One of the very first things I learned when studying for my personal trainer exam (click here for fifteen things I’ve learned about personal training) was that a workout needed to follow specific phases, which include exercises from the different planes of motion and include balance, flexibility, strength and cardio training. In addition, a fitness newbie should establish a solid foundation (stability) before entering a strenuous workout program. This is something I touch upon in “Ten Reasons Why You’re Not Reaching Your Fitness Goals”.
Are you new to the gym? Or frustrated with your current routine? Flourish-ious.com is teaching you How you Should be Designing your Workouts.
Your body is going to be deconditioned. It doesn’t matter if you used to be able to run 10 miles at once, the likelihood of that happening currently is most likely slim. Each time you stop working out for long lengths of time your body will “get out of shape”= get deconditioned. As a result, when you are deconditioned you are more susceptible to get injured.
Which means the time you first start back in the gym is when you’re most likely going to get injured so please be careful!
Two minutes on a treadmill isn’t a proper warm up. You need to prepare your mind and body for what’s to come and if you’ve been sitting all day (chances you probably have) then this will be vitally important.
More on Dynamic Stretching here
Perform better and decrease your chances of injury by properly warming up!
Your actual program design is going to depend on a few different factors. Upon meeting with a client (initial session) it’s important for the trainer to learn about the different injuries, medical history, exercise history that that individual client has. Moreover, the type of job the client has will play a role in imbalances and what their body is going to be ready for.
Moreover, it’s extremely important to workout for your body type (more on that here). Your body type will determine what kind of workouts you should be doing. For example, if you are an ectomorph (naturally thin) you should stay away from doing too much cardio and focus on strength. Here’s an article I wrote all about this topic.
(Deconditioned, newbie, getting back into the gym etc.)
If you’re a complete fitness newbie you need to establish a foundation with really basic exercises. Make sure you are properly warming up. Furthermore, after you’ve identified the imbalances that you may have, focus on strengthening those.
Most of us are fairly inactive so we sit all day and stare at a screen of some sorts, whether it is our phone or tablet. Thus we have weak hip flexors, tight hamstrings, weak glutes, weak cores which all can lead to terrible injuries and back pain.
Disclaimer: Do not enter a physical workout program without consulting your doctor first.
*Perform each exercise 15-20 times in a slow controlled motion taking one-two minute breaks in between OR perform each exercise 15 reps each with little to no breaks in between until exercise #6.
*If you are trying to lose weight (15 plus pounds) do cardio before this. If not do cardio at the end
This is a total body workout do each exercise for 3 sets of 15 with breaks of 1 minute in between
*notice how I alternated between different muscle groups
(working in supersets)
*alternating between different muscle groups but pairing opposite ones with each other. Interested in a challenge? Add a bodyweight cardio exercise to those two exercises. Example: burpee, jump rope, jacks, squat jumps etc.
So I can go into more depth about this program design thing, but I’m not trying to drag this out into a book. I’m hoping that the previous examples have given you an idea on how to progress a workout from beginner to intermediate. When you are first entering a workout program please make sure you are setting up your foundation and implementing a flexibility and cardio program. In order for a program to be well rounded and efficient, it needs to include strength, balance, core, cardio and flexibility training.