A good fitness program should match the individual’s needs, goals and abilities. Each person has a unique combination of physical characteristics and so this should be considered when selecting fitness activities. Also very important is to “do no harm” to the spine, joints, muscles and tendons. Exercising to the point of pain is never a good idea. Proper positioning and body mechanics are crucial to maintaining injury free fitness for the future.
Generally, moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking is safe for most individuals, but it is always important to check with your health care professional to ensure that a selected physical activity is appropriate for you. If you want to build muscle, then you have to take part in strength training. Your trainer will show the way to build muscle providing workout routine and you have to follow that program strictly to get in shape and stay injury free.
How could you know that you are following well balanced workout routine to live a healthy lifestyle? Followings are some key characteristics for a successful fitness program.
Exercise Session Must Be Short (Between 45 To 75 Minutes Maximum)
After 75 minutes, the levels of muscle building and fat burning hormones that your body produces (such as testosterone) begin to drop. What this means is that training more than 75 minutes will prevent you from gaining muscle and losing fat fast! It will also prevent you from fast recovery. As crazy as it sounds, that is the way it is.
Mostly Multi-Joint Exercises
Effective weight workout routines should have numerous multi-muscle movements for you to do. This means that rather than performing exercises that are only going to target a single muscle at a time, you’re performing movements that work multiple muscles all at once. For instance, a dumbbell bicep curl will only work the bicep muscle. But Deadlift, Barbell Row or Pull-up like exercises work both the back and bicep muscles. This gives you a much better return for each minute you invest on your workout.
The Rest In Between Sets Should Be Kept To a Minimum (90 Seconds or Less)
Keeping your rest in between sets and exercises down not only helps you to perform a lot of work and still finish within the 75 minutes, but it also helps improve your cardiovascular system. In addition, it has also been shown that this kind of training stimulates growth hormones output the most.
Sets of Each Exercise Should Consist of 8-15 Repetitions
It has been shown that within this range that growth hormone output is maximized. In addition, you get a great pump that provides nutrients to nourish muscle cells and helps them recover and rebuild faster. Moreover, studies show that muscle building and fat burning occur more efficiently at these repetition ranges. Finally, it reduces the possibility of injury dramatically since you will need to use a weight that you can control in order to perform the prescribed amount of reps.
*** Note: For bodybuilding, however, we also recommend periods of 5-8 repetitions as well. This is of crucial necessity for a bodybuilder as an increase of strength is required in order for continued muscle growth to occur.
Training Must Be Varied and Cycled
Don’t get stuck with the same routine day in and day out. If you are a bodybuilder and you do this, this guarantees zero muscle growth. This is without even mentioning boredom and lack of enthusiasm. Variation does not necessarily mean changing all of the exercises in your program. It can occur in the form of using different techniques to stimulate the muscle, changing repetition and set parameters and even changing the rest in between sets.
Cardio, Strength Training and Stretching In Every Workout
When it comes to exercise, there’s a huge push to do cardio. It burns calories, reduces stress, helps you lose or maintain your weight, helps relieve muscle soreness and is good for your lungs and your heart. While that’s true, cardio isn’t the only thing your body needs. It’s also important to strength training to build your muscles, increase your metabolism and increase your strength. Of course you also need to stretch as well to increase flexibility, which will prevent injury.
So a good rule of thumb is to include all three — cardio, strength training and stretching — in every workout. You can start with 10 minutes of jogging or cycling, followed by 45 minutes of weight lifting and finish with 20 minutes of yoga or stretching.
Minimize the Chance of Injury
Sometimes people don’t think about this but minimizing the chance of injury is absolutely crucial to a successful workout program. If you’re injured you can’t work out!!! And all those gains you made will slowly go away. That’s kind of counterproductive, isn’t it? So if you’re doing a workout program that requires you to do full depth squats or jumping lunges with weights or bounce the bar off your chest during bench presses or some other crazy dynamic motion, be careful. This is where injury can happen.
Prevents Trainee from Overtraining
This goes hand in hand with injury prevention. You can’t go balls to the wall 5-days a week forever. You need to give your body time to rest. If you go 110% you will fry your central nervous system, which will lead to injuries, colds, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. Moderation is the key. You can build muscle by just going to the gym 2-3 times a week, if you do it right.
Allow For Sufficient Time to Rest
Your weight training routines should allow you enough time to rest and recover. Remember, you actually only get stronger and fitter when you are recovering between your workouts. Don’t do weight training every day. Even if you have the time for that, you still require some time to rest and re-energize. If you don’t allow for this recovery time, you’re going to quickly become burnt out and won’t progress.
Must Allow for Consistent Training
Being consistent is one of the most important qualities of a successful training program. Take up a hobby and practice nightly and you will be good at it in short order. Same goes with a weight training program. Do it consistently for an extended period of time and you will get results. However this means that the program must fit into the trainee’s lifestyle.
Ask someone to do 8 hour workouts everyday like they do on the Biggest Loser and how many people you think will stay consistent with that? Of course if you workout for 8 hours a day you will get results but how long will you be able to keep that up? What is the most you can dedicate to a workout program to say with consistently? Remember, for the workout program to be successful it must work for the trainee’s lifestyle.
We are all unique. There is no way to design a perfect exercise program that will fit everyone everywhere all the time. You will always be the judge taking the final decision. Your body and your training journal will tell you what is right for you.
So those are some characteristics that define a successful fitness program. Take a look at the program you are doing right now and see how it compares?