Getting into shape is much more that just abdominal exercises… Yes, that’s just part of it…. Well actually that’s all of it. Don’t just focus on crunches or sit ups; every exercise you do should engage your core. For instance, think of a chest press with dumbbells. If you were lying on your back (supine) and put your feet up over your body you would increase the instability of the workout. Instability through a safe environment will always give you the greatest result. Here’s another example that will engage your legs and core: walking lunges with a barbell on your back. **Squats with a barbell are also good, but adding motion increases the instability, which will create a better core workout. (If you don’t have room for a barbell, you can use 1-2 dumbbells. 1 dumbbell will throw off your balance more, which is good, but remember to do BOTH sides of your body. 2 dumbbells will be heavy, so it is a better leg and shoulder workout.)
Giving you a few exercises is a good start, but program design will take your workout to the next level. When I start with a new client I stick to a very simple, but effective circuit. First off, a circuit is a group of exercises put together that is designed to keep your heart rate up, burn more calories, and get you stronger faster. The simplest circuit is 2 exercises using opposing muscles, a core exercise, and a cardio exercise. Here are the opposing muscles: biceps/triceps, chest/back, legs/shoulders.
Do 3 sets and decrease the amount of rest in between every exercise. Resistance training should be slow and controlled and cardio workouts should be fast with good form.
15-25 reps = definition (toning), and 6-8 reps = hypertrophy (bulk). (10-12 reps is a good combo) –I personally start with 15 reps, than 12 reps with heavier weight, than 10 reps with heavier weight
**You can refer to my website to see video and pictures of my clients performing functional exercises , AnthonyParisiFitness.com
If you have not worked-out in 6 months or more, check with a doctor to clear you for physical activity
Whatever exercise you do make sure you are at 60-100% of your max heart rate. Depending on your fitness level, 60% may be a good challenge to start with, but as your strength and stamina increase, challenge yourself further. You may want to invest in a Polar FT 60 heart rate monitor. It will calculate your % of max HR and show you how many calories you’re burning per workout. Keep in mind an elite athlete can withstand 85% of his max HR for an hour. (If you would like, I can get this for you at a reduced cost)
**Form is always your number one priority.
My training style utilizes the whole body every workout; This is how you burn the most calories and get fit the fastest. With every exercise, I ask myself, “How can I engage the core?” –Answer: A safe environment that challenges balance, proprioception, and stability, while at the same time focuses on a mass body part.
The last part of a great workout is constantly switch it up. Muscle confusion and adaptation is an excellent way to keep your body and mind progressing.
BS, CPT, ATC