Your workout should reflect what you want to achieve. If you want to be good at running you’ll want to do a lot of running. Most of us want to be ‘fit’ and look good. So what’s the best way to achieve that? Let’s start by looking at the two biggest areas…
Cardio & Weight Training
There are usually two types of gym go-er:
Free weights muscle man
The treadmill troopers will be giving their cardiovascular system (heart and lungs) a good workout while the muscle men lifting weights work their muscles more; and potentially a bit of a cardio workout, too.
The most effective, healthiest and smartest way to workout is to do a combination of both.
To get a truly good physique and be ‘fit’ you want to do a combination of both weight training and cardio sessions. Why?
First up, weight training is essential to building muscle, keeping bones strong and improving ligaments, tendons and so many other benefits I should write another post about it…
Second, cardio is key for improving your heart and lung health, helping your body deliver the nutrients and oxygen it needs to your mind and body, while removing the waste products. It also helps build muscular endurance and releases endorphins to make you feel good.
Seriously, you need to have both to be balanced, feel good and look good. It’s that simple. When you trade one for the other your body geta out of balance.
How often do you need to train
The government health experts out there say that you should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 3-5 times a week of heart raising exercise. Seems like a lot, eh? But it is necessary that you do it.
Tip #1 – Build exercise into your daily routine
Here’s a little tip for anyone that doesn’t want to spend any longer than they have to in the gym or working out:
Use your commute to train cardio. Cycle to work.
It might require a little effort and organisation to pack your clothes up with you to change at work but it’s worth it. If you don’t want to cycle, walk or run. Get off the bus or train so you can get a 20 min walk in.
Making your cardio session part of your daily commute makes it a habit. You don’t have to think about doing it, you just do it, and you do it consistently and consistency is king when it comes to training the body. If you don’t use it you lose it!
Tip #2 – Use your lunch breaks
What do you usually do at lunch time? Sit at your computer, eat some food and have a chat? From my experience very few people use this hour optimally. Doing some exercise in it frees up your evening, keeps your mind alert and makes you feel like you’ve had a proper break instead of just sitting at your desk all day.
You can do a quick run, a tabata style workout or if the gym is close a 20 weight training circuit is very effective.
Tip #3 – Get a gym partner
Having someone to hold you accountable really helps if you lack motivation to workout. Ideally get someone who is already motivated and works out regularly. It’s said that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time around so start hanging out with some fit people, at least during your weekdays when you want to train and then ditch them for the cool kids at the weekends!
And most importantly remember this:
It’s not what you do but how you do it…
Learning to train effectively is not about running endless hours on the treadmill or lifting the heaviest weights you can. It’s about understanding how to use different types of training to achieve the results you want.
It takes years to fully understand what to do and how to do it. Learning from someone who has the experience and knowledge to get to where you want to be is the best way to get results. If they’ve done it, you know you can do it too.