You go to a gym and the equipment intimidates you. You know you have to do something and so you just hop on that treadmill because hey, that’s all you know how to do.
Then you decide, well, maybe I should hire a trainer for a little while, learn the routines and do you it yourself. You do just that. You hire the trainer, run through your package, and then forget the routines. In fact, you relied so much on the trainer to develop the workout, you never paid any attention to the programming.
Ok, then you buy an at home workout DVD to follow along. You memorized the workout and then get bored. You want more, you want to create your own!
Some of us don’t have the pleasures of time to join a workout class or the money to hire a trainer. All you have is your living room space, a yoga mat, some dumbbells (if you’re lucky) and yourself!
Let me preface before we delve into this topic any further. It is ALWAYS better to seek a fitness professional when it comes to programming workouts. Putting together a routine should take into consideration your biology, age, goals, current nutrition, time, and many, many more factors. And well, that can seem really daunting right? You want to make sure you have covered all basis as far as safety is concerned.
Answer these questions first:
1. What is your current situation? Consider how much time you have to devote to exercise. Is it an hour? Or only 15 minutes a day? This is the most crucial question to ask if you want to successfully create a DIY workout.
2. Where will I workout? Gym? At the park or beach? High school track? Living room, basement or garage? These will determine the kind of exercises you will do and whether or not you will be using equipment. (I like body weight exercises which can be done anywhere!)
4. Keep your workouts as simple as possible. You do not want to get fancy schmancy, then overwhelm yourself and give up altogether.
5. Do full body workout routines 3 days a week. Now unless you have an exercise science background, you don’t want to get into routines that are too complicated: split days, push/pull routines, steady sate/interval, etc. There are so many different way to program a workout.
6. Incorporate major muscle groups. And choose about 5 different exercises that cover these groups. You can pick one or two exercises for each muscle group. Here are some of my favorite exercises:
Quadriceps (front part of your legs) – lunges, squats, and anything plyometric, typically powerful jumps.
Glutes/Hamstrings (backside) – deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, good mornings, bridges.
Chest/Shoulders/Triceps – overhead shoulder presses, bench/chest presses, chest flies, pushups, shoulder raises, tricep dips, tricep kickbacks, upright rows.
Back/Biceps – pull ups, cable or dumbbell rows, curls, chin-ups.
Core/Lower Back – planks (all variations including side planks), situps, hanging or lying leg raises, mountain climbers, crunches.
BURPEES – an exercise that works everything 😉
4. Add variety. Try to switch up so a)you don’t get bored and b)your body doesn’t adapt. Your body likes to be challenged and will respond favorably. You can switch it up week by week, or even day by day within that week. And you can always increase the intensity or frequency the more you progress in your workouts.
5. Allow for rest in between your workout days. Cardinal rule #1. When you create a total body routine, you actually create muscle fiber tears in the body and the body needs to rest (along with proper nutrition) in order for your muscle fibers to recover and rebuild. Hello beautiful muscles!
Take this time to figure out your schedule, the location of your workout and which exercises you want to start off with.
Next time, we’ll chat about putting all of this altogether!
Sylvia Nasser, is the CEO and founder of The Fit Fem Studio (www.thefitfem.com), which is a simple, convenient and fun fitness solution to help women who are too busy or just not comfortable going to the gym to make fitness a part of their daily lives both online and offline. The Fit Fem offers fitness & lifestyle coaching, in-home personal training, and The Fit Fem Online Gym where she offers HD streamed Fit Fem workouts on demand. The Fit Fem Studio has been featured on HuffPost Live, WeTV.com, Newsday.com, EverydayHealth.com, and on FiOS1News. Sylvia focuses on getting women healthy, but having them appreciate and embrace their bodies during the process. Get your free 30 minute consultation.