What Exercise is Right for You?

Posted: January 30, 2013 by Justin M. Strawn in Encouragement
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Everyone approaches exercise from a completely different perspective. Choosing the right workout or exercise program will go a long way towards getting you to your goals. You will also find that your goals may change as you exercise which might mean that the type of exercise you do will change. Here are some things to keep in mind, depending on what you want to accomplish.

Trimming Down

Treadmills are great ways to get your cardio done.

Treadmills are great ways to get your cardio done.

If you are looking to lose weight without looking like a professional body builder, cardio will be your best friend. There are lots of cardio machines that will help get you going with cardio exercise. The best example is a treadmill, but there are others: stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and stair climbers are just a few. You don’t have to buy big fancy equipment though. You can walk, run, or jog without purchasing one thing (with maybe the exception of some good running shoes if you don’t have some already).

Some people who are only trying to lose weight are afraid to do any strength training because they are afraid they will get too big or won’t lose weight. It isn’t something I would suggest however. Doing some basic strength training will help your body burn the fat that you hate so much. Yes, it is true that the numbers on the scale might fall more slowly, but your body will get smaller. If you compared two men, both of whom were 6’0″ tall and weighed 185 pounds, but one did a small amount of strength training and the other didn’t, you would notice that the one who did would look smaller than the other. You will probably like the way you look more as well. It also doesn’t require a huge investment to do simple strength training. A small set of resistance bands will allow you to get some basic toning in.

Getting Big

Pumping some iron can build a lot of muscle.

Pumping some iron can build a lot of muscle.

You may be the opposite, you want to build as much muscle as you possibly can. If that’s the case, you need to start doing some weight lifting. Weight lifting is a great way to put some added muscle on your body. You can do some weight lifting with resistance bands, but you are probably going to have to invest in some dumbbell bars that you can adjust the weight to and some weight plates. You can go all out and get a Bowflex or some other type of weight bench, but it isn’t completely necessary. My advice to these people is the same as those wanting to trim down, don’t skip out on Cardio. The more weight you add to your body, whether or not it’s fat or muscle, will put added pressure on your heart. To keep it pumping properly, it needs to exercise and nothing does that better than Cardio work.

Exercise Programs

If you use an exercise program, make sure you choose one from the right intensity level.

If you use an exercise program, make sure you choose one from the right intensity level.

There are lots of exercise programs out there. Many of them are specialized and many of them vary in intensity levels. If you plan to start one, do some research before you make your purchase and plop sown all that money because they can be expensive. If you are just getting started, you might not want to try the more advanced programs out there. You can always work your way up to an Insanity or P90X.

The benefit to a program is that it gives you structure and guidance. You don’t have to wonder what types of exercise you need to that day because your program will already have it laid out for you. It takes a lot of the guess-work out of it.

What I Do

Currently, I am in week 4 of the Insanity program. I am not sure if he created it or not, but Shaun T is the guy who instructs on the videos. It’s tough, but like all exercise programs, the more you do it, the better it gets. It’s a lot of Plyometric stuff, which means a lot of jumping, lower body, core work, and simply using gravity as a way to strengthen your body. It was originally designed to train Olympic athletes, so you know going into it that it is going to be intense. I didn’t just start with Insanity though. I worked my way up to be able to do a program like that, and even though I am in week 4, it still wears me completely out.

Plyometric Exercises push your body to the limit.

Plyometric Exercises push your body to the limit.

Before Insanity, I spent a year and a half doing P90X. It combines both strength training and cardio work. It is also hard, and I thought I would never find anything harder than it until I met Insanity. I definitely got stronger from week to week as went through the program. I could barely lift anything close to what Tony Horton, the Instructor for it, was lifting, but by the time I finished my last round I was a lot closer to matching him. I never got as high on the weights as he was, but it wasn’t too far off.

If doing one of these programs, you will need to check your ego at the door. When you first start, you probably won’t be able to keep up with the instructor or the people demoing the movements. That can be deflating, especially if you think you are in really good shape before you get started. You will improve and it will get better. That wasn’t the first thing I did however.

The first thing I did was hop on an exercise bike six days a week. Three days a week, I did some basic strength training with a Bowflex we had bought. I did this for about four years before I switched over to P90X. It got me started to where I wanted to be. My fitness levels got better each and every week and I saw the pounds drop. Once I reached my goal weight, my goals for exercise changed. I wanted to get stronger and build muscle, so I made the switch to P90X.

You will have lots of ups and downs as you go through your battle with weight and exercise. You have to start somewhere. With perseverance and dedication, you can accomplish your fitness goals. Have a great day ladies and gentlemen and may all of your fitness dreams come true!

Justin

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Comments
  1. Melanie says:

    I love P90x and Insanity. They are so tough! Great post!

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