In a day and age in which most of us are concerned with getting and staying in shape, finding a workout regimen that we can keep up with has become something of a Holy Grail. Advanced fitness enthusiasts and beginners alike are all on the lookout for workouts that we will enjoy, maintain, and find effective, yet this seems next to impossible. Well, WorkOutBox is here to tell you that it’s not. It’s perfectly possible to find aweekly or even dailyworkout routine that fits and we’ve got a set of tips and tricks designed to set you up for success. After all, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to have the body you know you deserve, don’t you? All it takes, according to our fitness experts, is the proper work out routine. To get you started and geared up for action, here are some questions you need to ask yourself before deciding what workout plans would function best for you.
Location of work out routines
· Where would you like to exercise? Plan on finding a gym or would you rather work out at home?
· Can you afford a personal trainer? Do you want to work with one?
· How do you feel about working out in the great outdoors?
· Do you need to be on the move when working out, to avoid the risk of getting bored?
Your health and workout schedule routine
Finding workout plans that work should always start with your health. While moderate physical effort is good for almost everyone, bear in mind that some more intensive programs, such as those used by the Navy Seals or by bodybuilders, are very effort-intensive.A good workout program routine, be it calisthenics or extreme kickboxing, should never endanger your health. Go through the question checklist below and if you answer any of them in the affirmative, then it’s time to see a doctor. Schedule an appointment before deciding on any particular exercise routine, in order to avoid further health complication. Depending on your specific situation, your doctor may recommend that you adopt a workout routine that is either restricted or closely monitored.
· Do you suffer from any cardiac conditions?
· Are you at risk for heart conditions? Factors that increase your risk levels include smoking, diabetes, hypertension, or a history of such conditions in your family.
· Do you ever feel faint or dizzy?
· Do you suffer from hypertension (elevated blood pressure levels)?
· Have you ever experienced heart or chest pains?
· Do you have arthritis, or any other condition of the joints that may prevent you from enjoying full mobility during your muscle workouts?
· Do you suffer from diabetes?
· Are you over 65 years of age?
Working out at the gym
If you plan on following through on one or several gym work out routines, then you’re going to want to find a good facility, which offers all the equipment you need, in your area. However, before you sign on, there are several questions that you need to ask yourself, regarding your potential gym of choice. Here’s some food for thought for you:
· Does the gym come with more than just a single option for membership?
· Does signing on come with any bonuses, discounts, or special offers?
· Do you have to pay an extra fee to be initiated?
· Is the payment plan monthly, yearly, or does it span across several years?
· Can you cancel at any given moment? Is there a fee involved for canceling? Do you get a grace period, during which you can opt out without any extra costs?
Working out with a personal trainer
You may decide to opt for a trainer workout routine, case in which you will obviously need a personal trainer to help you with maximizing the efficiency of your work out routine for weight loss and muscle building. However, as with any other service provider, a trainer, too, needs to be thoroughly scrutinized before actually signing a contract. Here are our suggestions for questions to ask, both of yourself and of the trainer you want to work with.
· What training and education have they received?
· What’s their work history?
· How many clients do they take on at any one time?
· Do they have any special certifications?
· Whats the basic idea behind their training philosophy?
· How do they work out for themselves?
· Can they provide any references?
· Do they carry liability insurance?
· Do they have any experience with certain conditions or injuries?
How to select a gym and a proper training plan for gym
All right, so you’ve decided you’re not the type to work out at home and have said to yourself ‘I need a gym routine workout’. You’re set on gettingsixpackabs, you want lean legs, you need to lose weight – whatever your goals, before you start looking for the best program gym workout, you need to know how to find the proper setting for it. In other words, you need to make absolutely sure you’ve chosen the best gym in your area, as far as your needs, budget, and requirements go. Think about it: you wouldn’t rush into finding a new doctor, would you? You probably wouldn’t risk subscribing to a bad Internet provider. Then why not apply the same mindset to find a good gym. All it takes is a bit of research and time invested into it – and, trust us, it’s an investment worth making, for which you’ll be thanking yourself in the long run.
That being said, where would you like your fitness gym program to unfurl? Are you a no-frills kind of person, or do you want a gym with all the trimmings, where you can also feel pampered, after you’ve burnt your daily dose of calories? And then, does your health plan cover for going to the gym, or will you have to cover most of the costs yourself? Make sure you don’t sign up for a gym that’s far above and beyond your budget, first and foremost. Staying in shape is important, but if saving money is more of a priority for you at the moment, perhaps you should consider downloading some printable home workout routines.Our site has got some great ones in pdfformat and you can always download a free sample to use as a printout, by the way!
On the other hand, an advancedgym training plan comes with a lot of perks, both in terms of efficiency, as well as for motivation and self-discipline. Here are the main ways in which going to the gym can benefit you:
· Variety. Most gyms have a fairly wide range of exercise machines and available activities to keep you interested, pumping away at iron, and lowering your heart beat rate through physical activities.
· Expertise. You may opt for an established program such as P90X, or you might choose to put together your fitness plan for the gym together with apro personal trainer (more on selecting a good trainer below). Regardless, all gyms have professionally trained staff on hand, ready to teach you how various machines work and to help you make sure you’re using them properly.
· Fun. Don’t let the word ‘routine’ in routine gym workout fool you. Such plans are meant to be enjoyable, too – and there are plenty of opportunities for enjoyment at just about any gym. If toning your body, learning how to do a split, and building muscle mass like a Navy Seal get tedious, you can always join a fun type of calisthenicactivity, like dancing, Zonga, or group exercise.
· Weather proofing. Sure, you might not feel like going to the gym when it’s raining outside, but, on the upside, you won’t have to run your heart out in the pouring rain, when you’ve got a gym membership.
What to look for in a gym
Now that you have the ‘building blocks’ of your local gym shortlist, it’s time to line up all the contenders and go on a little tour. You will want to pay attention to details, such as equipment and customer service quality and you might even want to take some notes while you’re at it. Make sure to bring along a list of questions you want to ask and look into free day passes, which some gyms offer to potential members. It’s also a good idea to visit the gyms during the time of the day at which you usually work out, since this will give you a clear idea of what to expect after you’ve joined. Without further ado, here are eight qualities to look for in a good gym.
1. Good location
As with most decisions, choosing a gym also has a lot to do with location, location, location. What good will it do you to have the perfect gym routine for losing weight and toning down pat, if you never make it across town to actually put it into practice? Ideally, your gym should be located on your way from home to school, or work. This way, you can easily integrate your workout routines into your daily schedule.
2. Working hours
Another important thing, when you genuinely want to stick to your routine for the gym, is to make sure that they are open during those hours of the day when you need them. Do you work out after work or school? Are you a weekend calorie burner? Plan on fitting in an hour of exercise very early in the morning? Make sure your gym is open at those times, since you don’t want to end up paying for a membership plan that you’ll never use.
3. Exercise machines
This is probably the main criterion according to which people decide which gym to join. When first entering a new gym on your list, look around the room to see if they’ve got plenty of steppers, treadmills, stationary bikes, and any other type of ‘popular’ equipment. If they don’t, chances are there’s going to be a queue to use them, which means you’ll be wasting your time. Going to a properly equipped gym might help you put that time to better use.
Also, look into the existence of time-sheets and instructions. Time sheets (or time limits, at other facilities) mean you can only use a certain piece of equipment for a given amount of time. If your exercise gym plan involves a 20 minute run on the treadmill, but the gym says you can only use it for 15 minutes at a time, you should probably look elsewhere. Similarly, clear instructions, either in written form, or in pictures, are highly useful for gyms with a lot of ultra-modern, potentially intimidating equipment. What’s the point of knowing that you’ll need to put in 5x5 reps on the chest press or the Marcy workout bench, if there’s no one there to teach you how to use it? And, of course, if any machines seem out-of-order or too old to function properly, take this as an indicator to keep looking for a good gym.
4. Classes offered
Your gym routine schedule may or may not include activities outside the fitness equipment room – but for the sake of diversity and fun, perhaps it should. That’s why we advise you to check out the schedule of classes gyms offer. Do you want to take anything in particular – such as, perhaps, yoga or Pilates? Make sure you can actually do so at your gym of choice, check out the hours at which they’re offered, and find out if you need to sign on and/or pay extra charges for these activities. Also check out classes you’re not familiar with, such as energetic spinning, or soothing yogilates, for a change of pace.
It’s easy to figure out whether or not the staff members at a particular gym are the kind you will want to deal with for the long-term. Simply ask them a few questions on the list you’ve come armed with. Make note of their responses. They should be polite, prompt, professional, and offer you all the support you need. Their job is to help you understand how the equipment works, in order to put together a gym training routine that maximizes your efforts. Are they qualified for this? You be the judge – but do so before you sign up.
This is probably the single most important factor in deciding which gym to join, for most people. For the majority of them, you’ll have to pay a sign-up fee – but also check out promotion times, during which such fees might be lowered, or even waived altogether. Find out if you need to pay on a monthly basis, if you’re expected to pay off your yearly membership by a certain date, as well as if you can pay in installments. Does your prospective gym charge penalties for canceling a subscription? Find out the answers to all these questions before you sign onto anything, because you definitely don’t want to wake up to the realization that your gym membership is taking too heavy a toll on your personal budget.
7. The other members
Typically, future gym members don’t stop to think about the other patrons at their venue of choice. After all, that’s not really something you can control. You can, however, get a clear idea about the kind of members a certain gym attracts, by visiting it during peak hours (such as before 9am and after 6pm). Some gyms are co-ed, while others are single-sex; some attract younger members, while others are geared toward the elderly. Make sure you’re comfortable working out in the presence of the existing members, before joining a gym.
Last, but certainly not least, you will want to make sure the gym you choose is clean. There’s no point in mincing words here: you need to check out the showers, locker rooms, and toilets before you go. Are they in good working order and fairly clean? Does the gym offer towels? How clean are they? Be thorough in assessing cleanliness levels, as problem areas may not be immediately apparent.
Types of gyms
Finally, check out the options you have at your disposal, in terms of selecting a setting for your exercise routine in gym. Here are the most often encountered types of gyms:
- 24 hour gym clubs. Obviously, the biggest perk to joining such a gym is that you can work out at any time of the day or night – whenever the mood strikes, or whenever you get the time to do it. Access is usually achieved by card key, when the facility is closed.
- Typical fitness clubs. At a regular fitness club, you can usually find all the trimmings: classes, trainers, machinery for both cardio and resistance training – everything you need to put your work out routine at the gym into practice. Some are open round the clock and some come with special amenities, such as pools or courts for team sports.
- Typical gyms.If you’ve found a good free weight training programme online or elsewhere, you’ll probably thrive at a regular gym. They are equipped with machines that accommodate such workouts, which also means they usually have less cardio equipment or classes than a fitness club.
- Women’s clubs. A workout plan to build muscle for women usually requires hitting the gym, or using special equipment to achieve the set goals. Women who believe they might feel more comfortable in a strictly female environment can take advantage of such facilities.
- Spa clubs. The ideal setting for workout plans for weight loss and toning is probably a spa club, where you’ll find all the basic workout machines and services – but also gear and experts that can help you tone up and lose weight. There may be one or several nutritionists on the premises, plus sports courts, and spa facilities.
How to Select a Good Trainer
Did you know there are over 200,000 personal fitness trainers currently active in the United States? They come with different credentials, certifications, and specializations and science has proven that they can motivate you to stick to your goals and maximize the efficiency of your workouts. They can point you in the right direction, in terms of approach to exercising and they typically know what is a good workout program for a particular individual. However, the problem with having such a wide range of options at your disposal is that the choice of trainer can become rather difficult. For this reason, in the following, we offer you some useful starting points in your quest for the perfect trainer.
· Credentials matter
Irrespective of the muscle building fat burning workout plan that you want to follow, it’s important to know that the person you’ll be working for is certified by a trustworthy organization. In the United States, the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies) supervises all the trainer certification organizations, in order to make sure they meet a certain set of criteria and standards. Several such organizations are NCCA approved, but perhaps the best known one is the American Council on Exercise (also known as ACE). Make sure you ask a prospective trainer about their certification level and then go straight to Google, to check up on them. It might sound a bit paranoid, but, in fact, all you’ll be doing is protecting your investment of time, money, and energy.
· … but so does experience
An experienced fitness trainer will know not to push a particular training methodology on a client, simply because that’s what they’ve learned in school. They also know that a great work out plan is one that’s tailored and refined until it exactly matches the needs, goals, and potential of a particular client. Some gym-goers see great results with cardio, others enjoy boxing, while others may need a mix of cardio, HIIT like theTabataProtocol, a plyometric jump workout,or extreme conditioning programs such as MMA.The one vital skill that experience teaches them is how to correct mistakes and fine tune their approach in real time. Another aspect that ties in with your trainer’s experience level is that it matches yours. As such, if you’re a seasoned gym freak, you’ll want to work with a Spartacus-likeveteran trainer. Meanwhile, if you’re on the lookout for someone to teach you new to the gym workout routines, you’ll probably do well with a trainer that’s been in the game for less time.
· Dealing with injuries
Your gym training schedule should not be a walk in the park. Sure, it shouldn’t always feel like you’ve joined the military, but it should push you to the limits and, try as we might to avoid them, at some point you’re bound to experience an injury of some sort. At the same time, different workout plans can also be taken up by individuals who have suffered an injury at some point in their past. It’s important that your fitness trainer of choice knows how to deal with these situation, to avoid further damage to your body, while also putting together an efficient total body workout for you.
· Methodology makes a difference
Most people go into a gym with a specific goal in mind, looking for a gym fitness plan to match it. For instance, you may have opted for a lose fat workout for women or any one of the many workout routines to lose weight and tone out there. Generically speaking, an NCCA-certified fitness trainer will know how to help you achieve said goal; however, most of them are specialized in a particular type of training, such as YogaFit, CrossFit, pilates, and so on. Find out what your trainer specializes in, before you decide whether or not you want to go ahead and work with them, of all the trainers on the market.
· Money, money, money
Fitness trainer pricing plans may vary widely, depending on the program you select: a boot camp type program, for instance, can be pricey, but it’s also among the most effective. Prices can also vary between one city and the next – and even within the same city. On average, in 2013 fitness trainers made $35 per hour, but in places like New York City, they went all the way up to $300 per session. You can opt for a less pricy alternative, or inquire about discounts. Some trainers will hold semi-private sessions, which aren’t quite full classes, but are held with small groups. Others will offer discounts, if you pay for several sessions in advance. Also, build a workout schedule which consists of more than just sessions with your trainer. Tell yourself “I need a workout schedule” that also teaches you the benefits of regular physical exercise – and make sure you’re sticking to the plan even outside meetings with the trainer. And, aside from money matters, you also need to look into their scheduling options: can you book in advance? What about canceling a session? Can you recuperate a session you’ve missed?
· Approach and teaching style
Aside from knowing how to put together gym work out plans, good trainers should also be skilled at motivating you to stick to the plan. In order to find a trainer with whom you click, you do need to know what your learning style is. Do you need some ‘tough love’, or are you looking for unconditional support? Would you benefit more from a trainer who encourages you to be independent, or one who metaphorically holds your hand throughout the duration of the workout plan for weight loss and toning.
· Monitoring and tracking
Now that we’ve established it’s your trainer’s job to keep you on track, focused and motivated, it’s also important to make note of their role in helping you monitor progress toward your specific goals. Regardless of whether you’ve opted for women muscle building workout plans, for exercises for weight loss and toning, for fat burning exercise routines, or for any other kind of workout program, the whole point of working under someone else’s supervision is that you need to see results. And working with the trainer is all about results – otherwise, what are you paying them for? Make sure they’re keeping a workout chart with your evolution.
· Staying up-to-date
In the world of gym training workouts, science is helping drive progress in the field. There are already a lot of different approaches to a simple workout for weight loss and toning and, though no one can be expected to know about all of them, an ability to handle at least a few is necessary nowadays. If possible, ask some of your trainer’s other clients what exercises and routines he or she is using with them. If they’re the same they’re using with you, they might not fully understand what your specific goals and motivations are. While having an area of expertise is important for a trainer, the best ones aren’t dead set on a single one – they are versatile, flexible, and fluent in several.
How to Maximize Your Free At Home Workouts
The best part of free at home workout routines? The fact that you’re getting a workout for free, of course! Not to mention the fact that they save you the time and trips that gym training programmes require. Perhaps your busy lifestyle doesn’t allow you to take time out of your daily schedule in order to drive to the gym. Maybe you can’t afford the membership. Perhaps you’re not comfortable (yet) in a gym environment – or maybe you’re simply the autonomous fitness enthusiast type, who thrives on their own. Whatever your reasons for choosing a home workout set, we’re here to let you in on all the steps you need to take, the investments you might want to make, as well as on some great free workout exercises and ideas. Keep on reading, then get cracking and get ripped!
1. Preparing for your routine for working out
The key to success when you work out at home is to be consistent. There can be no talk of consistency without self-discipline, of course, and since you don’t have a trainer, a class, or even a buddy to work out with you, it’s entirely up to you to come up with a workout fitness program and stick to it. There are plenty of free workout plans at homefloating around online and you can find some awesome ones on our website, too. After you’ve made sure you have the one that’s perfect for you, it’s time to set up your workout schedule. This is important, because you want to take fitness seriously – and you want your family to understand this seriousness and be supportive of your efforts. Here are a few tips and tricks to this end:
· Select certain days and time slots to dedicate to the workout routine. It’s much easier to flake out if you don’t have a schedule, but if you know what you’re supposed to be doing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5 to 7pm (i.e. your scheduled workout routines), you’re more likely to actually do it.
· Find the best spot in your house to work out. Your scheduled workout plan needs its own space, with no interfering objects, and plenty of room to move about.
· Stay dedicated. Good training routines for the home are easy to come by these days, but they’re of no use if you don’t actually follow through with them. Remember that you’re committed to working out at home and don’t allow the familiar domestic setting to deter or distract you from your goals.
Speaking of distractions, much like a pulled muscle, a light sprain, or some soreness, they’re inevitable when you’re working out at home. However, you can make them harder to come by, if you plan your daily workout schedule wisely enough. Here are a few ideas on how you can avoid giving in to distraction:
· Try to plan your work out regimen for hours when there’s no one else at home. It’s difficult to stick to a good workout plan, no matter how good it may be, when your roommate is studying for his or her finals, or when your little ones want to climb all over mommy, who’s busy with her set of at home exercises for women.
· Get the chores out of the way. If you need to dust around the house, or vacuum, or do the dishes, do them. Just don’t let them endlessly take precedence before your great workout plans. Home cleaning is important, but it’s not going to get you those toned abs you’ve been pining for, you know?
· Put. That. Smartphone. Away. Shut down your laptop, PC, tablet, and TV. They’re never going to make you feel as fulfilled as completing a chest and arms workout.
All right, so your free workout has been scheduled, you’ve removed all potential sources of distraction – now’s the time to get cracking. Before you do, however, it’s time to set the mood and get into high gear. Here’s how to do it:
· Create a playlist. Mix it up and make sure it’s long enough to stay fresh and interesting. After all, what is a good workout routine without some blazing power songs of the particular flavor you like (be it rock, hip hop, or techno)? They’re going to keep you entertained, as you perform series upon series of reps, cardio, or whatever else your work out program entails.
· Look the part. After all, if you were preparing for workouts for the gym, you’d be packing a gym bag, not heading out in your home clothes, right? Put on a good pair of shoes such as a Reebok pair, don your favorite t-shirt and a good tracksuit/pair of yoga pants/whatever. Chances are, if you end up putting off the workout plans, but catch a glimpse of yourself all dressed up for them, you might guilt-trip yourself into doing them after all.
You’re all dressed up, the music is playing – you’re all set for your work outs, right? Wrong. There are still a couple more things you need to take care of before you go, and they’re important. The first one is a bottle of water, which you need to keep within reach throughout the duration of your daily workout program. Why?
· You are not going to pour yourself a glass of water when you start feeling thirsty during the workout. Such an interruption might distract you and determine you to abandon an otherwise perfectly good workout routine; alternatively, you might decide to forego the thirst altogether and keep at it. Neither one of those two options is a good idea.
· Dehydration is particularly bad for your body during a workout. Your body is perspiring and thus losing moisture. It’s important to replace that moisture to keep your muscles and metabolism active, and to consequently maintain your energy levels.
· A bottle of water within reach is a great item to use in between sets of reps or exercises. Turn this into a habit, by doing, say, 3 sets of 10 squats, followed by a big swig of H2O. This way, you’ll never risk going dehydrated.
The water has been taken care of, but what you eat is just as important. The issue of whether it’s better to eat before or after performing fitness routines has been discussed endlessly – so we’re not going to rekindle that debate. At the same time, there’s also the school of thought that says it’s best to do an intermittent fast with High Intensity Interval Training, for quick results. Debates aside, here are our recommendations for dietary habits that ought to complement a good workout schedule at home:
· Have a light, healthy snack at least 45 minutes before the workout.
o Don’t eat right before working out, as you might risk feeling sick, but don’t exercise on a completely empty stomach either. You’re far more likely to burn out before you complete your free workout plan.
o Make sure this is a snack, not a meal. Ever tried exercising with a bloatedbelly? Take it from us, it’s not pleasant – nor is it usually very effective. Besides, it takes the human body about two hours, on average, to fully digest a meal, so allow at least that much time to pass before your workout.
o In terms of a proper diet and what to eat before a good workout routine, you’d be best advised to stick to carbohydrates and/or protein. Fiber bars are a good choice, as are protein shakes, but you could also have a piece of toast with some peanut butter, a handful of nuts and seeds, or some dark chocolate. Carbs will give you a swift burst of energy, while protein will kick your metabolism into gear.
· Always have something to eat after the workout.
o As the popular refrain among nutrition and fitness experts goes, the worst thing to eat after a workout is nothing at all. That’s because physical exercise causes your blood sugar levels to drop rather dramatically. In order to fight off the effects of this drop, your body will start burning… something. If there’s no food for it to consume, it will immediately proceed to breaking down muscle tissue, thus annulling the effect of an otherwise good work out.
o Protein is your best choice of snack after a workout, since it keeps the body working – especially if you’ve set a bodybuilding goal for yourself. You’re going to need extra protein to gain muscle mass, so you might want to opt for protein powders or shakes. You don’t need carbs, because they will simply give you a boost of energy, then leave you depleted. Aside from protein bars and shakes, you might want to have an egg or two (egg white omelets can be quite delicious, by the way), nuts, seeds, or a small tuna/chicken salad.
Another hotly disputed issue regarding fitness, be it in the form of gym workouts or home workouts, is that of stretching. Some argue that it’s essential to good workout routines, while others say it’s pointless. The arguments in favor of stretching include loosening up the muscles before intense exercise routines, so as to prevent injury. The arguments against: stretching does not lower your chances of injury in the least. The best course of action? Learn how your body works, what’s good for it, and what makes it more efficient. Then decide for yourself if you want to stretch before working out at home or not. Stretching does improve flexibility, so if you feel flexible enough without stretching before the workout, then go right ahead. If, on the other hand, your body feels a bit tight, you might want to put in a couple of minutes of stretches.
2. Your home is a gym already – didn’t you know that?
You may not be aware of this, but your house is perfectly suited for some great gym workout routines, only sans the expensive membership plan. If you don’t have time to hit the gym during the work week,Here are a few tips and tricks on how to use your immediate indoor surroundings to your advantage, during your workout programs.
· Yes, you can do cardio indoors. Got stairs? Then you’re all set. A lot of people who are interested in workouts for weight loss and toning mistakenly believe that the home is no place for cardio. There’s more to this class of activities than just running, though – and you don’t even need expensive equipment for at-home cardio. All you need to do is to walk or run up and down the stairs, and/or do some step-ups on the bottom steps.
· If you’ve got a patio or yard, or even a bigger room, you can use it for jumping jacks or jumping rope, two highly efficient cardio moves.
Aside from the rooms and stairs that you have at home, you can also get creative with your furniture during your workout routines. Don’t know how? Get creative with it – or start out with our quick tips below.
· Use exercise balls for push-ups, core strengthening exercises, or crunches. All these moves are great to use during toning workouts for women at home.
· You can do triceps dips off a simple chair – they’ll prove very efficient when integrated in workout routines for men at home to build muscle.
· If you’ve got a bar of any sort, hung overhead, you can use your own bodyweight to strengthen and tone your entire body, right at home – no equipment needed. It’s just like TRX suspension training, but more affordable and less of a hassle to attend to!
· You don’t need any expensive gear for your free chest workouts. Take a mop or broom, lay it down horizontally on two sturdy, flat surfaces at the same level and start doing pull-ups while lying down. Can you do 40 reps? Here’s your challenge!
· If you don’t necessarily want to invest into a kettlebellor barbell,you can perform weight workouts with just about any heavy item you’ve got around the house, which you can lift. Kettlebellsand barbells might be more comfortable, but filled-up water bottles, a docile pet, or even one of your little tykes work just as well.
But what about buying some stuff for your at-home workouts? Is it worth investing in anything, such as workout DVDs, special gear, or even fitness training equipment? The short answer is no, not necessarily. You can make do just fine and create perfectly good workouts at home with no special purchases whatsoever. If investing motivates you to stick to your work out programs, however, here are five essential items that you might consider buying:
1. A chin-up bar. It’s great for pull-ups and other upper body strength exercises, toning your bicep, tricep, shoulders, and back, and it can easily be worked into a muscle building workout for women, even. It’s highly affordable and perhaps the best part about it is that it’s a multi-position piece of equipment, which literally turns a door into a prop for your chest and shoulder workout routine.
2. Dumbbells which you can adjust. In order to put together an arm workout routine women and men who also want to increase their whole upper body strength will need some weights. But instead of paying an arm and a leg (pun not intended) for individual weights, why not spring for an adjustable dumbbell, or for a pair of them? Not only is this type of dumbellmore affordable, but they’re also far easier to store and take up less space.
3. Resistance bands. At a professional gym, you get access to abodybuilding bench, which allows you to perform wood chops, and other great exercises for toning your muscle mass. But for your free muscle building workout plans at home, all you need is a pair of elastic bands, really. Forget about investing into a high-end cable machine. Aband will do the same job just fine, helping you with your goals of cutting body fat and creating ripper muscles.
4. A stability ball. Stability balls are highly versatile items for fitness workout programs and they can even be successfully used by a beginner. You can employ them for highly effective fat burning ab workouts at home, during stretches, for trap workouts, and by sitting or lying on them –which engages all your core muscles. The only thing to bear in mind before buying it is that it needs to fit your size, so check out the vendor’s sizing guide. They will help you with your home gym routines to lose weight and tone, with your posture, the health of your spine, back pain, and more defined abdominal muscles.
5. A yoga mat. The name ‘yoga mat’ is a bit misleading – these affordable little things are suited for any type of exercise whatsoever. They will support you better than your home carpeting and cushion the hard floor. If your workout plans for losing weight and toning involve abs, stretches, and any kind of floor exercises (and they definitely do!), then you need a yoga mat. They don’t slip, which makes them far safer to use than a regular rug, and they come in any color and design imaginable. Pick one you like and know will have fun with – and also use it to prop up your lumbar area, when you de-stress after a long, hard day.
There’s no clear-cut answer in the home gym vsno-equipment training debate. You can choose to invest in an expensive item like a punching bag, or a sophisticated system like a Weiderhome gym. At the same time, you can also work out at home by using nothing more than your body – with the potential aid of a workout DVD. DVDs can be a great tool to creating goodmens and womens fitness programs, for those who don’t know where to start. They will also act as a sort of personal trainer, for those who tend to get bored and give up when they have to exercise on their own. Alternatively, you can also opt for our online gym programs, which are basically a one-stop shop for creating a free gym routine. Check out our workouts, if you’re here looking to learn how to make your own workout routine online.
And last, but certainly not least, we encourage you to also include a bit of yoga into any home workout. The benefits of yoga are multiple: it can help you unwind after a day of pressure, it’s easy to do, it requires nothing but your body and a yoga mat, they serve as stretching, post-workout exercise program. It’s also a great way to sneak in a bit of minor cardio, with positions such as sun salutations. The downward dog position can also be included in your chest and back workout routine, while the chair will strengthen and balance your core, while also toning your thighs (it should probably be included in all workout routines for women at home).
How to Put Together the Best Workout Routine for Your Needs
As we near the end of this guide, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to create the best at home workouts for women and men alike – the kind of workouts that are tailored to your needs. If you’ve arrived to this page thinking “I need a workout routine”, or daunted by how difficult it is to choose the best free fitness program for men, or, say, for pregnant women, then allow us to make things simpler for you. All you need to do is to follow four basic rules:
This piece of advice might seem redundant, but it is, in fact, essential to all the best gym routines. And if you’ve ever tried to work out on your own, you may already know that you can sometimes forget to breathe during a particular exercise. The proper way to do it varies from one type of exercise to the next, so when you start to create a workout plan online, check out the breathing instructions. Typically, you’ll breathe in during the more difficult part of the exercise, when you’re actually putting in the effort, and breathe out as you unwind. This is not always the case, though, so don’t forget to check!
2. Do it right
Proper form is essential for a workout plan that actually yields results. Fail to do a particular exercise the right way and you might soon end up with an injury – or possibly give up, because it’s become too easy to perform. Check out picture instructions, look at videos online, work with a friend, or a DVD, if you want to. Just make sure you’re not exposing yourself to unnecessary risks, or making the exercises easier on yourself than they should be. Think about it: if you go in for a sport such as shadow boxing or defensivebasketball, you wouldn’t venture out into the court or rink without knowing the rules, right? The same applies for any type of physical activity, from XtremeBowflexworkouts, toPlyometrics to your regular squat set.
3. Slow down
Most exercises you’ll find on this website are best performed slow (with free step aerobics routines and other similar types being the exception). No, this doesn’t mean you can take long breaks after each set of 20 or 30 reps, but that your muscles will be worked more if you perform each exercise slowly. In time, you’ll notice palpable improvement, bigger biceps, stronger legs, and killer overall energy levels. That’s because taking things slow strengthens your muscles. Don’t rush through your workout, as this both exposes you to injuries, as well as encouraging you to ‘cut corners’ and lose sight of each exercise’s proper form. This is actually the key ‘ingredient’ to some of the most difficult and efficient workouts on the planet, including those used in prison, by the Marine Corps or by the Russian army.
Yes, you are going to fail, at times. You’ll feel like giving up and calling it quits. Don’t. Fail, but keep on failing. Keep pushing the limits of your body until you’ve reached the end and feel that all your energy has been spent. Some days will be better, performance-wise, while others will feel like torture. The important thing is to give each workout all that you’ve got on that particular day. Now, this, of course, doesn’t mean you need to pointlessly risk injuring yourself – but that, by pushing those limits, you will evolve, get stronger, and amass more muscle. It’s not just weight lifting that will help you achieve results like never before; you can challenge yourself to a brave goal in just about any type of physical activity, be it something extreme like parkour, or a more tame type of cardio like training on the elliptical, going for a swim, golf or bike riding.
Celebrity workout inspiration
There are plenty of stars out there, who can act as inspiration for your workouts, irrespective of whether you’re at the beginning of your fitness journey, or are an advanced user, with a preference for a more intense program like P90 X. There are also just as many great star fitness programs for a woman as there are for a man. Celebrity trainersJillian Michaelsand Mike Chang have got a host of great inspirational videos on YouTube, while many ladies take their tips from the FLOTUS herself, Michelle Obama. With her two daughters now teenagers, the first lady still manages to be in great shape. Other celebrity fitness gurus include legendary fighters Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris,fighter Phil Davis, athletesMarion Jones,Floyd Mayweather Jr.and Mike Plitt, bodybuilder John Brown, as well as entertainers, bad boys and shred hunks Mark Wahlberg, Jay Cutler, Heath Ledger, Jason Statham, Taylor Lautner, Ronnie Coleman, Kai Greene, and Greg Cena.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Johnsons workout for the movie Hercules, in which he has to perform the famed twelve labors, is impressive. The former pro football player, wrestler and movie star got chiseled for the part with a daily 50-minute cardio routine, followed by a targeted workout. The only body part that got two days of attention was his legs. He also followed a strict diet, especially created for him, which lasted for 22 weeks. Gaining mass wasn’t easy and it involved a ton of protein, much like the regimen that some army personnel follow before going to combat.
The former Mister Universe rose to universal acclaim when he got and stayed massive. To this end, hefollowed a strict regimen of dieting and training. Famous for his sculpted shoulders and narrow waist, Arnold would put in an eight week training program, known today as Arnold’s blueprint. This included two days for the chest back and abs, two for the shoulders, arms and abs, and two for the legs. The world-renowned bodybuilder always included one exercise with a 1-rep max, plus a superset or two for the same muscle group.
If you are one of thosehardgainers,who find it difficult to amass muscle, there’s no reason for you to despair. You, too, can pack on the muscle, with a classical bodybuilding workout, which is essentially what Hemsworth’sThor workout consists of. The workout notably doesn’t include any deadlifts and it is comprised of one day for backs exercises, one for the chest, one for the legs, one for the shoulders, one for the arms, and a bonus compoundcircuit day, for abs with impressive six packs. The ultimate Thor workout is also available online and there’s more than one bodybuilding app that will help you plough through it, day after day.
If you’re looking for a training program that will really sculpt your body, Jackman’sWolverine workout might just be the answer to your prayers. Be aware of its intensive nature: you’ll need to be able to perform all the basic moves, like the dip and the press in perfect form. Also, Jackman notoriously put in as many as 90 reps in a single set for some of the moves included in his program.
The star, who is best known for her butt, has had some of her training secrets revealed online, including three signature moves, which were part of her 2011 routine. Kim definitely puts in a glute workout to keep her behind looking alluring and she’s also recovered remarkably after her recent pregnancy. Her workout includes dumbbell exercises for the butt, arms, abs, and thighs, planking (for the abs, obliques, and shoulders), and sets of power punches, inspired by Thai boxing, which go all the way up to 50 and even 76 reps. If you’ve just had kids and want to regain your pre-pregnancy physique, Kim’s workout program will help you snap back into shape like a natural, in as little as 12 weeks.