Reach Your Fitness Goals in 5 Steps - Part 5: The Workout
Updated: Apr 18
This is a 5 Part Series on the Phases of Training and how jumping into the latest, greatest fitness trend can be counterproductive and potentially dangerous.
Part 5 – The Workout
Newbie Natalie: I need to start working out again. I’ve put on weight, I’ve got a wedding to attend (insert any one of the many reasons for wanting to lose weight).
Goes to Google/Pinterest/YouTube.
Finds workout to the left: Ok here’s a workout. I like the title already - Total Fat Burning, Yep I’m looking to burn ALL the fat. Ready to rev up your metabolism? Um yeah I am!
No pictures but I can look them up.
Goes to do her first burpee, ok not too bad, I can do this. 5 burpees in, still rocking it.
Knees twinging abit on the 10th squat but so far so good. Not feeling the toe touches on the crunches and can only get about 5 in before my neck started to hurt so stopped those.
Ok up for jumping jacks, whew ok alittle dizzy standing up from the crunches. Ok let’s do this. Hmmm same as with the squats, ok for the first few then my knee again. I’m not sure of any options so stopping those before I hurt myself.
Wait what? Back to the floor for planks? 60 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time. I can do it. Um my back hurts. It says to rest … then repeat 3 times.
Follow with cardio or stretching? What kind of cardio? What stretches?
It can be so deflating to not be able to complete what looks like a quick workout but unless you are already an experienced exerciser, there is no such thing as a quick workout. Even if you have a single goal, fitness is a lifestyle and to reach your goals and maintain them, planning (short term, long term) is critical for fitness success and what you put into the plan is just as if not more important.
Components of Fitness
· Muscular Endurance
· Muscular Strength
· Cardiorespiratory Fitness - A Tracker is great for this component. I have a Fitbit and love it!
· Body Composition - Losing "bad" fat should be the goal. Having a body fat % scale and tape measure are good ways of monitoring progress. Remember it's not how much you weigh but what that weight is made up of.
NOTE: Warm up for five to 10 minutes and perform five to 10 minutes of dynamic stretching before each workout. A warm-up set can be done at about 50 percent or less resistance for each core/ multi-joint exercise performed. Rest between sets should be kept to one to three minutes.
WORKOUT TIP: If you’re short on time, focus on the large, multi-joint exercises like presses, squats and rows, and cut down the isolation moves, like triceps pressdowns or hamstring curls. The fourth week is also the best time to decrease cardio time and intensity, especially if you’re focused on high-intensity interval training or intervals.
NUTRITION TIP: Eat to fuel the body for activity. Your body is your vehicle, so you have to keep your engine running when you work out. That means fueling up your body by eating the right foods and drinking the right fluids, in the right amounts at the right times. “You don’t have to adhere to a rigid schedule and there are no hard-fast rules,” but there are some basics that are recommended to eat/drink before, during and after you work out. See my blog post Food as Fuel – Before, During and After Workouts for more.
For best results I strongly consider working with a certified trainer/instructor or coach but if that’s not an option look for workouts (live or virtual) that include all components of fitness and takes your fitness level into consideration.
Worse case scenario, ask a trainer/instructor or coach what they think of the workout for you. The worst they can say is no and that they want you to do a full consultation with them first before they advise and that is not a bad thing at all. To be honest, it’s the best thing you could do – refer to Part 2 – Long Term Planning (Macrocycle) and determining baselines for fitness.
And just a note about the Newbie Natalie workout at the beginning of this post – it’s actually not bad. It’s missing instruction on warming up but it does refer to all components of fitness (except Body Composition and this addressed with nutrition). For an experienced exerciser this would not be bad but if you are new or coming back from a break from fitness, I wouldn’t recommend it; however this is the typical workout seen on popular web and social media sites.
Interested in a fitness/wellness consultation or have some questions about nutrition and your current fitness program? Join any of my groups online (Facebook) and/or pick up my book, How to be Fit for Life - Eight Proven Steps to Reaching Your Fitness Goals, Getting Results, and Living the Fitness Life for more help with your fitness journey. And please feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have:).