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DIY Fitness - Part 2

How you structure your program will be crucial to its continuing success. First identify the goal(s) of your program. Most fitness programs will fall within the following three categories:

Weight management (loss or gain)
Sports Specific (e.g. Basketball, MMA, or Golf)
Modifications (i.e. breaking plateaus)

*The following guidelines include basic recommendations for each of the previously referenced fitness programs:

Weight management (weight loss):

One of the more ideal and basic approaches to weight loss include cardiovascular interval training and total body resistance training. Total body routines include exercises that engage the core, upper and lower body. The exercises will be anaerobic, but done in a continuous flow with minimal breaks (active rest). In so doing, you will be gaining additional aerobic benefits, increase your metabolism and burn more calories. For most people they should be performed approximately 3 times a week. On the days when you are not engaging in dedicated resistance training you should perform a variety of aerobic exercises. Activities could range from simply walking to biking up steep hills. Depending upon your initial fitness level the goal should be 30 to 45 minutes 3 times a week. A key component to your cardio is implementing the intervals. For example, if you walk you should walk at a moderate pace for 3-5 minutes and then at a very brisk pace for 1-2 minutes. You should repeat this cycle throughout your cardio routine until the last 5 minutes of your routine. The last 5 minutes will be reserved for your cool down.

Weight management (weight gain):

For mass gaining a split routine, such as legs on Mondays and Back on Wednesday is recommended. The exercises should be performed in lower repetitions with rest periods of 1-2 minutes. They should be performed 3 times a week with at least 24 hours rest before a body is targeted again. Aerobic exercise should be performed at a moderate level throughout (excluding warm-up and cool down) 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week.

Sports Specific:

In addition to general conditioning exercises, a Sports Specific program should include resistance and flexibility exercises that will correlate to the sport for which you are training. For example, if you’re training for Archery you will concentrate on the strength and flexibility of your upper body (e.g. deltoids, thoracic).

Modifications of existing programs:

In truth, all programs, to at least some degree, should be modified every 4 to 6 weeks. This is due to the fact that the human body eventually acclimates and adjusts to most programs and activities that it is involved with. Modifications can be as simple as adding an additional hill to your daily walk or adding another exercise element, such as Pilates to your routine. They can be as complex as an overall adjustment to your nutritional intake and dietary supplementation. As you vary your program more you will experience more gains. Whether your program is maintenance, sports specific or weight management, modifying your program will help to ensure that you’re maintaining an effective fitness program.

* Nutrition is a key component to each program and will be addressed in part three

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