As we start the new year, many people will seek the assistance of a personal trainer to help them reach their goals. However, not everyone has the budget to accommodate the expense of personal training.
If you’re seeking advice about how to design your own workout plan, try the following suggestions to program a safe and effective routine .
The key components of a well-designed fitness program include strength training, cardiovascular training and core or abdominal training.
» It’s important to consider your fitness goals when selecting which specific exercise from each category you will incorporate in your workout routine.
For example, if one of your goals is to do five pushups on your toes, you’ll want to include several upper body strength training exercises that focus on the chest, shoulders and back muscles, as all are necessary to perform a pushup.
Or, if your goal is to decrease your mile time by 1 minute, I recommend including exercises that strengthen your legs and challenge your cardiovascular fitness, such as squats and incline walking.
» Properly ordering the exercises in your workout routine is also important. Begin your workout with your most physically strenuous, multi-joint exercises, such as lunges and deadlifts. Save single-joint movements, such as bicep curls and tricep extensions, for last.
The reason for this specific order is that smaller, accessory muscles, such as the biceps, triceps and calves, are used to support movements of larger muscles groups within the body. Therefore, if you target these muscles too early in your workout, you will experience decreased power output during more challenging, multi-joint exercises, such as bench press.
» It’s also important to maintain balance within your workout program. Having a fairly equal amount of upper and lower body exercises, as well as those that target both the anterior (front) and posterior (rear) of your body are essential to proper fitness programming.
» As you design your fitness regimen, be sure to make safety and proper movement your main priority.
I recommend walking or jogging on the treadmill for about five to 10 minutes to properly warm up your body. After your workout, take another five to 10 minutes to cool down and stretch.
When performing your exercises, focus on proper form and alignment before adding more weight or upping the intensity.
» The final touch to successfully designing your workout routine is to add your creative flair. To make sure you stick with your new routine, add at least one element that you do just for fun.
Brittany Baldwin is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Creighton University. She writes regularly for livewellnebraska.com.
Gymgoers share what motivates them, pet peeves and their proudest accomplishments
You never know who you might run into at the gym.
There's the man who's exercising as he waits for a heart transplant. Or the woman who's made Jazzercise workouts part of her life for more than 30 years.
Some workouts see moms accompanied by babies. Elsewhere you'll find folks well into their 90s who stick with exercise.
Check out their stories.