Tag Archives: workout knowledge

The Basics of Working Out And A Basic Workout Routine For Beginners

squats and chins in basic workout for beginnersOver the next 8 minutes of reading I’ll show you a basic workout routine for beginners as well as all the basics you need to know about when you start.

Since your body develops to the needs put on it, chances are that your body right now is a finely tuned machine for TV. watching! So what we need to do is get it ready to train without causing your body to say “nope, don’t think so pal” in the form of an injury.

Basically we are going to get your butt to the gym and get used to the routine of getting out of the house a couple of days a week.

Most people can handle a three-day a week commitment, and really that’s all that is needed to make most of the changes for the majority of people. Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the weekends off is usually convenient. It doesn’t really matter as long as it is three non-consecutive days. Then we go and train the whole body on each of these days with one exercise per body part.

Now its always smart to warm up before exercise so we do five to ten minutes of any cardio machine to get the blood flowing. This gives the heart a heads up that something is coming! Then we go on to the routine, and finally, the 20 to 30 minute fat loss cardio. Your cardio can be done on the treadmill, bike or whatever. You just have to move and sweat! So to take care of everything, you’re looking at an hour to an hour and a half if you’re taking your time.

Sets and Reps

Well, what is a set? A set is a bunch of reps done in a row, followed by a rest of usually a minute or two. So then, what is a rep? The rep is short for repetition. Or, how many times you raise and lower the weight in a row. So if you sat down and picked up a weight and put it down 12 times in a row, you just did one set of 12 reps! Clear it up a little? O.K., now it’s written a little different when you see it in a program.

The number of sets comes first and then the number of reps per set. So to tell someone to do three sets of twelve reps it would look like this, (3×12). Sometimes you see this 3×10, 8, and 6. This means you do three sets in total but one at 10 reps the next at 8 reps and the last set at 6 reps, all spaced out by your determined rest period. Now I know some people are going, duh, I knew that! But it never hurts to explain.

So what’s cardio anyway?

Cardio is short for cardiovascular, and this is where you burn off some extra calories for fat loss or train the old ticker to work more efficiently so you won’t have a heart attack when your kid jumps out of the bath tub as your sitting on the can! What determines how intensely you do your cardio depends on the goal that you are training for. A lower heart rate is more for fat loss, while a higher heart rate works the ticker. I’ll tell you how to do this later. Just remember that I’m keeping this simple so we can get going.

Now, for the actual routine. You could start right off and do a billion sets, but chances are you’ll have to call in sick the next day due to chronic “I can’t moveness”. So what you do is start off with one set for each of the exercises during week one and two. Now, the only scientific proof for this method of mine I can offer is that if you don’t listen, you’ll be as stiff as molasses in January. Weeks three and four, you bump it up to two sets for each exercise. Don’t worry, at month two we “stop the insanity” with three sets.

How much weight should I use?

The most popular question I hate to hear! If I had 007 x-ray spy goggles, maybe I could tell you, but I don’t know how strong your muscles are! Seriously though, this is why the slow build up in the levels of volume in the routine. The first couple of weeks are for experimentation. On Monday for example, you would pick a ridiculously light weight and do your exercises. That was easy, you think. The next time in however, you take another guess at what you should try, something just a little heavier. Doing it this way you actually get six workouts in before you should have found a challenging weight, sooner is better though. On week three when you start doing multiple sets, do both sets with the same weight. Eventually you will be doing three sets with the same weight, for the same reps. This is when it is time to nudge your weight up a bit. Now remember, I said nudge, not use the whole stack plus little children for extra weight.

There is no time frame to get to the point of all three sets for the same reps, just keep putting in time until it happens. This is where it could get a little confusing if you weren’t the smart, good looking, intelligent person you are! (Never hurts to get a pat on the back right?) If you were doing 3 sets of twelve reps (we are) and you added some weight, you would probably get fewer reps than before because it’s heavier now. This is O.K. because you just stick with it until you get back to twelve reps. So, this is what it looks like. You were doing three sets of twelve with 100 pounds. Now on set one you use 105 pounds and get ten reps, that’s cool. Next week eleven reps, right? When you hit twelve again, you up the weight again! When the other sets become easy, you adjust the weight for them too.

Soon your weights look like this; 110 pounds for 12 reps, 110 pounds for 10 reps, and 105 for twelve reps. Next week it should be 115 for 10, 110 for 11, and 110 for 10. Now can you imagine explaining this every hour on the hour to someone new? Thus the motivation for the book How To Start Working Out!

This is important to remember. The weight you use should be determined by the amount of reps you are trying to do. The correct weight for you to use on a set of twelve reps is the weight that causes you to not be able to do another rep in good form after twelve reps.

When calculating up your weights when you record them in your book a lot of people are unsure about the weights of bars, machines and pulleys and how to figure it into their total weight lifted when they write it down. My way may not be the “right way” but it’s the standard I have used for years and as long as you stay with it as your “chalk line” it’s all you need. The big, long, straight bar, or “Olympic bar” is 45 pounds. The short crooked “e-z curl bar” is 15 pounds. Now where the guesswork comes in is with machines and pulleys. All I do to keep things simple is to count only the weight I put on the machine (not the weight of the machine itself because machines are all different, especially smith machines) or go by what the numbers on the stack say. After all, the only thing that matters is that you make a progression from what you have previously recorded as your weight in your journal.

Can we start yet?

This is a routine for the folks who say, “I’d like to lose the spare tire and maybe add a bit of muscle. I don’t want to look like those guys in the magazine though!” Actually, everyone should start off the same way regardless of their goals. You have to give the body a warning of what is coming. A whole body routine is the nuts and bolts of all training routines. What we do is take one exercise for each body part and do three sets of 15 reps with it. Now on week one, you may find that three sets is too much. This depends on the shape you are in. A nice way to tippy-toe into this is to do 1 set of everything for week 1, two sets of everything for weeks two and three. Finish it off by getting in all three sets by the end of the month. By the time month two has started, you should be doing three sets of 15 for every muscle group on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The routine is followed by 20 to 30 minutes of your preferred cardio.

Wait there is still more stuff to get a handle on! I hope I get all your questions answered here, but I always get surprised by a new one.

Rest between sets

I see folks always chatting to friends or answering their cell phones. This is a waste of everyone’s time. At the start of these routines, two minutes between sets is O.K., until you get accustomed, but never longer unless you are on a specific power routine. If I can breath normally after 45 seconds, I’ll start the next set, if not, I give myself up to a minute and 30 seconds. Of course there is always a balance, so don’t go lower than 45 seconds because if you can start before that, you were probably slacking on the effort of the first set!

Your max heart rate

Here is how you gauge your progress on the cardio. Take 220 minus your age and multiply it by 60%. That’s a great place to start. What you have here is 60% of your maximum heart rate. Let’s say your 40. 220-40= 180 (your max heart rate). 180x 60%=108. So there you are on the bike pedaling away, reach down to your wrist, find your pulse for 30 seconds, and multiply it by two. If you came up with 115 slow it down a little and vice versa. You can also get heart rate monitors you wear that will measure as you workout.
Warm-up! For all the routines here, it is wise and advisable to never rush into a workout without doing some sort of general whole body warm-up. This could be as simple as 10 minutes of low intensity cardio on your favorite machine just to get the blood flowing. Follow that up with some general stretching to get rid of any kinks and then off you go!

Next article, we’ll talk about the basics of stretching, how not to get confused with all the approaches and start getting flexible as well as strong.

Weight Loss, Anxiety, Despair And Anger

How Thinking Outside Big Box Fitness Will Make You Feel Good

Its pretty easy to get sucked into the belief that if you want to change your body then you have to lift weights 3 times a week and then do cardio in addition to that at least 4-5 times for half an hour. Does that sound familiar? Of course it does, because it works.

But it’s not the only way.

If it hasn’t worked for you in the past, it’s probably because it just doesn’t rock your socks off. In other words, you would rather be rubbing pickle juice on a paper cut than lifting weights.

As with anything in life that you are able to take to a highly successful level, you need to love the physical activity you are doing in order to stick with it and give it your all. You have to have a passion for your training. Don’t get stuck on that word either. Training brings up all kinds of images of an overpaid trainer barking orders or worse yet sitting back and having a cup of coffee counting reps while you feel like you’ve been beaten with a rubber hose. Now take a trip with me to the land of crosstraining for exercise and see how this tickles your fancy.

7:30 AM – Your eyes open and you have your first choice of the day. How you create your internal monologue. Choice one; Say, “Crap, its 7:30 already? I hate my job, I want to rollover and die.” Choice two; you open your eyes and look at the ceiling for a couple of moments. Just lay there. Then you sit up and put your hands over your head, breath deep and say, “I have a choice how I live my life and I choose happiness”. Now get out of bed and do 5 sun salutations being mindful of your breath and all thoughts that come into your head.

Getting your coffee out of the bottom cuppord takes a long, slow stretching squat. When you stand up, you’re already feeling a little more limber as you shake your legs out.

After reading that you had one of two reactions. You either thought that I was a bubbly fitness nut that was off his rocker or you thought that this all sounded exciting and cant wait till tomorrow to try it. Your reaction was a reflection of your internal level of happiness.

That was the first step to you taking control and dictating how your day is going to be. This first step states that you will not be blown around the whims and moods of others or even your own negative thoughts. You are taking the reigns and the biggest project you have on the go right now is, you.

My idea of crosstraining is not the same as the fitness industry. My idea is that if it involves activity then it can be part of your routine! How easy and fun is that? You have already done some bodyweight resistance training today and also got in some stretching with the five sun salutations. We all know that stretching makes your muscles look more sharp and perform better right? What would you like to do next? What is in the back of your mind that when you think of activity, fun, sports or exercise that comes to mind? The funny thing here is that whatever it is that pops into your head probably strikes the fear of god into you even though you think it would be really fun.

As humans we are kind of weird that way. It seems like whatever it is that we are truly drawn to and whatever it is that is truly best for us actually scares the pudding out of us.

The idea you have to wrap your head around is that you would never have a sense of accomplishment if the things you tried didn’t overwhelm you a bit in the beginning. Remember that. Fear and anxiety are signs of personal progression.

So what do you want to try today in your crosstraining? Maybe a walk at lunchtime? If that sounds doable then get to it. Go have a blast and burn some calories while you are at it. That can be your cardio for today. Of course depending on where you are at and your goals, maybe you should be running some wind sprints uphill. Maybe when you woke up this morning you were a little stiff and were thinking about giving yoga a try.

This is when your brain says, “Maybe no yoga because there will be all those skinny fitness yoga queens there and you don’t have a clue..” WAIT. Did you catch it? That’s right! The thoughts of fear and anxiety starting creeping in, but you caught them. Since we know that fear and anxiety are signs of personal progression and this in turn brings you towards your body image goals, what do you suggest you should do? Great job, go to yoga!

It sounds like a broken record to say this but crosstraining and fitness are lifestyle choices. Just like the choices you have made in your life before now that have taken you to this place. New lifestyle choices can take you to another. Where you want to go with your fitness and body is totally up to you. (I am willing to help you with any goal… just ask in the comments.)

How you want to get there is also totally up to you. In fact, whatever you want to get out of this life is placed squarely on your shoulders by the choices you make. Excuses are great, I use them sometimes too, but they only delay the arrival of a goal achieved.

Before I go I want to jam on one last point. It’s got to do with emotions and action. This will be my way of getting you to act instead of fertilize like a rotten yam in the bottom cupboard. There is an emotional ladder that ranks the emotions of a person by a series of steps towards personal evolution and success. The very bottom of the ladder is apathy and despair. Let that sink in.

The very worst emotion to sit around in and fertilize is apathy and despair. How do you get out, is the question. You step up the ladder to anger. Anger sounds bad and there are better emotions but when you are depressed and cant seem to break free the easiest way to take action is to get fed up with your present state and do something about it! Simply say, “I’m angry and I am going to do something about this hole I have dug myself into!”

Now of course we don’t want to be angry all the time, but you have to admit that getting angry and doing something that takes you towards your goals makes you feel real good!

It’s sure better than despair and anxiety.

I’m going to take off now, and I hope the above words helped you out. Just remember, what ever you can see in your mind, I’d love to help you see in the mirror.

You just need to say hi and ask below.

To Your Success,
Ray

Extreme Dieting And Training For Weight Loss: Big Mistake!

Why You Need To Slow Bake Your Cookies…

There is no single best way to get in shape; it is always a combined effort using a couple different systems of the body. This means that in order to burn fat fast but to do it safely, we have to eat right, do some aerobic exercise as well as resistance training.

From years of personal training I can tell you with certainty that if one of these three components is missing, your fat burning efforts will be slow to non-existent.

Now I have seen people try to get in shape and lose weight fast only using extreme dieting, however this weight comes back quickly and usually with a few extra pounds to make for a comfortable stay. Not only is this not the best way or even the fastest way for weight loss but also it is very unsafe. The systems of the body do not like to lose weight in this fashion and will rebel.

So how does one go about burning fat as quick as possible using the mentioned methods?

Let’s talk about eating right for maximum fat burning first. Despite popular opinion, I don’t feel frequency of feeding matters that much. Quality is more important. The more processed it is, the worse it is. If you eat healthy whole foods you will get all the fat, carbohydrates as well as protein you need.

Another of the best things you can do to burn off fat quickly is incorporate aerobic exercise into your schedule. That, or train quickly so your resistance training is also cardio. Any activity that gets you breathing harder than normal for a duration of 30 minutes to an hour is cardio.

Separate aerobic activity allows you to burn more overall calories than you can with only resistance training. The reason is because you can resistance train every day without risking burnout, but you still need to be moving to burn calories. That’s where the cardio comes in. It’s not so stressful but still put a draw on your caloric requirements for the day.

So along with your aerobic exercise like walking or jogging you are going to do some resistance training. This does not have to be complicated. A workout program only has to put a little more stress than usual on your muscles to be effective. This could be as simple as doing some Bodyweight Squats, Pushups on your knees, Sit-ups or crunches and Calf Raises on some stairs.

Here is a quick recap of what I said above. Eat healthy unprocessed foods. Do some resistance training. Get some low intensity cardio in on your off training days. Do those steps for a couple months and you’ll be far ahead of the gimmick followers.

The Big Trick Is Moderation

Think about the number of times you have started off with both guns blazing and then ran out of ammunition. I know the answer, I do this for a living. What happens is that most people figure they are going to lose 30 pounds in 30 days and they are going to kick butt to do it. So they start off all fired up, get real sore, their immune system crashes, they get sick and then they give up. Wow, that was like I had a camera following you, scary. It’s just that it happens to a lot of people.

So how do you avoid revving the engine and running out of gas? You avoid rapid starts and stops. Ease onto the gas, and maintain steady pressure. You only need to do resistance training a couple of times a week along with 3–4 cardio sessions to realize your physical goals. It doesn’t matter if its weight loss or muscle gain, the principles still apply. Don’t rush the cookies! You can’t crank the stove to 600 degrees and get home made cookies in 3 minutes. They will burn. You’ll burn out too if you rush your way to achieving your goals.

Here is the recap to success for changing your body. Get the information you need to achieve your desired goal that you have picked out. Make a plan with success markers along the way. Believe every step of the way that you are going to get the reflection in the mirror that you’ve been dreaming about. Do the steps even if you’re not in the mood.

Never let anyone shake your confidence with bogus advice and remember to slow bake your cookies!

7 Specific And Actionable Tips For Losing Fat That You Can Use Right Now

Welcome to the first part of my fat loss “ULTRA Quick-Start” guide. This guide is 7 specific tips, tricks and secrets to get you jump started FAST so you can lose fat and get in the best shape of your life. This quick-results mini guide is intended for everyone who needs to get up to speed as quickly as possible! Let’s get started.

In the next few articles after this one, I will share with you more details on my personal experiences with why these tips work and how to implement them easily.

For now, here are just the facts on the 7 specific tips and tricks to jump start your fat loss!

1 – Resistance Makes You Stronger And Hotter. Both metabolism and appearance wise. Resistance training is not only going to help you burn calories while you are doing the actual act of training but also when you are not due to increased muscle mass consuming calories to maintain itself.

Resistance training can be done many ways but as long as you push a muscle outside its comfort zone, then mission accomplished. This means you can either train at home or anywhere using only your body weight or you can pay for a gym membership and workout there.
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How To Lose Arm Fat Fast

lose arm fatIf you want to know how to lose arm fat fast, this is how to do it. A nice lean set of arms will naturally happen as your overall fitness improves, but there is one specific exercise for flabby arms that I want to share today. This exercise, along with reducing overall body fat, will bring those arms into super shape and make you look forward to going sleeveless.
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