When training it’s important to know what your goals are. Working with a trainer can help you identify your goals if you aren’t sure. More importantly, however, working with a trainer can help you to most efficiently reach those goals.
Fitness goals can be broken down into 4 broad categories: muscular endurance, hypertrophy, muscular strength, and muscular power. Often a novice will not know what their goal is in these terms. Rather they may say things like “I want to have better endurance” or “I want to increase my stamina.” In this case they would want to work on muscular endurance. Perhaps, like me, their goal is to build larger muscles. “I want my arms to be bigger.” This is referred to as hypertrophy. Muscular strength is just what it sounds like – building stronger muscles. Older people can especially benefit from this kind of workout. They may express as in being able to carry their golf clubs, shopping bags, etc or being better able to walk up and down stairs. Building muscular power is a more advanced process and is especially useful for athletes.
Regardless of what your goal is, working with a trainer is the best way to help you meet your goals. Each of these previously mentioned goals require different types of workouts with different frequencies and different exercise selection. Even the order in which you work out different body parts can play a crucial role. I’ve wasted years of exercising listening to the Men’s health magazines and the fad workouts with very little success. Doing it on my own just didn’t get me the results I wanted. I wasted a lot of time and money in the process.
On a personal note, I’ve changed up my goal a bit as of late. I am now a firm believer in using intermittent fasting in addition to eating a well balanced, clean meal as a means of slimming down. Now that I’ve spent a few weeks focusing on cleaning up my diet, I’m focusing on building more muscle. I’ve been reading that the most effective way to do this is to calculate your 1 rep maximum weight resistance (for certain types of exercises) and do about 6-8 reps at about 65-80% your max weight. To be honest I’ve been estimating how much to lift most of my life. I’ve also been focusing on trying to do at least 10 reps. This is a difficult habit to break. I’ve decided to be more proactive in recording how much I lift and calculating the appropriate resistance. There are several ways to calculate this, but today I just added weight until I could barely lifted it and did a quick calculation to get roughly the correct weight. I noticed a big difference in how much I was lifting. We will see if combining this technique with a high protein diet creates more bulk. To keep better track of how much I’m lifting, I downloaded an app from the apple store called Fitness Buddy. You can check it out here.
I’ve tried other apps but I like this one better because it comes with customizable workouts, allows you to create your own, and includes animations to help you with form. The selection of exercises is pretty exhaustive as well. There are many ways to look up different exercises by muscle groups too. Again, I wouldn’t recommend doing this willy nilly, however. Flying by the seat of your pants and going solo is a great way to waste your time and eventually burn out.