Workout Routines...Just Split It Up!
Workout routines...as you know, there is more than one way to strength train. Mom or not, we are crazy busy, but mixing it up is the key to continuously challenging your muscles. Using a split routine is going to require a bit more time with the weights, but the results are so worth it.
You may be more familiar with the upper-lower body split workout routines where you train your upper body one day, and then your lower body the next. We are going to do things a little different. I am a huge fan of the push-pull split routine. In other words, you will train your chest with assistance from your shoulders and triceps (all muscles used for pushing) on one day. The next day you will use your biceps and forearms to train your upper back (all muscles involved with the pulling motion). Not only will you train the muscles together that have a common function, but you will train your legs in each workout in an effort to get your heart rate up and zap more calories.
Organizing your workout routines in this fashion ensure that you don’t over train your muscles. If you trained your back on one day and then your biceps the very next day you would end up overtraining your biceps. Your biceps are naturally trained with every upper back exercise as they are a secondary muscle for that movement. As a result, they don’t have enough time to recover if you train them the very next day. For this reason, I have grouped these muscles together to ensure they get the proper amount of rest and recovery.
By training your lower body in every strength session you end up incorporating cardio in the workout. Alternating between upper body and lower body exercise causes your heart rate to stay elevated. The heart works to deliver blood back and forth in an effort to deliver oxygen to the working muscles. As a result, this process, known as Peripheral Heart Action or PHA, also enhances muscle growth by preventing the development of lactic acid build up. This buildup is responsible for muscle fatigue. Our strategy will be to train the back of your legs on the same day as we train your back muscles and the front of you legs on the same day we train your chest.
Lets Do It Circuit Style
These workout routines is most effective when performed in the same fashion as the full body workouts… full-go, heart pumping, fat burning circuit training. There is no rest in between each set. Go from one exercise to the next until you get to the end of the set of exercises. Then, and only then, take 60 seconds to hydrate and recover before you start the next set of exercises.
Remember, according to The BIGGEST LOSER's Jillian Micheals , "When done properly, circuit training builds lean muscle and improves aerobic fitness simultaneously, making it nothing less than the most effective fatburning workout." Not to mention, this style of allows us to fit in more exercises in a shorter period of time. Why would we do it any other way?!
Gotta Love Supersets
I also love to incorporate supersets into the workout routiness. Again, a type of training strategy that eliminates the rest period by performing one exercise after another. While there are numerous ways to incorporate supersets, we are going to focus on combining two exercises that concentrate on the same muscle group. For instance, chest press followed directly by pushups. I love this method, especially for women, because it allows us to overload our muscles without using large amounts of weight and increase the intensity for a greater caloric burn.
Sample Strength Training Schedule
- Monday: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders & front lower body
- Tuesday: Back, Biceps, back lower body & core
- Wednesday: OFF
- Thursday: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders & front lower body
- Friday: Back, Biceps, back lower body & core
- Sat & Sun: OFF
Okay, there you have it! Break up the monotony and really shock your muscles. Try it for a month. Then you can switch back and forth between the full body workouts I have designed and these to head off boredom.
Important: Always listen to your body! If you need a break during your workout, TAKE IT! Work your way up to completing each circuit with no rest. If you need to, start by giving yourself 30 seconds between each exercise for a couple of weeks. Then try 15 seconds and before you know it, you will be zipping right through it. It is also always a good idea to talk to a doctor before starting a new workout routine.
Not sure how to do some of the exercises?
Click here for a list of exercises and their descriptions
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