Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How To: Design Your Own Workout

If you feel intimidated walking into the free weight section of the gym, you're not alone. When I talk to friends and people that come to my classes, a lot of them tell me they will only ever come to a class or do cardio machines, because they feel like they just don't know what to do with the weights to maximize their time. It IS hard to put together a good strength workout if you haven't done it before.

Follow my "formula", and you'll see how easy it really can be. This "formula" is how I design most of my classes, and it's a great way to vary the moves in the workout. If you come to my classes, you know that I never repeat the same exact workout twice, because it's boring! Swapping circuits, mixing and matching, and taking favorites from different workouts is a great way to switch things up.

People always ask what I think the best type of workout is; yoga, weights, running, cardio machines, etc. Hands down, if I have only 30 minutes to do something and I want to get the most "bang for my buck" it's going to be a strength based circuit workout. What does that mean? Strength based circuit training uses free weights (but some of these workouts won't), short but intense cardio bursts, and body weight exercises.

For the workout design, think 4 movements per circuit. I like to start each circuit with a cardio burst. Think of moves that get your heart racing very fast, and also incorporate a strength movement, like a squat jump. After that, pick 2 total body exercises, and then add on something that engages the abs at the end.

For example:

Perform each exercise for 1 min, repeats circuit 2-3 times

1. Cardio- squat jumps
2. Total body- reverse lunges with a front arm raise using dumbbells
3. Total body- squat/press (squat down and press arms up at the top of the squat with dumbbells)
4. Abs- plank with shoulder taps

You can pick any moves you'd like, but once you've designed a workout, it will start to seem easy!

Below is a page from my book that I bring to each class. I switched up this class by doing the same circuit 3 times, the first was for 1 minute, second was for 45 seconds, and third was for 30 seconds. It helped to make it feel a little easier, since the hard time was going to be the most challenging.

Write out your workout, bring it with you, and feel confident in the weights section of your gym. You know what to do!

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