A Great Workout
Recently I was approached by Petro at ETB Fit to describe my current workout and what I do before and afterwards to maximize success. They feature different bloggers on their social media sites each month so I was happy to oblige when they reached out to me. If you're in need of pre workout supplements, check them out.
My workout continually evolves, but I am currently doing an upper/lower body split routine, 3 times a week. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I do resistance training. Tuesdays and Thursdays I do cardio. Saturdays I typically fit some kind of exercise in, but it is usually fun and different. I would classify this workout routine as "intermediate" level, as I have been workout out regularly now for a couple of years. If you're just beginning, I would suggest looking at this post.
I put together the following routines after reading the principles on the web site A Workout Routine, coupled with my own knowledge and experience. This approach seemed to be one of the most effective for gaining strength and losing fat.
This is an upper/lower body split routine, 3 times a week. For example, on Monday I might do an upper body routine. Then on Wednesday I would do a lower body routine, and Friday upper body again. The following Monday would be lower again, so basically I just alternate between upper and lower body, 3 times a week. Some weeks will have two lower body workouts, some will have two upper body. But I'll never go more than 5 days without working the upper or lower body again, usually 4. That gives the muscle groups time to repair, but not too long. My workouts typically last about an hour - if I finish early, I usually do some sort of cardio intervals to fill the remaining time. For variety, I have 3 different upper body and 3 lower body routines defined.
Upper Body 1
So putting it all together, my workout schedule would look something like this:
Mon Upper Body 1
Wed Lower Body 1
Fri Upper Body 2
Sat Light Cardio/Other Fitness Activity
Mon Lower Body 2
Wed Upper Body 3
Fri Lower Body 3
Sat Light Cardio/Other Fitness Activity
And then repeat.
Here's a downloadable version of the workout:
Resistance Training Notes
These I like to change up more frequently. Lately I've been taking a spinning class for an hour Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The spinning class is usually a pretty intense cardio workout, and includes sprint and resistance intervals. Sometimes for variety I will stay home and do an exercise video - Fitness Blender and Befit on Youtube have some great choices. I also have the set of original P90X workout DVDs. On Saturdays sometimes I rest, sometimes I will go to the gym with my son and swim for an hour, play tennis or some other form of cardio activity.
I usually drink a protein shake before my resistance training. Currently, it's a scoop of whey protein and a teaspoon of creatine powder in 8 oz of milk. I also currently take an NO2 pre-workout supplement that contains Arginine, Beet Root Extract, Citrulline Malate, Ornithine, and Vitamin B-3 and B-12. Nothing magical about that formula - but it does tend to give me an extra boost early in the morning to work out a little harder. The protein can be any high-quality brand. I like to consult Labdoor.com and view their rankings for supplements, but they don't have an exhaustive list so do your own research and use what works for you. With breakfast I usually take a few additional supplements, like Vitamin C, D and Fish Oil.
I usually only have water before my cardio routines. Primarily because I feel like it will maximize calorie and fat burning. Then I have the protein shake, breakfast and supplements mentioned above following my workout.
I always listen to tunes during my workouts, they always give me more energy. I use Spotify premium, which for $10 per month gives me access to just about any artist and track available. I usually put together a fitness-specific playlist that I edit over time as I run into new tunes and weed out old tunes.
My diet is about 2200 calories per day diet comprised of about 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fats (including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains) with a cheat meal on the weekends. My breakfast is pretty much the same each day - 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites, scrambled with 2 or 3 strips of turkey bacon and a piece of multigrain toast with jam. I have healthy snacks three times a day - morning, afternoon and evening. For lunch and dinner it's usually veggies with some kind of lean protein (usually chicken) and a healthy starch.
Obviously I didn't start out with a program like this. When I was 75 pounds heavier and unhealthy, I started out slow. Something more like this routine. Then over time my workouts became more intense. I really look forward to my time in the gym each morning - it's a time where I can focus on myself, my health and it gives me a great boost of self-confidence as I start each day.
If you ask me again in 6 months, I'm sure that my whole routine will be different, but this is a current snapshot and it's working well for me at the moment. All of this adds up to me being able to maintain a healthy body weight and 15% body fat which is considered in the athletic range and is maintainable for me.
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