How’s your new year fitness regime panning out? I imagine you’re reading this with wobbly legs and a pounding heart after clocking 100 burpees or running a half marathon, or maybe you’re stood on the scales smiling at the numbers staring back at you… Earth to Sarah! OK, OK, I admit it, it’s not that easy to achieve any fitness goal – and it’s made even more complicated by the fact that we’re all heading towards a different finish line. Some of us want to burn unwanted blubber, while others simply want to make it through a tough event in one piece. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to working out. but fiddle with the right workout variables for your fitness aims and you’ll achieve better results, getting more rewards from every exercise session. Here’s howto make every mile, set, rep and minute count.
REPS VS LOAD
When it comes to strength training, this is the big one: you’ve conquered a new workout and you want to make it a little tougher, do you (1) do more reps per set or (2) add more weight? The answer comes down to one question: what’s your objective? Do you want greater strength or improved endurance? If it’s stamina you’re after, lift a lighter weight for more repetitions. This will result in a greater total amount of work, meaning you’re boosting muscular endurance through exercising for longer. Your muscles should feel fatigued after two to three sets of 12-16 repetitions. If it’s strength you want, opt for a heavier weight for two to six sets of four to eight reps. This will ensure your muscles produce a greater force against a single resistance, meaning your strength increases. Hurrah.
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TIME VS DISTANCE
This is a big conundrum for cardio queens: do you set the treadmill for 30 minutes or five miles? Actually, you need to do both. The trick is to match your speed to the / Match your V speed to the type of workout you’re I doing. Long-distance? k Go steady, but with perfect form. type of workout you’re doing. If you’re training for a short time, up the tempo to increase the intensity of your workout and burn more calories. 11 you’re training for a long distance or set number of repetitions, do it steadily but with perfect form. From a practical standpoint, training to distance is essential for those who have a measurable goal, such as a marathon. It also provides a tangible target for weight lifting fans. Of course, there’s the practical aspect of training ‘for time’ – it’s easy to fit this kind of workout into an allotted lunch hour or set time of day. Ensure you’re getting a good mix of both variables, to progress and avoid a psychological plateau.
IACTIVE VS STATIC RESTI
How much rest should you take? Should you even rest at all? If you’re new to exercise or want to get stronger, it’s essential to give your body time to fully recover before each near-maximal effort. Aim for 30-90 seconds of stationary rest (your breathing rate should have returned to normal) or wear a heart rate monitor to measure your recovery. If your aim is to improve endurance, either through weight training or cardio exercise, the less rest you take, the better. Aim for 30-60 seconds of active or stationary rest, and play around with reducing the recovery between sets to challenge your body,
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