What muscle groups should I work? How often should I lift or do cardio? Can I lift two days in a row? These are questions I hear a lot. And the answers will vary greatly depending on your goal. But, I find that for the majority of people (at least the ones I work with) their goal is general strength and fitness. In my opinion the general worker outer is putting too much stress into what to do, when to do it, how to get it done, etc. and this can often overwhelm them.
It’s great to have some guidance though, so here is a quick guide to general fitness goals:
- MOVE: find a way to add more movement into your daily life:
- Daily walks – 20+ minutes in am, lunch, or after dinner
- Walk to errands – grocery store, Walgreens, the Park, or park in furthest spot of parking lot
- Take an extra trip up the stairs each time you use them. Use the stairs instead of elevator
- FIND WORKOUTS YOU ENJOY: If you like your workout you are more likely to stick with it. Could be:
- Working with a personal trainer (this is a great way to
- Group classes
- Workout videos
- Working out with a friend
- SCHEDULE IT: Have your workouts/movement in your calendar as standing appointments and treat them like a dr. appointment or work meeting. They should be a priority
- LIFT: Strength training is so important and so good for you. Lift 1-3 times a week (depending on how often you can realistically do it).
- Compound movements – work multiple muscle groups to help build strength and get your heart rate up. Plus, it works more muscle groups in less time! This is a great option for a quicker workout and a great way to burn more calories and fat.
- Work with a trainer or physical therapist at least once to find out what muscle imbalances you may have and what exercises you can do to improve those
- Work all muscle groups: chest, back (upper/mid/lower), shoulders, bicep, tricep, abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, calves.
- Work in all planes of motion: frontal (side to side), sagittal (forward/backward), and transverse (rotational)
- Challenge yourself: once you’ve established a base try going a little heavier or faster or doing more reps/sets.
- Cardio: in addition to daily movement try getting in 2-3 cardio sessions each week. This can be 20 min. of mindful walking, elliptical, cycling, stairs, running, a dance or kickboxing class. Again, find what you like doing.
- Bored with cardio? Add intervals, do sprints, do it with a friend, take a class, listen to a podcast or motivating music, watch TV.
Everyone’s ideal week will look different and your ideal week may change depending on what life has in store for you at the moment. Generally, for me an ideal week would look like this:
- Monday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (between clients)
- Tuesday: 20-60 min. cardio (either at 5am, during kids nap, or after they go to bed)
- Wednesday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (between clients)
- Thursday: walking stairs (60-100 flights) during son’s weekly appointment
- Friday: rest or long walk (with daughter in stroller, or during nap)
- Saturday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (usually in basement while husband feeds kids breakfast)
- Sunday: rest or additional cardio session (long walk with family on way to park)
Need help planning your perfect week? Let’s talk – firstname.lastname@example.org