Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Where to start with health and fitness

Having done my PT course, and while I wait frustratingly for my certificate, I'm looking at ways to improve my fitness and how I would plan programmes for people I might train. I've decided to experiment on myself, a rather obvious thing to do really. My experiments include stuff at the gym, in the park, in the lounge and in the garden.

Body weight exercises are the easiest things to do because you can do them anywhere at any time. Resistance bands (I got mine from Amazon) add a little intensity to the workout and give you some variety too. The TRX is great and I hope to become more proficient at some of the exercises using that bit of kit.

For a simple, no-nonsense 20 minute workout I devised a simple routine using an interval approach that went like this:

Interval time = 30 seconds
Rest period   = 15 seconds

Having warmed up, which should have included a few stretches, but I didn't do that this morning, I did 8 exercises.

  • Press up
  • Lunges (one interval on each leg)
  • Lateral raises (with resistance band)
  • Sit ups
  • Standing row (with resistance band)
  • Jumping jacks
  • Standing chest press (with resistance band)

I did as many as I could of each exercise during the 30 seconds and then took a 1 minute rest and did it all over again. Do three circuits of exercises gives you a 20 minute workout that should raise your heart rate and get the blood pumping. Obviously you can extend the workout by adding extra exercises, and there are plenty you could add. For example, get a dining chair and do triceps dips. And you can increase the intensity by using stronger resistance bands, or by putting you feet on the chair to your press ups!

I reckon that doing that three times a week will be quite a good programme for anyone who wants to build lean muscle and burn some fat, but we shall have to wait and see. I experimented with a few different resistance band exercises along the way, so I didn't actually perform the same exercises each time through the routine and I did it twice today because I have a tennis match to play and didn't want to overwork myself.

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