Effective gym workout

How to Create an Effective Gym Workout

Big Al's Fitness Tip of the Month, Workout Advice

Are you getting the most out of your workouts? Do you have an effective gym workout regimen?

Developing a workout routine for yourself can seem like a daunting task. This article will serve as a guide to taking the guess work out of developing the best workout regime for you.

Assess Your Situation

The first step to your goal body is to take stock of where you are now. Who better to know what works best for you than you! What does your current exercise regime consist of? Is it working for you? Are you getting closer towards your goals? These are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you build a routine that is best for your needs.

Set A Realistic Time Frame

How much time are you willing to dedicate to the gym each week? An hour a day sounds good in theory but is it realistic when you consider your other time commitments?

30 – 40 minutes of vigorous exercise should be enough time to get in a good workout if you use your time wisely.

Busy schedule? Read our tips on finding time in your schedule for the gym.

Focus On Key Areas

You should begin each workout session knowing which areas you will be exercising that day. The ultimate goal is to complete a full body routine by the end of the week. Below are a few suggested exercises based on a targeted body area:

  • Legs– deadlifts, barbell back squats, lunges, leg press, box jumps.
  • Chest and shoulders– incline bench cable fly, barbell bench press, flat bench dumbbell press, push ups, dips.
  • Arms – chin ups, pull-ups, barbell curl, dumbbell rows.
  • Core – planks, sit ups, side planks, crunches, mountain climbers.

For a full body workout, pick one exercise from each category. Make sure to add some variety by picking a different exercise with each session. Looking to mix up your routine, check out these eight exciting pieces of exercise equipment to try.

Do the Right Amount of Sets and Reps

To burn fat and build muscle, it’s best to do three – five sets per exercise with eight to fifteen repetitions for each set. If you can breeze through fifteen reps, make the exercise a bit more challenging by adding some weights.

For the most efficient use of your time focus on doing fifteen to twenty-five sets, total (ex. Three sets with 10 reps each) spread out over five or six different exercises, anything more than that can be overkill.

Rest Between Sets

Your rest period between sets will depend on the amount of reps you do for each exercise. Here are a few tips on waiting times.

  • Three – five minutes rest after one – three reps
  • Two – three minutes rest after four – seven reps
  • One – two minutes rest after eight – twelve reps
  • One minute or less rest after thirteen or more reps.

Determine How Much Weight to Lift

If you are obsessed with weight training, you know that when it comes to choosing weights, finding the right balance is key. You’ll discover this through a process of trial and error. As a rule of thumb, lift enough to make it through the set but not so much that you’re completely burned out by the end of each set. If you’re starting a new exercise, its best to go with a lighter weight.

Done with your workout? Make sure that you set aside time to cool down after your exercise.