So you got a new gym membership, dusted off your old sneakers and bought a cute pair of EleVen yoga pants…now what? Unfortunately, most of us go to the gym, hop on the tread mill and become bored because we don’t know how to “workout”. Trainers are expensive and classes can be intimidating. Here are some self-starting tips to ramping up your workout routine.
Which Workout Is Best - Thanks to the internet; we have all the access in the world to finding a workout routine that is right for us without breaking the bank, although, a trainer could be very helpful to get you started. Most gym trainers will give you a free assessment, listen to what you want to work on and give you a workout plan for a month. That should give you enough time to get used to the routine. If you don’t want to go solo, try a class. They are usually cheaper than one-on-one and you get to share your bitter sweet anguish with your classmates. And if still want to save more, check out trainer blogs. There are tons of ideas floating around for every body type, every goal, and everyone.
Start With A Warm-up - Jogging for a few minutes to get your heart rate pumping. After your jog, stretch your muscles thoroughly. Dynamic stretching is key to maximizing your workout and should include active stretching, like lunges or jump squats, anything to mimic your workout. This allows your muscles to wake-up, gives you more flexibility and most importantly, prevents injury. An ideal warm-up should last 15-20 minutes for the best results.
A Full Body Is A Healthy Body - Try not to focus on just one thing to work on. Of course you want to have amazing legs, but that doesn’t mean do 100 squats and call it a day. Try a full body routine and add one extra exercise to get those calves you’ve always wanted. Your workout routine should include some upper body, lower body and core exercises. Most trainers will set up small circuits to keep the routine lively [10 Lat Raises, 10 Dumbbell Rows, Rest 1 minute, Repeat].
Weighting Game - Adding weight lifting into your workout routine not only tones your body but it also helps you burn the most fat. Cardio is great and shouldn’t be ignored, but weight lifting has been proven to boost your metabolism for up to 36 hours after your workout. But what kind of weight should you put up? There is no one right answer for everyone and every activity will be different. Your first 2 weeks in the gym should be to test the waters and give your muscles a wake-up call. Start small. If you find that you can do 10 bicep curls with 5lb weights for 3 reps, increase your weight to 7.5lbs and so on. Although you should start small and increase as needed, don’t become complacent. After you’ve invested in a workout routine that’s right for you, don’t forget to always keeping improving. If you started with 5lb weights, you should be increased within a couple of weeks. This will help you become stronger and it will continue to boost your metabolism.
Strong To The Core - After lifting weights you’re tired…but don’t stop there. Core training, especially in the latter part of your workout, is essential to training your body fully. To shed some extra calories, combine core and cardio, like 10 sets of burpees into a 30 second plank. Core training increases your balance, supports areas of your body, like our spine, you wouldn’t normally work on and of course, it tones your abs. And all your core strength will help you with your other exercises. One-footed squats will become easier with a stronger core, allowing you to increase weight faster. Spend at least 15 minutes on a core routine for best results and amazing abs.
Cool Down- Just like your warm-up, it is vital to spend time cooling down after your workout. It allows your heart rate to come down slowly while you stretch. Cool down stretching, or static stretching, should be relaxed, like 30 second toe touches, just enough to stretch out any tight areas.
Consistency Is Key - Although most experts would recommend you workout 3-4 days a week, resting between days, the most important thing is consistency. It doesn’t benefit you to go to the gym Monday-Friday one week and then go only one day the next week. Your body will never get used to a sporadic workout regimen. If you can only commit to two days a week, then go the same two days a week until you can increase. Consistency will also prevent injuries by allowing your muscles to rest when they need to. Remember, starting a new workout regimen is tough stuff, but find one you love, stick with it, work hard and you’ll look and feel amazing!
The first thing you should do before starting a new workout regimen is visit your doctor and make sure you are ready to begin your new fit life. The second thing you should do is invest in some high-fashion activewear, because feeling good about how you look in the gym can be a big part of success. Now that you are armed with a clean bill of health and some fashion forward clothing, you will be ready to go out and be the best you that you can be. In short, you will be an EleVen!