At some point you’re going to have to admit it … you haven’t started the exercise program that’s been on your “New Year’s Resolution” list for the past few years (and you still haven’t crossed it off). The “New Year. New YOU!” Exercise Program is the perfect solution for you (and others just like you)! TodaysFitnessTrainer.com has designed a 12 week exercise program for anyone starting a new exercise program (looking to improve cardiovascular endurance, build muscular strength, and improve balance, stability, total body coordination, and flexibility).
This program uses current American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM) exercise guidelines and is designed to include the proper combination of frequency, intensity, time, and type of exercise for optimal total body results. So … whether you’re new to exercise or a fitness veteran just looking for something new to add into the workout “mix”, this program is a great way to start the year off right!
Exercise Program – Minimal Equipment Required
The exercises included in the strength training program are designed to accommodate an “at home” routine. The equipment required for this program include two evenly weighted objects (i.e., dumbbells, kettle bells, or water/sand filled jugs) and resistance tubing with handles. Evenly weighted objects can be made at little to no cost. Resistance tubing costs under $25.00. An exercise mat is recommended but a clean, carpeted area can also be used.
Warm-Up & Stretching
The purpose of an effective warm-up is to prepare the body for more strenuous activity, enhance performance, and prevent potential injury. The warm-up, consisting of 5 to 10 minutes of light-to-moderate intensity aerobic and muscular activity, is a transitional phase that allows the body to adjust to the changing physiological, biomechanical, and energy system demands placed on it during exercise.
Stretching is a form of physical exercise designed to deliberately stretch specific muscles or tendons to improve elasticity and tone. Repeated movements through a joint’s complete range of motion can increase joint range or prevent loss of motion. A static stretch, the position in which a slight stretch occurs, should be held for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeated 3 to 5 times on each side of the body. To stretch effectively, a total body routine, addressing all major muscle groups, should take approximately 10 minutes to stretch.
- Stationary rowing
The strength training component of this exercise 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 20 repetitions (depending on the progression)
- 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: 3 sessions (average of 40 minutes/session)
The exercises selected for this program can be found in the ACE Exercise Library (American Council on Exercise). This is a comprehensive library with easy-to-understand instructions and pictures.
Cool Down & Stretching
The main purpose of a proper cool down is to gradually bring breathing, body temperature and heart rate back to normal. 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. An effective cool down includes low-intensity aerobic activity and stretching exercises. At the end of your workout your muscles will be warm for a deeper and more beneficial stretch.
Change begins with the very first step, but consistent effort and commitment to the program over time will yield results. Stick to the program and finish what you start. Like pennies in a jar, each repetition, each mile on the treadmill, and every tuck jump you complete adds up to a newer, stronger, and better YOU for 2014 and beyond!