Selecting the best workouts is an important part of any fitness plan. However, there’s more to it than that. Actually, the right fitness plan doesn’t necessarily have to include the most popular workouts. Instead, it should include the best workouts for your body type.
No two workouts are created equal. If they were, then they would all produce the exact same results. It’s true that most training plans have some commonalities and you will find popular exercises in all fitness plans. Still, just because a fitness program works for one person, it doesn’t mean that it will work for all. Our bodies are different and hence we need a plan that incorporates the best workouts that are designed for our particular body.
Before designing a fitness program, you need to understand the science of muscle, strength and fat loss. Your genetics play a major role in determining your fitness levels. They also determine what exercises you should focus on in the gym. A solid understanding of exercises and biomechanics will help you build more strength and muscle.
It’s important to choose the best workouts that suit your body, your ability and your training level. A conventional bodybuilding strategy might work some of the time, but it is unlikely to get you optimal results.
In this article, you'll learn how to design a fitness plan that includes the best workouts and gets results.
Assess Your Personal-Ability Level for the Best Workouts
You should choose a fitness program with exercises that suit your personal abilities. If you’ve just started working out, you will definitely not want to do anything particularly complicated. Even if you’ve been working out for a while, or are just coming back from an extended break, you have to consider your current fitness levels and select the best workouts accordingly. If you choose an exercise that is too advanced for you, you will likely not benefit from it, or worse, open yourself up to injuries.
Squats, for example, can be quite beneficial and there are a couple of varieties to choose from. So, you will probably experience no difficulty in finding a squat routine that’s both challenging and fun. You also need to remember that each day is different. For example, there may be days when you can easily complete 20 reps of bench press before reaching failure. And then on other days, you may not be able to surpass 5 or 6 reps. Your diet has a lot to do with your performance in the gym. Furthermore, on other days, even your favorite exercise may not seem right for you. It’s important to realize that this is normal. If a particular exercise doesn’t seem right, then choose a different activity for that day.
Customize Your Reps and Sets
The easiest way to decide how many sets you need is to pay attention to your body. Do as many sets as you can until you reach ‘technical failure’. Failure is generally described as the point at which you cannot perform one more repetition within a given set. Technical failure is a little different. It is the point at which you notice a dramatic change in your form because you are struggling to complete more reps. This is the signal you have exhausted that particular muscle or muscle group sufficiently, yet are enlisting the help from other muscles to compete additional reps.
Technical failure might be subjective, but with some practice, you’ll begin to identify that point of failure more easily. Basically, when there is a change in your posture, or a reduction in your rep speed, you should consider that a break in your form, or technical failure.
For example, while performing a bench press, if your bar speed decreases when you reach your sticking point, you can assume that you have reached technical failure. It doesn’t matter how many sets you have done, but once you have completed that last wobbly rep, you should be finished with that particular set.
Perform Reps at Both Extremes
In order to see the maximum benefits from your time in the gym, you have to perform your reps at both extremes of the muscle-building spectrum. Lower reps in the 4 to 6 rep range, for example, help build your strength by emphasizing the development of the contractile units of the muscle fiber. Higher reps in the 10 to 12 range boost the quantity of energy producing elements in your muscle fiber, which will help increase the fluid volume in your muscle fiber and thus its size.
The best workouts include sets that alternate between exercises that train your muscles at both ends of the spectrum. During one workout, you could consider performing 4 to 6 reps with a weight that will allow you to complete no more than 6 reps, with perfect form, before you reach technical failure. During another workout, you could consider performing 10 to 12 reps with a weight that will allow you to complete no more than 12 reps, with perfect form, before you reach technical failure… I think you get the idea.
Master the Secrets of Weight Management
For the best workouts, your first task should be to assess your rep max before you start. Your rep max determines how much weight you should use for that particular exercise. For each exercise, you should estimate your rep max for that particular day. To begin, you can simply guess this number as a starting point, or make a determination based on the weight you used during previous workouts.
So let’s say you want to target 10 to 12 reps with perfect form. Select a weight and do one set of exercises until you reach technical failure. If you manage to complete the set in 10 reps, you have chosen the right amount of weight. If you are able to complete more than 12 reps, you can assume the weight that you chose for that set was too light. Increase your weight for your next sets.
Now if you reach technical failure earlier than your target number of max reps, your weight was a bit too heavy. In this case, rest for 1 – 2 minutes, decrease your weight and then try to complete your 12-rep-max set again. Depending upon how far you’re from your rep max, you may need to decrease or increase your weight. Generally speaking, this process does not require more than 1 or 2 sets to figure out your rep max. Keep a notebook or journal of your routines and the amount of weight you used for future reference.
Instead of selecting the most popular exercises, make sure the ones you select are a good fit for your particular body type. Popular exercises like squats, bench presses and deadlifts should be in all exercise programs. They are the foundation of bodybuilding. However, in some cases, if you perform the traditional versions of these exercises and don’t take into account the amount of weight you’re using and your form, you may open yourself up to injuries and slow your progress in the gym. One way of fixing this problem is to choose alternative exercises that suit your ability today. You should also focus on fixing the problems that make it difficult for you to complete the movements correctly.