Who has time to work out today?
If you have a family, run your own business, or have a management position in a larger company, finding the time to exercise can be tough. I know -- I have heard it from many of my clients:
"Stefan, if I didn't book my sessions with you, I wouldn't work out."
However, not everyone is in a position to hire a strength and nutritional coach. So what are you going to do?
The answer is to maximize the impact of your workouts in the time you have -- even if it is just 30 minutes!
Get a Gradual Start
First, not all of us are in the same shape. Of course, a 20-year-old can be in better shape then a 40-year-old. However, the opposite might be true as well, as I can confirm from experience.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are many different areas in your body that can be improved -- such as agility, speed, power, cardiovascular, muscular strength, coordination, your central nervous system and your peripheral nervous system, to list a few.
Start by taking a base evaluation. This can be simply done by taking your 30-minute exercise allocation for the day and using it to and run around the block or a field. Count how many laps you can accomplish in 30 minutes. Over time, this number should increase; more laps in the same time.
Accomplish the same thing with exercises that involve your own body weight.
Ah, wait, you don't know which exercises these are. Let me give you some help! Squats, single leg lunges, push ups, triceps dips, lat pulls, overhead presses and holding plank position are a few options to start out with.
Did you notice that you can execute those exercises all at home, without equipment? That's what makes it a great start; it gives you the option of exercising any time, any place (of course, assuming that you do not have imbalances in your body that need to be corrected or need to have supervision because of health-related issues).
Again, in the beginning when you execute the movements, you will be less likely to be able to perform a lot of repetitions. It is best to take one movement and perform it for one minute, followed by a one-minute rest.
Count how often you can perform the exercise. Over time you should improve those numbers as well.
If you are plateauing out, just change the resting period to 30 seconds or to no rest at all. Remember, you need to build up to handling the lactic acid threshold -- a crucial factor in determining how quickly your muscles fatigue.
Therefore, change the sets. Choose other movements. And lastly, add on additional resistance.
Keep Pushing Yourself
Studies have shown that by pushing yourself during your exercise program, you stand to burn the most overall calories and most fat calories. The results are similar to what you would experience if you were performing interval training.
Also, it is important that when you make the decision to work out, you do not always do the same thing. Change it up.
Large muscle groups should come first, such as legs, back and chest. Those are the muscles that can burn the most calories, so use them.
However, keep in mind that your entire system needs to be worked and improved -- strength, speed, power, agility, flexibility, coordination, cardiovascular system and so on all come from different muscle groups.
Finally, keep in mind that quick bouts of energetic activity burn the most calories.
Consider this: if you run for one hour, you burn a certain amount of calories. But if you sprint for 30 minutes or do intervals, you still burn the same amount of calories.
I don't know about you, but I like to take advantage of all the things that life has to offer. And staying in shape is an important part of it to accomplish exactly this.
The key is to schedule it, stay consistent and push yourself with resistance, speed, sets, rest and repetition. And make sure your heart rate is kept up.
Stefan Aschan is the owner and founder of www.strength123.com, providing nutrition and exercise programs, in New York City.