IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUT
Maximize your fitness results by improving your workout
AS life gets busier the following questions are asked. ‘How can I improve my workout and how do I maximise fitness results in the same amount of time?’ On the occasions where just getting to the gym is a major effort, just doing some exercsie is great. But generally, if you’re someone who wants to improve your workout, maximise fitness results and invest your time well, then it’s important to be strategic when designing your exercise plan.
The first step to improve your workout and maximise fitness results is to set up your exercise plan and have a clear goal of what you want to achieve. Planning is essential to achieving results in the shortest possible timeframe. If you don’t take the time to plan you may waste a lot of time doing what you think is effective and miss what could really fast-track your results. Planning is also basic to helping you prevent over-training and under-recovery. Once your goals are set, the next step is to put together a fitness plan that works steadily towards your goal. The best place when creating your fitness plan is to use the FITT (frequency, intensity, time and type) principle.
The FITT principle: Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type: 1. FREQUENCY.
• Decide how many sessions you can fit into your week. The number of sessions is dependent on a few different factors including: • Your training experience • Your goal-end date • How badly you want your goal • How busy you are with other commitments • The type of training you will be doing.
To decide on your frequency, it helps to know a bit about recovery. If you’re familiar with delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which usually occurs around 24-48 hours after the workout, you will know how tempting it can be to put your feet up for a few days until the soreness subsides. When it comes to resistance training a more effective alternative is to split your workouts between body parts. An example may be to exercise lower body and abs one day and your upper body on a different day. Alternatively, if you’ve been doing weight training for a while, spread your upper body muscle exercises over two separate days and focus each day on two to three different muscle groups. If fat loss is a goal, you may wish to also add in some steady-state cardio after your upper body sessions. Recovery from aerobic sessions is much quicker than from resistance training as it generally doesn’t place too much strain on the muscles. Therefore your muscles don’t need as much time to repair compared to when you lift heavy weights. Many people can do some form of steady-state cardio more frequently. On the other hand, HIIT (high intensity interval training) requires a recovery period of about 48 hours, so I recommend that you have no more than two to three HIIT sessions a week.
The less available time you have to exercise, the higher the intensity needs to be to achieve results. I recommend a mix of low, medium and high intensity in your week as this allows for more repair time and may help prevent overtraining and reduce risk of injury. Varying the intensity can also increase enjoyment which means you’re probably more likely to stick to a regular exercise program long-term.
To achieve your physical goals exercise needs to be a priority in your already-busy life. When you consider how much time we have in our entire week, not a lot of time is actually required in order to get a result. Decide how much time you want to spend exercising in each session in your week. Some days you may wish to do short and hard sessions and other days if you have more time available you can do longer but less-intense sessions.
Regardless of whether your goal is to change your body shape, increase your fitness, lose some fat or get stronger, we all need to do some form of resistance training. The type of resistance training you choose, as well as the style of training, tools and methods, all depend on your goal, as well as your personal likes and preferences. If you’ve already been training for a while mix up your workouts with new classes, change from outdoors to indoors or viceversa or try a new sport or activity to keep things fresh and engaging. So, improve your workout with a FITT fitness plan and maximise your fitness results.
Kat Millar owns Get Results Training, dedicated to helping people transform their health, mind & body. Since 2003, Kat has helped thousands of people achieve their goals. She’s a coach, speaker, awardwinning figure competitor, fitness lecturer & NLP practitioner. Her passion helps people achieve life-changing results & fulfillment, with a range of programs for holistic health & body transformation. Contact via Kat’s website or Facebook.