Developing a workout routine is easier said than done, and it can be difficult to know where to start. When it comes to figuring out the best workout routine for you, it is important to consider factors such as your:
What is your current fitness level?
If you are older than 35 years and trying to decide on a physical exercise regimen, it is best to get your heart and blood vessel health checked out. Talk to your doctor about whether you are within normal ranges for BMI, blood pressure, and respiration.
Your doctor may advise you to undergo a stress test, cholesterol check, spine exam, and joint mobility test before embarking on a fitness journey. If you have diabetes or kidney diseases or heart issues, certain types of fitness plans may be a strict no-no for you. If your liver or kidneys are not functioning optimally, certain protein supplements as pre- or post-workout snacks may cause more damage than good.
If you have back problems or spinal cord issues, you may need to first start with spine and paraspinal muscle-strengthening exercises before you move to weights or intense high-intensity interval training.
What are your fitness goals?
When picking a workout routine, ask yourself whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, train for a race, or something else. Having clear goals can help you stay motivated and help your trainer create a customized fitness plan.
It is also important to think about the types of physical activities you enjoy most so that you can build a fitness program that you can sustain for the long term.
Which types of exercise should you include in your workout routine?
Cardio helps build your stamina, keeps your heart and blood vessels healthy, and boosts your mood. Examples of cardio exercises include any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate such as walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, water aerobics, gardening, and vacuuming.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting at least the following every week:
- 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity
- 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity
Vigorous activity makes you sweat or increases your heart rate within the target heart rate range. Target heart rate is the heart rate needed to improve cardiovascular health and is usually 50%-80% of your maximum heart rate.
If you are an advanced trainer, you can go for a high-intensity interval training that involves alternating short bursts of intense activity (about 30 seconds)—burpees, weights, and squats—with subsequent recovery periods (about 3-4 minutes) of lighter activity such as jogging or walking.
Strengthening your core is important, especially as you age. Core strength training can help improve balance, prevent age-related muscle and bone loss, and reduce the risk of falls.
Aim to include strength training to your fitness routine at least 2 times a week, with at least a 48-hour rest. Start small, use proper form, and don’t forget to do warm-ups and cool-down exercises to avoid injury.
Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines, free weights, and other equipment for strength training. Examples of strength training exercises you can include in your workout routine include pushups, pull-ups, crunches, leg squats, bridges, planks, and sit-ups.
Stretching improves the range of motion of your joints and may promote better posture. Ideally, you should stretch before any exercise. You should also include exercises such as yoga and Pilates to promote flexibility.
The best approach to a workout routine is to vary the types of exercises you do in your schedule. For example, you can go jogging for a day and then do strength training the next day, making targets for different muscle groups each time.
What is a good workout routine for beginners?
Here is a rough guide to help you start your journey in the world of muscle building. It is best to enlist the help of a professional trainer to make sure you start with the right equipment and use proper form to avoid joint and muscle damage.
|Day 1||Chest workout||Barbell bench press||Target 3 to 4 sets of 8 reps|
|Legs workout||Leg extensions||Target 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps|
|Biceps workout||Barbell bicep curls||Target 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps|
|Triceps workout||Triceps rope pushdowns||Target 3 sets of 15 reps|
|Back workout||Lat-pulldowns||Target 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps|
|Shoulders workout||Seated dumbbell press||Target 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps|
|Day 2||Chest workout||Machine chest press||Target 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps|
|Back workout||T-bar row||Target 2 sets of 10 reps|
|Legs workout||Leg press machine||Target 2 to 4 sets of 8 reps|
|Triceps workout||Overhead bar extensions||Target 3 to 4 sets of 20 reps|
|Biceps workout||EZ bar curls||Target 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps|
|Day 3||Triceps workout||Skull crushers||Target 2 to 3 sets of 15 reps|
|Shoulders workout||EZ bar upright rows||Target 3 to 4 sets of 15 reps|
|Back workout||Close-grip pulldowns||Target 4 sets of 12 reps|
|Chest workout||Cable fly||Target 4 sets of 10 reps|
|Legs workout||Lunges||Target 3 sets of 10 reps per leg|
|Biceps workout||Hammer curls||Target 3 sets of 12 reps|
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