The most effective exercise regimen includes both strength training and cardiovascular (aerobic) training in a consistent, regular program.
· 2-4 days of strength training and
· 2-5 days of aerobic activity; or
· 3-4 days of circuit training.
Every safe and effective exercise program should consist of three elements. In order, they are:
· Warm Up
· Work Out
· Cool Down
Always warm up before exercising. People who do not warm up before exercising are the ones who usually end up sustaining injuries. Protect your neck, back, spine, and joints. Get the blood and juices flowing and wake up your muscles gradually through a series of stretches and preliminary sets using reduced resistance. This is one time when “going through the motions” can be extremely beneficial.
Strength Work Out
Perform at least one set of 8-12 reps to near fatigue for each muscle group in the body (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs, thighs, hamstrings, and calves) a minimum of two times per week. Your goal should be to work up to doing three sets (increasing the resistance for each successive set) with 30-60 seconds of rest between each set.
Start out slowly.. By doing additional sets or combinations of sets you can realize even greater strength and body shaping gains. Following are some basic guidelines useful for all strength training exercises:
· Perform each exercise smoothly and evenly through the whole range of motion in a slow, controlled manner. Never jerk or lunge.
· Breathe. Exhale against the resistance; inhale on the return. Do not hold your breath.
· Always resist the Power Bands back to the starting position for each exercise. This provides a training effect in both directions.
· Increase the resistance for successive sets by 5%-10%. In general, increase the resistance when 12 repetitions can be completed in proper form; decrease the resistance when less than 8 reps can be completed.
· Replace fluids lost while exercising by drinking water at regular intervals during exercise. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink.
· Rest a minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 96 hours between training sessions using the same muscle groups.
Aerobic Work Out
An exercise is classified as aerobic if the oxygen supply is sufficient to meet the oxygen demand of the working muscles during the exercise. When this occurs, it’s possible to continue the exercise for prolonged periods of time (12 minutes or more). Another aspect of aerobic exercise is that it engages the large muscle groups, principally those of the legs, continuously over the length of the exercise. Brisk walking, running, jogging, cycling, rowing, jumping rope, etc. are examples of aerobic exercise.
You can achieve an aerobic training effect by performing aerobic exercise for a minimum of 12 minutes during which your heart rate has been elevated to within your training range. The training range is between 65% and 80% of your Age-Predicted Maximum Heart Rate (approximately 220 minus your age). Remember: It takes a few minutes of exercise to elevate your heart rate into the training range and this time does not count toward the minimum 12 minutes.
Circuit Training Work Out
Circuit training consists of a series of strength training exercises, commonly interspersed with short episodes of aerobic exercise, all done one after the other with as little time between each exercise as possible.
The object is to perform strength training exercises on the major muscle groups while maintaining an effective aerobic training level. Circuit training takes significantly less time to achieve results comparable to separate programs of strength training and aerobics.
Since lack of time is the number one reason people give for failing to start or maintain a regular exercise program, circuit training is a method that makes sense. And SmartGYM, with its revolutionary new design that allows simultaneous aerobic and strength training, is the ideal circuit training machine.
Never quit exercising suddenly. Instead, decrease your intensity gradually and finish up with some stretching movements to allow your heart rate to come back down to normal, nice and easy. This can help to reduce muscle cramping and post-exercise muscle pain.