Ok so the headline suggests nothing new or groundbreaking that you haven't heard somewhere in your life before. But do you know which exercises to do? How often should you exercise? How many reps should you do for each exercise? What is a rep in your exercise routine? How many sets and what is set? What body parts do include in my exercise routine? Ugh, the insanity of needing to know so much exercising just to lose some weight!
Let me break it down for you to be as simple as possible. I have found in my own experiences that the more complicated you make something the less likely it will be followed. Nothing holds truer than exercising and losing weight.
To start lets identify the muscle groups that you need to workout in your exercise program. They are the chest, triceps (back of the upper arm), back, biceps (front of the upper arm), legs and abdominals. Keeping it simple these are the muscle groups that I will focus on this article. You can make it more complicated but you really don't need to unless you are training for the Olympics. If you are training for the Olympics than I recommend hiring a personal trainer as the training and exercise routine you will need is beyond the scope of this article.
Now that you know the muscle groups to work, you need to know the basics of the routine you are going to put together. Let's start with a rep. A rep is short for repetition. It means the number of times you will perform a specific exercise. For example for biceps you could do dumbbell curls. This is where you grab a dumbbell in your hand and starting with your arm full extended at your side you lift the weight up until the dumbbell touches your chest or your arm is full bent upwards. That would be considered one rep. So if you have a routine that says do ten reps of dumbbell curls, you would repeat what you just did ten times.
A set is a grouping of reps. If you have a routine that says to do one set of ten reps of dumbbell curls then you would do just ten reps and the exercise routine would be done. If it calls for three sets of ten reps you do ten reps, followed by a minute rest, then another ten reps followed by a minute rest and then the final ten reps which would complete three sets.
Since we have already determined you are not training for the Olympics then we can keep your routine simple, yet challenging. All you need to do is work each muscle group 3 days a week. I do Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The days off in between give your muscles time to recuperate and rebuild.
So here is what you learned thus far. You know the muscle groups that need to be worked; you know all of the terminology about your exercise routine and when to exercise. Now all you need to know is how much you should do.
If you are starting out with weights for the first time or first time in a long time, then start off slow. Choose a low weight performing one set of ten to twelve reps. If you can't get up ten reps then the weight is too heavy. You are not trying to hurt yourself here. You are trying to get in shape and lose weight.
If you can do more than twelve reps than the weight is too light in your routine. Increase the weight you are using. Your first couple of weeks will be a feeling out period. During this time you are establishing the correct weight you need and reps you should do.
Once that feeling out period ends, you should continue to challenge yourself by adding sets to your exercises. There is no need to do more than 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps for an exercise. Any more than that and it is overkill.
If you do not have the time to do all of those sets and all of those reps for each body part than that is fine, simply increment your weight. In order for your muscles to grow you must change what you are doing every 6 weeks or so. You can do this by upping the weights on your routine. This also continually challenges you keeping your routines fresh.
Sure this information won't make you the next Mr. Universe or Miss America but it will put you on the right track to a healthy lifestyle through proper exercise.
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