How do you make the most of your workouts?

Today I am going to tell you how to structure your training based on your goals to maximize the effect. A lot of people still have the idea that more is always better which is not true. Balance is key. Doing too much can lead to over training and even injury. Doing too little will have no effect. So how do you know how much is enough?

Depending on your goals your workouts will vary. If you are looking to gain muscle you will be doing lower intensity but more volume weight training. When it comes to weight loss or “toning up” you will be doing weight training and cardio/conditioning.

High intensity exercise or HIIT training is very common in fitness today. This is a great workout to maximize time but should not be done every day if done correctly. If you are doing HIIT training I would recommend 2 -3x/week for those looking to lose some weight or tone and the days between can be lower intensity strength training or low intensity cardio such as easy jogging or cycling. The effects of high intensity training can wear you down over time if done daily and may leave you feeling fatigued, tired or drained. You will know if you are over training if you cannot push as hard as usual for a few workouts in a row.

Strength training can be tailored to hit different muscle groups each day. So if you are looking to put on some muscle then you can train daily and prevent over training by alternating body parts each day. So Monday is legs and shoulders, Tuesday is chest, back and arms, Wednesday is core and repeat for remainder of the week. This allows you to train more often. This idea can still be implemented into a workout routine for those looking to lose some weight. We know that weight training is important for weight loss so you can do legs and shoulders Monday, HIIT on Tuesday, core on Wednesday, HIIT on Thursday and Chest, back and arms Friday.

So planning your workouts in advance is important but also planning a time for recovery and rejuvenation. Your progress is only as good as your recovery. If you go hard all the time when does your body have time to adapt to the training and rebuild itself? It doesn’t. So every fourth or fifth week is a time to dial back your training intensity and volume to about 50% to let your body adapt and recover so you can reap the benefits and progress quicker!

So depending where you are at in your fitness you have to find the fine line of too much and too little. If you are starting out, aim to work out every second day to allow your body recovery time between workouts. If you are a regular exerciser, then you can push yourself a bit more and play with that fine line. Listen to your body, when you feel run don or drained back off your training and focus on recovery for a week then get back to it and push that threshold again next week!

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