When considering putting together a perfect week of workouts to go along with a nutritionally balanced meal plan, I like to keep this in mind; the more you do physically, the more you have to eat to find a balance in your body from the hormone expenditure and the nutritional depletion. The inverse is true, as well. The more you eat, to stay neutral in body composition, the more you have to do physically. Also, the more we do physically, the more wear and tear we put on our bodies. To a point, stressing ourselves out makes us have those much coveted gains, but at a certain point, “our cup runneth over”. It’s the spillover effect. Too much of a good thing isn’t necessarily a good thing. Think about it like this. Two drinks feels good. Three drinks you’re starting to get a little sloppy. Four drinks and you’re going to pay the piper for days to come.
Here’s the balance I find myself gravitating towards as I work through a week.
Long and Slow– Walk/hike for 45 minutes to an hour 2-3 times a week
Short and Fast– HIIT, whether it be a beach/hill/treadmill/stadium stair sprint interval, body weight squat/lunge/push-up program or whatever you can imagine that will leave you gasping for air…
- I like to break it up into 20 reps of 20 seconds, with 10 seconds off in between. That’s a 10 minute program if you’re counting at home.
- 1 time a week is enough stress here
Supple– Yoga-type program that works the strength and length of muscles, 2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes. Can incorporate random poses throughout the day when you find time. BTW…this can also be considered interval work if you work one pose for 2-3 minutes, and switch poses throughout the day. It doesn’t all have to be done at once. That goes for all of the workouts. These can be picked apart as you work through the day. If you came to my house, you’d see me in strange poses at random times of the day, most days of the week. I especially appreciate a good night time stretch routine (future post).
Strong– Very slow, methodical strength program with light weight, using perfect form and full ranges of motion. When I say slow, I mean painfully slow. Try to get all of the muscles to “grip” through a range of motion. The idea is to activate all of the little muscles in an leave them trembling after a 15 minute session. Pick four exercises that work opposing muscle groups. Chest and back, Biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings/glutes. Rotate between the four exercises until you’re muscles feel fatigued and are quaking. When you have achieved that, you are sufficiently cooked. It shouldn’t take too long with a concentrated effort. If it’s taking too long, increase the weight slightly, and slow down even more. No rest between movements.
Play– Find some activity to just play. Maintain your youthful dexterity by playing like a child. Better yet, play with your child. Join an adult league. Throw a frisbee or baseball. Shoot some hoops. Kick a soccer ball. Ride a bike. have some fun. Find time for yourself to incorporate a type of play into your life. It shouldn’t all be so serious. Yes, we take our health seriously, but we don’t have to be so serious about it. And, don’t feel bad about doing nothing sometimes.
Rest– I like about two days off a week from physical activity. Stay active on these days, stand a lot (6 hours of standing equals 6 miles of running…true story), sit with good posture, and relax.
The moral of the story is, less is more. Awaken your body, don’t wear it out.