While any type of exercise is good, not all exercise is equal when it comes to getting into shape. Your goals, needs and present level of fitness make a huge difference when planning a workout. Certain exercises are better than others for achieving specific results. That’s why choosing the right types of exercises can make workouts more effective. You’ll still work hard, but get more for your efforts when you’re doing the exercise that offers more benefit to reach your goals.
Get more from every movement when you do compound exercises or full-body workouts.
Some workouts focus on specific muscles, but full-body workouts focus on almost all muscles. If you’re working your arms, you can be working your legs at the same time, not only building muscle strength in several areas, but also burning more calories. Compound exercises, ones that work several joints, tendons and muscles also torch the calories, while working several areas. One unique aspect of coach-led workouts at Urban Athlete is working on full body exercises throughout the week. More complex compound exercises tend to be done in personal training settings but we also incorporate a variety of fun and effective exercises in our group training classes.
Do exercises that address several areas of fitness at once.
There are several types of fitness; strength, power, endurance, flexibility and balance are a few of the main types. You need to address all areas to be truly fit, since they all play a role in overall health. Efficient exercise addresses several types of fitness at once. For instance, kettlebell exercises provide strength, power, balance, endurance and flexibility training. Many circuit training workouts do the same. While we love kettlebell exercises at Urban Athlete, you can do very similar exercises with a dumbbell or medicine ball creating the same benefit.
Modify your intensity and turn your workout into circuit training or a HIIT workout.
Circuit training pushes you hard. You move from one exercise to another with little time between them. Whether you’re doing strength training, endurance or flexibility training, you’ll get a good cardio workout at the same time. HIIT—high intensity interval training is another way to do any type of exercise. You alternate between peak intensity and a recovery level. If you are using it with running, you’d sprint for a short time, then slow your run to a recovery pace for an equal or longer period and back to a sprint. You can use HIIT with any activity, from walking to strength training. Studies show it is more effective than steady state-exercise.
- If your session is intense, you’ll maximize results if you fuel your body with a pre-workout snack that contains both carbs and protein about a half hour before working out.
- A half-hour before working out, drink 8 ounces of water and carry a bottle of water to sip on throughout your workout. Dehydration, even if it’s mild, can reduce the effectiveness of your exercise program.
- Avoid doing too much cardio. While you need cardio and it does torch calories, some of those calories come from lean muscle tissue. That can slow your metabolism, since the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn.
- Change your workout periodically to avoid plateauing. If you’re doing the same workout for months, your body becomes efficient at the moves and burns fewer calories. You’ve also improved your fitness, so you need to push harder to maximize results. This doesn’t mean you need to do different exercises, rather you would try working with heavier weights and/or changing the tempo of exercises, and even decreasing the rest time, or increasing the work time of the exercise.
Much of this can feel complicated with all the pieces to consider. If you’d like some help getting started or continuing on your fitness and exercise journey, contact us today at Urban Athlete