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The Anatomy of the Perfect Workout

I am all about efficiency. The more I can get done in less time, the happier I am. I think most would agree. I feel the same about my workouts. This day in age, most people barely make time to cook let alone workout. I’m a firm believer that you do not have to spend a lot of time working out. So if you think you need to carve out 2 hrs at the gym in order to see results then I’m about to blow your mind.  In fact, a fantastic workout can be had for just 30-45min of your time.  Here’s what you need to consider….

Anatomy of the perfect workout:

1) The Warm-up (3-5 min)

The warm-up need not take long. Honestly, it should be just enough to get your blood flow going and your heart rate up slightly. Essentially, you’re just letting your body know that you are about to make it do some work. 3 – 5 minutes is fine. This could be something simple like jogging in place, jump roping, or walking fast on the treadmill. You’ll want to focus on making sure all the muscles in your body arm and loosened and paying particular attention to joints (i.e. knees) or areas that give you problems.

2) The Workout (20-40 min)

Notice that I didn’t say stretch. You don’t HAVE to stretch before the workout if you’re short on time. And in fact, stretching before can impact your workout performance.

A good workout should include some form of strength building or resistance training and cardio exercises. Cardio alone will not do too much if you are looking to lose fat as you need to build muscle to speed your metabolism. I often hear from women that they afraid to lift weights because they don’t want to “bulk up.” This is a myth that is overly perpetuated by pictures of She-Hulk type women from the 90s. Lifting is NOT going to make you big and bulky unless you put A LOT of effort into it and eat A LOT of food. If you are a woman who does tend to put on muscle easily I say be happy! Muscle is your friend in that it will serve your body in the long run.  However, you must be eating enough food to sustain that muscle. Which means you should adjust your diet to accordingly.<—That’s a topic for another day. If you want to know what I recommend nutrition wise then checkout this post.

The key to your workout is INTENSITY. The next time I see a woman lifting 3lbs at the gym, I might just have to slap her. (joking of course) But seriously, when you lift your heart should be beating…hard. 3lb weights isn’t going to cut it, unless of course you have all day. Don’t be afraid to go heavy. When you have the right intensity, you’ll be burning calories all day.

3) Core work and Stretch (5 – 10 min)

I save abdominal exercises for the end of a workout for a couple of reasons. 1) If you’re workout is done properly, you’re going to be engaging your ab muscles a lot during the workout and you don’t want them crapping out on you in the middle of a deadlift and 2) you won’t need to do as much for your core IF you’re workout is properly designed. Make sure you do exercises that incorporate all the major regions of core including the rectus abdominal, obliques and transverse abdominal muscles.

Annnnd now you get to stretch. Don’t leave it out. Stretching at the end of your workout will not only help to increase flexibility it will fight muscle soreness as it allows the release of lactic acid build up in your muscles.

And BAM! You see. A workout shouldn’t take all day or be dreadful.  As long as your workout contain those elements, you’ll be busting fast like gang busters!

Now if you could use some help with your workout,