Let’s take a look at how to maximise your efforts in the gym, whilst minimising your time investment, so you can get on with more important things – like living your life!
You’re going to perform resistance exercises in the gym (so that means training your muscles with resistance machines or free weights). Again cutting out the scientific jargon, and skipping directly to the results orientated principles (called GIVE ME THE SKINNY), here’s what you want to do.
Aim to perform resistance exercise for your entire body … that’s every muscle group in your body once per week. Here’s how you elicit maximal muscle tone, and stimulate maximum response from your resistance exercise. If it’s different than what you’ve been told, ask yourself again – “is what I’m currently doing eliciting the responses I desire?”
Chose one piece of resistance exercise for each muscle group in the body. For example here’s a workout below:-
Start by performing 5 minutes or so of gently warming up such as jogging on the treadmill – your aim being to get the blood pumping around your body, raise your heart rate, and most importantly … begin lubricating your joints and raise your temperature. Why are you doing this? To prevent injury. Nothing more. There is no magic to warming up, it isn’t for weight loss. But it is important.
Now move to your first exercise – in this example, it’s the leg press. Perform 30 or so reps in a slow controlled manner. So chose a weight that lets you achieve around 30 reps, that is uncomfortable, but achievable and so if you were pressed and pushed into it, you could continue maybe to 40 or so reps. So it’s not an all out effort. And then stop when you get to 30. It’s not a magic number, you’re simply getting your body ready to perform the work you want it to do.
Here’s where you perform your work. Now imagine, muscle stimulation is like switching a light switch. Once you have pressed the switch, you don’t have to continue pressing it on many times to have the light activated. Once is the trigger. The switch has performed the stimulus. You triggered the response. So here you go. Mentally prepare yourself for your ONE set of your exercise to stimulate your muscular stimulation. This is where you are going to perform all out maximal effort. There will be not other sets. No other chances. No other attempts to stimulate your muscles in that movement until the same time next week. So make it a good one. And push yourself to your true maximal effort. And it is in this challenge you are probably pushing yourself to your psychological limits, as physically, you can quite simply do it.
Choose a weight you believe you can handle around 6 reps with. This being the suggestion, if someone was to hold a gun to your head and scream at you to perform another rep, you simply could not do it. That is all out maximum muscular effort and what elicits the kind of results you want.
So pick your weight and perform the maximum number of reps you can achieve (aim for 6) but if you honestly (think of the above scenario) believe you could do another (say 7, or even 8 reps) you keep going until you physically cannot perform a single rep more. You are pushing yourself to the absolute limit.
**CRITICAL – raise the weight very slowly at around 4 seconds to raise the weight, and around 5 seconds to lower the weight to the starting position. The speed is critical. Stay slow, and push yourself. Do not speed up. Do not swing. Do not cheat the weight into movement with momentum – USE YOUR MUSCLES.
Once you have completed your reps with maximum effort have a rest. Think to yourself and be completely honest. Could you do the same thing again?? If you can, then you did not work hard enough, and you should attempt this maximum effort again. If you think to yourself that you maybe could, but only manage 2 or 3 reps, you need to work harder next week. If, honestly, you truly believe you cannot do a single more rep again, then you’re done and good to move onto the next exercise.
The whole workout should take no more than around 20 – 30 minutes. Once you’re done, you’re done. That’s muscle stimulation completed for the week, and take a week off of resistance training until the same time next week. When you return to the gym, you should be able to perform either more weight for the same reps, or more reps with the same weight as you did in the last gym session – this is called progression and a key indicator that you are making progress with your training.
Now, in terms of cardiovascular training for health, I recommend swimming as your all time number one best exercise for maximum stimulus in the shortest amount of time. Why swimming, well, swimming has multiple benefits. First off, it exercises your entire body from head to foot, which causes your heart to work at maximum capacity pumping blood to every muscle in your body. This maximises both your muscle tone, fitness levels and your improves your cardiovascular health. Perform swimming 2 – 3 times a week for half an hour or so. Swimming has the added benefit that you are plunging your body into cold water. Your body is warm blooded, so guess what happens? Correct, a chemical reaction. Your body has to work harder than with any other form of exercise to raise your body temperature back to correct levels. This thermic response is why swimming enables you to burn far more calories during the performance of the exercise than any other form of cardiovascular exercise. But if you can’t swim, or don’t have access to a swimming pool on a regular basis, don’t sweat it. Just pick another exercise and perform around 2 – 3 sessions of 30 minutes or so cardiovascular exercise (running, cycling, dancing etc.) and you’re good.
…That’s your exercise complete.
The rest is entirely diet and nutrition, and here on protein for women blog is a rule book on precisely how to achieve maximum and rapid fat loss. The rest is entirely diet and nutrition, and here on protein for women blog is a rule book on precisely how to achieve maximum and rapid fat loss.