70% and 85% depending on your fitness level.

Examine your strength training:

Make sure that you are performing the correct intensity according to your goals:

Muscular Endurance: Intensity : 67% Reps: More than 12 Sets: 2-3 Rest: Less than 30 sec

Strength: Intensity: 85% Reps: Less than 6 Sets: 2-6 Rest: 2-5 min

Mass Building: Intensity: 67-85% Reps: 6-12 Sets: 3-6 Rest: 30sec to 1:30 min

Power:Intensity: 80-90% Reps: 3-5 Sets: 2-5 Rest:2-5 min

Vary your workouts by making sure you are changing things up regularly. Shift from focusing on endurance to strength to mass building/power every 4-6 weeks. It will help to keep your program fresh and help with adherence.

Get a post workout snack: You should eat a post workout snack within 60-90 minutes of the finish of your workout. When you exercise, you use glycogen to create energy. These glycogen stores need to be replaced with in specific time frame to increase their ability to aid in your next workout. A great snack is your favorite piece of fruit and a handful of raw nuts.

Maintain Hydration: Everyone has a different level of optimal hydration; Aim for 64 oz per day or if your urine is clear, you are probably hydrated!

If you feel like you are not moving forward with your workouts, enlist friends and family to help keep you motivated and set short term goals to keep your self on track. You can do whatever you set your mind to!

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