The Perfect Workout Week
We all have the same amount of hours available to us in any given week, it is how we choose to divide them amongst our priorities and use them that makes us different. Chances are that no matter how hard you try if you have a family and/or a job you aren’t going to be able to spend the majority of your hours working out in the gym. That’s why it’s so imperative to maximize the efficiency of your workouts, so that you can accomplish the perfect workout week every single week.
Some people swear by cardio and some people despise it, but regardless of your personal feelings when it comes to cardiovascular exercises you need them. They should by no means be your sole form of workouts, but they are necessary to keep your heart and lungs healthy so that your body can recover quickly and heal properly after workouts. Cardio also happens to help keep your endurance in check so that during any type of exercise you can keep going longer. So even if you hate cardio and think of it as the bane of your existence you can see how effective it is to your training and overall fitness.
To get the most out of your training you should focus at least two days of your perfect workout week to this workout concentration. Your cardio sessions should last between an hour and an hour and a half depending on the intensity at which you are working out. For instance if you are completing HIIT workouts during one of your cardio sessions and taking an outdoor jog for the other, you may want to schedule a shorter HIIT workout (since the intensity is higher) and a longer jog (since your intensity will likely be lower).
No matter how you choose to work out during your cardio exercises you should still aim to reach a target heart rate between 120 and 150 beats per minute. Ideally you would want to keep your heart rate within this range for at least 45 to 60 minutes of your cardio workout.
Love it or hate it, strength training is essential for staying healthy and making sure that your muscles do not disintegrate into useless lumps. One of the most common reasons for women to avoid strength training is because they are afraid of “bulking up”, but I’m here to tell you that it’s time to squash that fear. When compared to men it’s actually exceptionally difficult for a woman to bulk up during strength training. When extreme muscles are their goal, they have to commit to an extreme workout routine.
Whether you are trying to bulk, tone or simply slim down strength training is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do it. When you tone and build lean muscle mass through strength training you are also increasing the rate of your BMR, meaning that you will burn more calories doing absolutely nothing the more lean muscle mass you have. In turn that also increases the efficiency of your everyday workouts and overall fitness.
Since this is one of the best ways to not only build lean muscle mass but also burn off unwanted fat it should be given a full three days of attention during your perfect workout week. Each strength training session should last between 45 and 60 minutes, not including the warm up and cool down. You will want to rotate between upper and lower body workouts throughout the week so that you do not over exhaust one area of the body to the point that your muscles has difficulty healing. As you become stronger and the weights become easier to maneuver you should slowly begin to increase your weights to help progress your muscle strength.
Do not discount the importance of rest days in your perfect workout week. Rest days provide your body with the break it needs to rebuild your muscles stronger and restore your energy levels. Without rest days you would quickly become depleted and useless in they gym. But do not make the mistake of thinking that just because it’s a day of rest you can spend your time mindlessly binge watching netflix on the couch. Your rest days should involve physical activity, just not physical exertion. For instance, taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or hitting up a restorative yoga class would both be good rest day activities for your body.
No matter what low intensity activity you participate in during your rest days you should make sure to spend at least 30 to 60 minutes on it at least two times per week. While these exercises will not require a great deal of effort they will keep your body moving and actively recovering so that it is better prepared to hit it hard the next time you go full force. As with any workout regimen, be sure to choose activities that you’re interested in for your rest days so that you don’t forfeit the workout in favor of lounging around letting your muscles stiffen up.
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