The key is figuring out exactly what you want from your fitness routine and then putting together a routine combined with a diet that will yield the results you want. It’s a lot like a food recipe, if you don’t use proper ingredients its not going to have the desired outcome.

Over the past 20+ years of being in the fitness business, I’ve come across about as many new ideas to train as diet fads that have come and gone. One of the main things I’ve learned is that one shoe doesn’t fit all and a trainer should always listen to what his or her client’s goals are and then design a program to get them there. This works the exact same way when a person wings it on their own whether in a gym or home exercise program.

The key is figuring out exactly what you want from your fitness routine and then putting together a routine combined with a diet that will yield the results you want. It’s a lot like a food recipe, if you don’t use proper ingredients its not going to have the desired outcome.

Here are a few simple recipes for fitness, I like using a little of each…

 

Exercising to increase capabilities: if someone wants to increase their physical capabilities in real life or in sports, they should do more compound (multiple joint) movements in their exercise routine and use free weights, (body weight exercises with increased speed of movement, and less rest time between sets help as well). Machines are great for toning and conditioning sections of the body, but they do very little for teaching muscle groups to contract and work together or to build stabilizer muscles like free weights do.  Athletes and the elderly benefit a lot from the above style of exercising due to increased stability, core strength, and muscles learning to work in a more powerful way together.

 

For toning up: when you do repeated sets stacked close behind each other for a particular body part it will cause this area to tone more rapidly.

 

For strength: increase the weight, this forces muscles to grow and accommodate. By increasing the workload, (whether in the amount of weight used or speed you move the weight) it increases power.  This can be done with free weights, machines, or body weight exercises. Keep in mind, machines do very little to strengthen stabilizer muscles (this is why an athlete can make a bodybuilder look clumsy).

 

Bodybuilding: to increase the size on a body part, you have to focus on pumping that muscle or muscle group up. The pump, the intense straining, muscle breakdown causes the body to build itself back stronger to accommodate the new workload. Muscle does NOT care how it looks, just that it is able to accommodate increased workloads. Carb loading prior to workouts and an increased intake of protein and fats are important for fuel, muscle repair and for building hormones.

 

Burning body fat: exercising more rapidly, is the way to go if you want to trigger the fat burn state. Fat release for energy happens around 20 minutes into your exercise routine, (this is what is happening when we feel our 2nd wind kick in).

 

Cardiovascular endurance: exercise with lighter weights, compound movements, and exercise faster with less rest between sets. I have for a long time tried to get members to blur the lines between the cardio room, and the rest of the gym. In other words, if you want to build muscle and strength, “lift weights,” if you want to build cardio strength, “lift weights faster!” Exercising faster with less rest between sets using compound movements, does 4 things at one time, “increases strength, muscle size, cardiovascular endurance, and burns fat.” This is much more applicable to real life then jogging for 5-10 miles.

 

Final recipe: Exercise and stretching from the different angles you use in real life activities with pulling, pushing, and pressing movements, increased tempo for cardiovascular strength and fat loss, combined with a good diet, recovery and deep sleep.

 

These simple ingredients listed above, will yield strength, increased physical capabilities that enhance your life, increased muscle and bone density, flexibility, improved lean weight to body fat ratio, slow the aging process, increased metabolism, decreased stress levels as well as many other physiological benefits!!!

Sincerely,
Wade Yoder
ISSA Master Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Valley Athletic Club