The first time you walk into a gym, there can be a lot of intimidation. There are all types of people there, from massive bodybuilders, also known as gym rats, cardio-obsessed athletes, beginners on their 5th weight loss journey this year, the kid who wants to bulk, and the weird old people who have a 50/50 chance of being nice. However, you show up at the gym, one person will likely be there who horrifies you slightly. When you watch all these people, they all seem to have their own routine. Things that they do for each workout without fail. It is more than likely that these people are following a routine to help them achieve their goals. This is either one they have created or have paid someone to create for them. Formatting a routine is not difficult if you have a goal in mind and there are a few to choose from.
There are many things people want to achieve at the gym, most commonly to lose weight. Other goals revolve around building muscle through bodybuilding or powerlifting. Strength training, muscle tone, and general fitness are other popular goals. You might not want to focus on weight entirely; you might want to look for increased mobility, flexibility, or endurance, all of which are associated with one of the main categories people choose. Formatting a 5-day routine relies heavily on your choice of goals listed above. With some modifications to each workout, let’s take a peek at some options.
The goal of bodybuilding is to lose fat which is replaced by muscle. There are a couple main ways of achieving this goal. Each exercise should contain 3-5 sets. These sets should be including challenging weight while maintaining excellent form. The exercise should vary in reps from 8-12. Standard practices for bodybuilders are the superset, strip set, or failure.
To create both functional and large muscles in this activity, create roughly 8 exercises to complete per day, focusing on one or two muscle groups. For instance, biceps and triceps or chest and back would be good combo muscle groups. Remember that concentrating on a distinct muscle group for one day is an excellent way to optimize that workout. Add in warm-up sets, cardio, stretching, and cooldowns for each workout. Ask a gym buddy to critique your form or consider a personal trainer.
General Fitness can include various activities that will push your body to reach your ultimate goal. This is likely the most common goal for people, and it can be a lot of fun. If you are one of those people trying to lose weight, this is a great option. Additionally, working through a HIIT workout, endurance workout, and so on will help regarding this category. Don’t be one of those who only do cardio because it really does not work. Incorporate multiple suggestions below into a workout routine and go from there.
Most people can commit to an hour-long workout 3-5 times a week. An hour’s workout is only 4% of your day. Committing to an hour can change your lifestyle drastically. Choose multiple forms of cardio you can tolerate because, honestly, who likes cardio. A couple options to get you thinking are inclined walking on a treadmill, air bike, cycling, rowing, stair stepper, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, or running. Find something you can do for half an hour to create a workout that will maintain general fitness.
After completing a half-hour of cardio, continue to some form of weight training. Most think cardio will do the trick, but it is a combination of food, cardio, and weight training that will lead to a solid workout and lifestyle foundation. Choose a muscle group to work out each day, such as quads, biceps, chest, triceps, calves, shoulders, glute, or back. Add accessory muscles such as deltoids, abs, or lower back to each workout. Abs and back are particularly important as those are your core stabilization muscles. In other words, they help you maintain balance, and from through each exercise you choose to do. There are hundreds of exercises to do for each muscle group. Give some of them a try, and never be scared to diversify your workouts. Because you only have a half-hour with weighted material, stick to roughly 5-6 exercises per workout to optimize muscle stimulation. Let’s look at an example of a leg day.
Focus Muscles: Hamstrings and Quadriceps Accessory Muscle: Abs
Adding to this workout or switching it up is a great place to start. This workout can easily be transformed into a HIIT workout if cardio is done in phases. For instance, let’s say cardio is running that day. Using the example from above, a HIIT workout would look like this.
Focus Muscles: Hamstrings and Quadriceps, Accessory Muscle: Abs, Cardio: Running
Running .25 miles
Running .50 miles
Running .75 miles
Running 1 mile
Including cardio in the weight portion of the workout provides a great opportunity to get a HIIT workout within an hour. Try lots of activities and be sure to switch it up. Follow up with healthy meals and rest.
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