If you want to hit your goals, consistency is key
Like most good things you build yourself, consistency and focus on your project are key.
That's why we thought it was a good thing to get a hold of understanding how consistently you should show up to a training class, to the weight room, park or gym to achieve the visible and tangible results that you have been training to achieve.
While the end goal isn't the only reason why people dive into fitness - it's also just great for your mind, energy levels, mood and the way it makes you feel - keeping aware of your end goal and being able to measure your progress and see yourself coming nearer certainly does a lot to keep you on the course. Or to change things up!
That said: how often to workout?
This question is a little different for everyone, based on your goals, fitness level and what exercises you want to do. But getting the right frequency for progress is vital.
Too scarce, and your body and progress slides back to where you were before. Too much and you don't give yourself enough time to recover - which means you don't get the full effect of training, overtrain or risk opening yourself up to injury.
Here's the breakdown:
Workout for Muscle Growth
When working out for muscle growth you want to focus primarily on strength training exercises over cardio.
Go for 3-4 strength training workouts a week for muscle growth. Focus each day on a muscle group such as legs, back, and chest & arms. Compound movements with free weights are going to be the main contender at the start of the workout to hit all the major muscles in the group with a full range of motion. They're killer, but compound movements (bench press, deadlifts, squats and lunges) are so effective! Then from there, you can go through weight machines to get the full stretch and squeeze on specific muscles.
While cardio can be helpful if you’re looking to build muscle, training cardio too much can eat into the muscle gains you’re trying to reach for. If you want to fit cardio training into your routine, leave it to the end of your workout or factor it into a separate day.
Recovery: Don’t forget to give yourself time to recover! Give yourself 2 days per week where you don’t exercise to give yourself more room to come back with renewed strength and power.
When to Deload for Muscle Growth: After every mesocycle or every 4-8 weeks.
Eventually, when you’re going hard, you’re going to run out of stamina or stop making any progress when it comes to more lifts or weight.
It’s time to take a deload week.
There are a few guidelines by different personal trainers and fitness experts as the best way to deload:
- Cut back how much you load up the weights by 3 weeks of progress and use that as your starting weight (the extra you put on the barbell during three weeks)
- Or load somewhere between 45-55% of your 1RM
- Cut back on your reps
Basically, you want to lower the intensity of your weight training session for a deload week every mesocycle (long training period) or 4-8 weeks. This gives you a chance to recover while maintaining your routine, so that you continue to build power or more muscle mass.
Workout for Weight Loss
If weight loss is your goal, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight should be tackled by a combination of exercise and diet.
Working out 3-4 a week is optimal for weight loss. As there's no clear 'finish line' in sight for long term weight loss, you want to choose exercise options that are the most sustainable for you. Therefore, the best exercises to place in and hold on to your routine are those that you find you enjoy the most.
Cardio for weight loss:
Aerobics have one of the largest reputations for weight loss when it comes to fitness, with the number of calories that it burns when you run at a consistent pace. However, fitness routines today don't focus on just cardio alone, so you don't have to worry about your weight loss fitness goals keeping you locked in on the treadmill.
You can diversify your cardiovascular workouts with swimming, power walking, running, biking, jumping rope, or HIIT (high-intensity interval training). So you really have a lot of options here - just choose an aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up.
Then it's time to burn away those calories and lower your blood pressure!
Strength training for weight loss:
While a lot of women particularly may sometimes be intimidated by strength training, in fear of 'bulking'. A little muscle and strength training actually does wonders for weight loss.
Muscle mass is lean and having more of it increases your metabolism and consequently burns more calories at a resting state. The 'after burn' period of a workout also is incredible for fat loss.
Recovery: If you are training vigorously with cardio, then you will want to have a rest day every 3 -5 days.
When is the best time to workout?
Like many things, our answer for the best time of day is: it depends.
Circadian rhythms or your sleep to wake cycle has a big influence on when you are most awake so that you are best able to complete any task.
Morning Workouts for Weight Loss
Working out in the morning has links to raising your metabolism and regulating your blood sugar for the rest of the day. Doing an aerobic workout in the morning does wonders to clear away the mental cobwebs, improve your mood and set the tone for productivity. In studies, those who exercised in the morning also slept better at night.
For this reason, many do their workouts for weight loss in the morning.
Afternoon Workouts for Performance
Studies show that it takes significantly less oxygen consumption to workout in the afternoon or evening. As your body and cardiovascular system are already warmed up, you're able to perform and lift more than you would in the morning. Which is why afternoons are a great time to exercise for strength and power.
Many workers love heading to the gym in the afternoon to work off the stress at the end of the day. However, working out too late may also make it harder later to sleep.
Motivate a Friend - The Gift of Fitness
Your active friends and family will always appreciate more fitness equipment or accessories to help them achieve their fitness goals. But it's not always easy to know their goals, or where they are in their fitness.
Register today to our emailing list and stay updated immediately of any new equipment before it hits the store. Call 1300 25 25 09 if you need any assistance.