Question: Workout Advice

Hey Lisa. I have been struggling for the past two months to come up with a solid workout plan for myself that I can follow week in and week out. Not so much the actual exercises that I will be doing, but more the structure of the entire workout. Currently I use my gyms' timetable but I have started to really enjoy working out at home and have decided to buy myself a set of dumbbells, a medicine ball, a kettle bell, an aerobics step (eventually), an exercise ball, a free weight and a skipping rope - I will be buying these one at a time until I have all that I want; starting with the dumbbells. I already have a resistance band. So when my gym contract expires, I want to be able to just keep on keeping on with my workouts. Here is what structure I was thinking: 2 days cardio - running and jogging or playing a sport - I play netball or go for a swim (Sunday and Friday), 2 days strength with equipment (Tuesday and Thursday), 1 day mixed strength and cardio (Saturday), Wednesday as my equipment free day - so exercises such as jumping jacks, burpees, froggie jumps etc. and Monday my rest day. Your thoughts on that? I know that a workout and how it's structured should suit the individual, but from an expert's point-of-view, what do your reckon and recommend?

Answer

 Hi Adelaide!

Congratulations – this sounds like an excellent plan of attack for getting fit at home. Your ‘equipment-free’ day of jumping jacks and burpees would essentially be classified as a ‘cardio’ day. Your game-plan sounds great, I’d just make sure you’re maximising your workouts when it comes to intervals and intensity:

– cardio sessions should always include ‘sprinting intervals’. Even if these are 20 seconds of high intensity followed by 60 seconds of recovery, varied and explosive movements during cardio stimulate your body’s repair cycle effectively for higher calorie burns, improved fitness and boosted energy levels.

– During strength sessions, practise compound exercises. They are responsible for greater calorie burns during sessions as well as increasing lean muscle tissue at a greater rate, meaning a faster metabolism overall. Make your strength sessions count: in general, you should do 3 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise, where you struggle with your last two reps.

– As a rule, add more strength and interval training to your routine before you think about extending it.  Practise compound movements when strength training. 

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