Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first three weeks of the “12 Week Home Exercise Program”! By now you are familiar with the format of the program and are getting comfortable doing the required exercises. The workouts are fitting nicely into your weekly schedule and you may also be noticing some changes in your body!
But … don’t get too comfortable! This is the time you need to be extra diligent and focused on the program and staying on track!
You may have heard that it takes about 28 days to break a habit. That is unfortunately a myth. Recent research shows that on average it takes 66 days to make a new behavior a true habit. Keep in mind that the actual number of days it takes for each person to create a new habit varies but in this study it took as few as 18 days and as long as 245 days to break an old habit and create a new one.
Regardless, stay focused and committed to the program! You are going into the fourth week of the program where you continue to add more time to your cardiovascular exercise. You are still completing the same strength exercises but keep it interesting by changing up the order of the exercises or increasing the weights as you get stronger.
If you need to access previous workouts in this program, click the following links:
12 Week Home Exercise Program – Week Four
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 3 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 (30 minutes), Strength (6 exercises including: legs, back, chest, shoulders, arms and core), Functional Training (4 exercises), and Flexibility (4 exercises)
- Session #2: Cardio (30 minutes), Strength (6 exercises including: legs, back, chest, shoulders, arms and core), Functional Training (4 exercises), and Flexibility (4 exercises)
- Session #3: Cardio (30 minutes)
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.
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’re one-third of the way to the finish line! Stay tuned for “12 Week Home Fitness Program – Week Five”!