Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Workout Essentials

Off late, I have been bombarded with emails and questions about work out programs and what works best etc. Although most of the emails and questions are quite unique in nature, I did notice one similar trend in almost all the questions. Almost everyone asked me why is it that we stop seeing positive results after a while. So for this week’s post, I thought I would tackle this issue by providing all of you with information on what is essential for a workout routine. Hopefully this will serve as a guide and will help you to correct your current routine and start seeing amazing results. So here are some tips on what your workout should have for it to be an effective one

Keep your workout to an hour

Sometimes in life, we feel that more is better. For example, having more money is of course better than having less money. Though generally that is true, but that is not the case when it comes to working out. Yes, more is better, but only up to a point. After that, your body’s ability to respond to the given exercise reduces dramatically. On top of that, doing too much can be counterproductive as your body starts becoming more catabolic. For me, I like to keep my workouts short but intense. Just because it’s a 1 hour workout, doesn’t mean it can’t be effective. Keep your workouts to about an hour or less if possible, but make it count

Progressive Improvement

When you first start working out, you would probably start at a pace which you are comfortable with. Now it’s OK to start slow, but it’s important to progress as you go along. If you started with bench pressing 30 pounds for 10 reps and 6 months later you are still doing the same thing, then that’s not going to work. When it comes to seeing continued improvement, you need to keep getting yourself out of your comfort zone. If you can run 20 minutes without breaking a sweat, then you need to up it till it becomes challenging again. Your body is constantly trying to adapt itself to whatever stress you throw at it. The problem is, once it adapts to the stress, you are going to stop seeing results. So push yourself when you are in the gym or when you workout. Stop doing light bicep curls and before you even feel anything you put down the weights and call it a set. That’s not going to work. Continuously challenge yourself and aim to reach higher levels.

Mixing it up

Now besides making it more difficult as your move along, it’s also important to mix up your routine from time to time. If you usually ride the exercise bike for 20 minutes, try switching it to running on the treadmill for 20 minutes or using the elliptical. If you always do bench press, try switching it dumbbell flies for a change. The point is, by changing the exercise, we are essentially using our muscles differently and that again helps to prevent our body from adapting and thus allowing us to continuously see results. Whether you are training to gain muscle mass or lose weight, mixing it up really works wonders. How often should you change it up? Ideally you should change it around every 3 or 4 months. Or you can change it whenever you hit a plateau in your workout. But don’t change it up for every workout as this will be counterproductive. So be creative and keep mixing it up from time to time.


No workout routine is complete without the proper nutrition added to it. If you are trying to gain muscle mass and don’t eat enough protein, you can lift as much as you want, but you will never see results. It’s just plain science. If you are trying to lose weight and you keep eating more and more, you are not going to see results. So tailor your nutrition plan based on your goals. AND YES, nutrition is very very important to the whole equation. Your results are only as effective as how good you feed yourself. So remember that. Working out is only one part of the equation, the bigger and more important portion is what you do after your workout when you walk out of the gym.

So there you have it, some simple tips that need to be considered whenever you plan your workout. If you want the results, you need to ensure that you follow the tips above. If you want to continue seeing results till you reach your goals, you must follow the 4 tips above. So go through your current workout routine and make the changes you need to ensure that it meets all the requirements above. If it does, then I guarantee you will see amazing results all the time. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments


Thanish Rama said...

Hi Rajan,

I've been reading your blog about 2months now and your posts are really great. thanks for all the tips and i'm actually going through all your post from beginning.

Free Fly said...

Very useful tips!
By the way...would you be interested in making a link exchange? If you want, please add my blog with the title Bodybuilding for All and then tell me how to add your site. Thanks!

Groomy said...

Thanks!! I loved reading your blog. I will take care these tips in mind while doing my workout. I prefer doing workout in comfortable workout tights and stretchable tops so that I can make perfect posture. Loved tip of progressive improvement most!