So you started gym recently or plan to go. Confused. Overwhelmed with all machines and old timers grunting and lifting big weights.
Here are a few things you should do
- First Know your MHR. The best formula is 211 – 0.64* age. So for me its 211- 0.64*54 = 176.
MHR is max hear rate beyond which you red-line your heart. Don’t do anything to cross that.
- Next question that is there – how long to do? Some experts say 45 mins is overkill. I don’t agree as I believe there is no correct answer to this. Note down exercises you will do and reps. Don’t pick up your phone. Don’t gossip in between your sets. Don’t let your heart rate fall below 50% MHR ( which means you are taking too much rest).There after do as long as you don’t finish your plan. Typically as a beginner to intermediate state you will finish off in 60 mins to tire out whatever body part you are doing. Thumb rule – Do at least 5 different exercises, 4 sets each. 5-10 mins of warm up and stretching. Couple of days add ab workouts to that.
- If you plan to do cardio also with weight training – end with cardio. If getting lean and losing weight is your goal then you must do cardio after weight training. Always lift more when you are strongest. I can many reasons for this but that’s for another blog. Lot of people do cardio to warm up for weights. If your cardio feels like ‘warm up’ then its meaning less.
- Higher Reps or more weights? This is another irrevelent question. Its about volume. The first condition to be satisfied , to get any output, is muscle fiber rapture. Which happens when you load the muscles to a higher degree than last time. Now how to define load. Load is basically No of reps X weight. So if you are doing some workout – 3 sets of 10 reps each with 5 kgs then your load is 10*5 + 10*5 + 10*5 = 150. Next time when you do if you do 3 sets of 8 reps with 6 Kgs, you will feel I have increased weight but that’s not effective as your load is less 8*6 + 8*6 + 8*6 = 144. SO to load higher we need to exceed the total of 150.
- How much rest between sets? First need to know why rest? Its not for muscle recovery. Its to stabilize your cardio vascular system. To bring the heart rate down. Keep your MHR between 45- 80% of your MHR. As you become fitter your heart will become larger and it will become more efficient at pumping blood.
- What to eat pre, post and during workout? Before a workout you need energy, during a workout you need hydration and after workout you need repair. Eat 90 mins before a workout things like apple, whole wheat toast or sweet potato. During workout sip enough water. Post workout take protein rich diet. Your body needs protein to repair.