At this point you have completed over 80% of the exercise program! You’ve completed a total of 36 workout sessions in 10 weeks. Only 8 more workouts to go and you’ve finished the entire program! If you haven’t started rewarding yourself and celebrating your efforts so far … YOU SHOULD!!
With only two weeks left to go, this is the perfect time to take a step back and think about what you’ve accomplished. Find a quiet place and review the following:
- What you looked like and how you felt before you started the program.
- Pictures of yourself that were taken over the holidays.
- Journal entries that state how you were feeling (physically, mentally, emotionally).
- Measurements you had taken prior to starting the program.
- Goals or objectives you wrote down that you wanted to achieve by completing the program.
Now, compare that information with:
- How you look and feel now.
- Pictures you’ve taken recently.
- Journal entries celebrating your victories.
- Measurements you’ve taken recently.
- Your progress towards your goals and objectives.
It’s easy to not see the differences that have accumulated over the past two and a half months. Take the time to recognize them and celebrate your amazing victories!
This week you will maintain the volume of work and you continue challenging the body. Still mix up the exercises and change the order of major muscle groups to keep things fresh for your muscles. You can also try adding more challenge (if you are ready for it) by increasing the weight, the number of sets or the number of repetitions for each exercise. Get the most out of each workout by challenging yourself with each opportunity. Just be sure to be safe and conscious of your limitations to avoid a costly injury or set back.
If you need to access previous workouts in this program, click the following links:
12 Week Home Exercise Program – Week Eleven
The “12 Week Home Exercise Program” is designed using 2011 ACSM Exercise Guidelines and Recommendations. Below is the program to be completed within a 7 day time period (a total of 4 workout sessions). The workout sheet provided includes all of the exercises to be completed during the week. You have to option to choose which exercises you complete during each of the workout sessions (with the goal of completing everything on the checklist). The recommended workout session format for the week is:
- Session #1: Cardio (35 minutes), Strength (6 exercises including: legs, back, chest, shoulders, arms and core), Functional Training (4 exercises), and Flexibility (4 exercises)
- Session #2: Cardio (35 minutes), Strength (6 exercises including: legs, back, chest, shoulders, arms and core), Functional Training (4 exercises), and Flexibility (4 exercises)
- Session #3: Cardio (35 minutes), Strength (6 exercises including: legs, back, chest, shoulders, arms and core), Functional Training (4 exercises), and Flexibility (4 exercises)
- Session #4: Cardio (45 minutes) and Strength (6 exercises including: legs, back, chest, shoulders, arms and core)
Workouts can be scheduled on the days (and times) of the week that are the most convenient and realistic. Be sure to include at least 36 hours in between each workout.
To download a PDF copy of this program, click here.
For information on the exercises included in this program (i.e. descriptions, images and/or video) click here.
Cardiovascular Training Recommendations
Cardiovascular exercise is any type of exercise that challenges the heart and lungs. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends a total of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. Recommendations for cardiovascular exercise include:
- 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
- One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
Throughout the “12 Week Home Exercise Program” you will gradually work towards the 150 minute per week goal. By week ten you are completing the full 150 minutes. You have the option to increase the number of cardio minutes if you choose (but do not overextend yourself to avoid possible overuse injury).
Strength Training Recommendations
This strength training program includes exercises that challenge each major muscle group (acting in opposing pairs). Schedule a minimum of 36 hours in between each workout (i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) to allow for proper rest and recovery times. The strength training program is based on the following:
- Load: 60 to 70% of 1RM (one rep. maximum load)
- Repetitions: 10 to 15 repetitions
- Sets: 2 to 3 sets
- Rest: 2 to 3 minutes rest (in between sets)
- Speed: moderate contraction speeds (1-2-3 / 1-2-3)
- Frequency: 2 sessions (average of 60 minutes/session)
The exercises included in the strength training program are designed to accommodate an “at home” routine. The only equipment required for this program is resistance tubing for the strength exercises. For a set of resistance tubing (with handles) the cost is under $25.00.
Cool Down & Stretching Recommendations
The main purpose of cooling down is to bring breathing, body temperature and heart rate back to normal slowly. During the cool down routine you are allowing the blood to properly redistribute itself to the heart. This redistribution helps rid the muscles of lactic acid which can build up around the muscles during an aerobic workout.
If you stop exercising abruptly, blood can pool around the muscles of the legs causing insufficient blood flow and oxygen to the brain which can make you feel light-headed and dizzy. Dizziness, nausea and feeling worn out are common symptoms of an improper or no cool down period.
An effective cool down will also include your flexibility exercises. At the end of your workout your muscles will be warm for a deeper and more beneficial stretch.
The Next Step …
You have two more full weeks of hard work to go. It will start to feel easier and it can be easy to relax. This is a crucial time where you need to stay on track and more laser focused than ever! Stay tuned for “12 Week Home Fitness Program – Week Twelve”!