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If you don’t understand the ins and outs of coordinating your fitness routine, you might find your motivation deflating as quickly as a popped balloon within a month. Results aren’t only difficult to spot, but slow to show, especially if you don’t add fat burning to your training. You won’t be able to spot those amazing six pack abs if they’re covered in five layers of fat, but professional athletes don’t starve themselves. It takes fuel to build muscle, so instead of dieting, focus on a low fat meal plan.
Step One: Scheduling
Choose the amount of time you can dedicate to your routine early on so that you don’t run out of steam. Be realistic: if you have three children and a full-time job, you might only be able to dedicate half an hour every second day. If you have enough spare time to dedicate an hour a day, that’s first prize, but don’t make the mistake of thinking your lower time commitment can’t make a difference. If you’re short on hours, choose a time-efficient workout that targets several muscle groups at once.
Step Two: Your Fitness Level
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Check your pulse rate before and after a brisk one-mile walk. Record this alongside the amount of time it took you to complete the walk. This is useful for assessing your progress, which is a core part of maintaining your enthusiasm. Nobody wants to work at something if they’re not seeing results, so make sure you keep track of your muscle strength. Count the number of pushups you can do without stopping for a rest. Redo both these exercises every six months, asking a doctor of physical therapy for guidance where needed. A physiotherapist will also help you develop an evidence-based fitness plan that improves wellness and results.
Step Three: Your Routine
A full body toning routine only needs to include about five exercises. These are old favorites for a reason–they work:
Squats and lunges work your quads
Hip raises and step-ups exercise the hamstrings and butt.
Pull ups and chin ups exercise your forearms, back, and biceps.
Planks, crunches, and hanging leg raises exercise your core.
Choose one of each for each workout, switching them up when you get bored. Do four sets of between 15 and 25 repetitions.
Step Four: Challenge Yourself
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If you’re finding you can do more than 25 repetitions without breaking a sweat, the exercise and weight have become too easy for you. You must progress to see your body progress, so constantly make your training more difficult. Use heavier weights with between five and eight repetitions when this happens. A low number of reps builds strength, but if you want to build endurance, choose between six and 12 reps. going over that number will build your size and endurance.
Step Five: Rest and Circuits
You should rest for five minutes between sets, but if your time is limited, circuit training might be the right solution for you. Instead of resting, switch to an entirely new muscle group to give your body a break without stopping your routine. Circuit training is perfect for those who want to tone and lose fat simultaneously. This entails doing one set of all exercises without resting in between. This way, you incorporate aerobic exercise into your routine, which will not only improve your fitness levels, but give you a wonderful runner’s high for the rest of the day.
Fitness training needn’t be complicated. Keep your program simple and you’ll find it easier to assess your progress. Most importantly, make your training fun or you’ll lose that precious motivation.