A Beginner s Guide to Building an Effective Gym Workout
Gym training is not just lifting weights and eating healthy; rather, it is the ability of an individual to understand and work strategically to achieve the desired level of fitness. Building muscle, burning fat, or improving physical performance all depends upon how effectively you design and follow your workout regimen. Any efficient gym workout program involves a variety of exercises and how they challenge your week-to-week progression. Therefore, you need to have a tangible, yet streamlined training module in place as soon as possible. To help, here are some pointers to design an effective gym workout. Take a look.
Identify Your Goals
You need to think specificity when training a specific muscle or body part. Whether you desire to tone your body, burn down excess body fat, or build muscle, you need to identify your target and then proceed with a particular exercise regimen. To develop muscles, perform fewer reps with heavier weights. If you desire to lose fat then you need to increase the intensity of the workout and thus, maximize your ‘afterburn effect.’
Divide your days
Once you have an understanding of your fitness goals, the next step is to determine how frequently you can hit the gym. For example, if you plan to workout on three or fewer days in a week, you should opt for a total body workout for each session. Alternatively, you need to target different muscle groups and movement types per session, if you can realistically workout for four or more days. Dividing your workout days will prevent overtraining and allow your muscles to recover efficiently. In addition, it is advisable to focus on segregating workout routines on the basis of movement types instead of body parts. Subsequently, you can delegate separate exercise days to perform upper-body pull movements (rows, pull-ups, etc), upper-body push movements (skull crushers, push-ups, etc), hip-dominant movements (squats, hip thrusters, etc), and rotational movements (bicycle crunches, cable wood chops, etc).
Determine a set-rep-rest scheme
Deciding on the set-rep-rest scheme is an inseparable part of any gym workout. Subsequently, your focus should be on incorporating low-rep, high-set exercises into your training if you want to develop strength. In addition, remember to increase the load you are lifting as you decrease the number of reps per set to maximize muscle atrophy. If fat-loss is your primary objective, you should focus on performing high-reps, low-set schemes to engage your muscle fibers effectively. When it comes to rest, you need to include more gap between sets while performing failure or near-failure lifts. For individuals pursuing weight-loss; however, it is advisable to keep the rest period short because it helps elevate the heart rate, burn calories, and enhance muscle growth.
Go for compound followed by isolation movements
Studies have shown that performing larger, complex movements earlier into your workout and then going for smaller, isolated muscle movements improves energy expense of the body, muscle strength, and better engage the core. For example, performing deadlifts early in the workout and then going for bicep curls improves your body structure and prevents risks better than going for bicep curls first. Compound movements are about engaging multiple muscle groups; therefore, they help lay the foundation of all-around body development. Isolation movements, on the other hand, are necessary for better muscle definition.
Shake things up
Gym training programs require focus, determination, and regularity. However, continuing with the same workout regimen for weeks and weeks only stalls muscle growth and hampers fat loss. A rule of thumb is to change the workout routine every eight to twelve weeks to prevent stalling of muscle development. Although the body adapts to any stress applied to it in approximately 12 to 14 weeks, it is not necessary to throw your entire schedule away. Instead, you should shake things up; change the set-rep scheme, perform the same routine but with different types of equipment, or the exercise order. This will not only keep your body guessing but would also aid muscle growth and overall physique improvement.
We have different reasons to hit the gym at one point in life or the other; whether we desire big, bulging biceps, or toned abdominals. However, in our quest to achieve the dream fitness we tend to overexert the body, spend countless hours in the gym, and then feel demotivated when the expected results aren’t there. Rather than blindly following exercises and gym routines, you should focus on understanding your individual needs and goals. Subsequently, you need to devise a comprehensive workout strategy and stick to it, without fail. Remember, it’s the quality, and not the quantity of the exercises that matter.