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The Sweet Spot

04th January 2013
The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot: How I Mix Up My Workouts for Maximum Results

Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or certified personal trainer, the vast amount of information out there regarding which types of workouts you should do and how often you should do them is completely overwhelming! The information is conflicting and changes daily. I know because I spend countless hours reading, researching, and attending personal training seminars in order to keep up with the ever-changing world of fitness.

So what exactly is the answer?

I am a certified personal trainer and I am in good shape. I am strong, balanced, flexible, and have good stamina. I am often asked how I have accomplished my level of fitness and my answer is always the same…I mix up my workouts! I run on the beach, play sports, attend Pilates & yoga classes, and do strength training and high intensity interval training (HITT) on a weekly basis. Keep in mind that I am 36 years old, have had major hip surgery, and am still dealing with fibromyalgia-like pain in my back and neck. I tell you this because if I can do it, you can do it!

Not every week looks the same because I need to listen to my body and try to find a sweet spot…but I do have a few basic rules I follow that work for me.

  1.  I workout more days than I rest. That means at least 4 workouts per week, although most weeks I try for 5 or 6.
  2. I aim for 3 days a week (1 hour each day) of full body strength training with HITT mixed in. So for instance, I may do 3 sets of squats, rows, and reverse crunches (strength training) followed by Tabata style burpees (HITT). You can also get a good mix of strength and interval training by taking boot camp, kettle bell, and body sculpting type classes.
  3. I hate running! Actually I am not a fan of steady-state cardio in general, I think it’s boring (probably not a good thing for a personal trainer to admit but hey, at least I’m honest). Probably because I ran a marathon a few years ago. I never got the “runner’s high” that I had heard so much about, and ever since then I just can’t get myself to enjoy long distance running. However, I do it because it is absolutely necessary for me to do some sort of steady state cardio (walking, jogging, elliptical) in order for me to keep the fitness level and physique I desire. I run 30 minutes on the wet, hard sand in Hermosa Beach each week. If I am really feeling good, I will do it twice. That’s not enough aerobic training by itself, but luckily I LOVE HITT! Interval training increases my cardiovascular fitness level so I don’t have to run long distances to keep my heart and lungs in shape.
  4. I also try to get to a Pilates or Yoga class once a week. This helps keep me flexible, balanced, and core strong.
  5. I play beach volleyball once or twice a week. Sports are my favorite way to stay in shape because it’s so much fun and it doesn’t feel like work!

Again, this is my sweet spot…it’s what works for me. You need to find your own mix of exercises that you enjoy, otherwise you won’t be able to sustain a regular weekly routine. But please mix it up! You need to train your muscles, bones, joints, heart, and lungs. This means that you need to combine strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility training.

 

TIP: I sign up for daily Groupon and Living Social deals in my area. I literally get emails almost everyday with amazing deals on fitness classes. I highly suggest taking advantage of this because it reduces costs significantly and allows you the opportunity to mix up your workouts.

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