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Bridging the Gap: The Top 5 Fitness Secrets for Housewives and Athletes
Aaron M. Potts, ISSA CFT
|Why does the title of this article mention Housewives and Athletes? Brace yourself for the answer: Because the training protocols for both are exactly the same!
"How can that be?" you ask. "Is the author of this article on drugs?" "How can an athlete and a housewife train the same way?"
Here is your answer: Because each of them works diligently towards their respective goals using the same time-proven training techniques that you are about to learn. The goals of an athlete may be different than those of a housewife, but the science behind the training program is exactly the same.
If your goal was to bench press the heaviest weight in history would it help you to take ballet classes? If your goal was to have a trim, toned body with a low level of bodyfat, would you get a lot out of Power Lifting classes with a squad of 350 lb athletes at 'Bruno's Iron Body Weightlifting Dungeon'?
The point is that you have to train for what you want out of your exercise program! Don't choose exercises out of a magazine just because they worked for the author of a particular article. Don't do the "classic" exercises at the gym just because everyone else is doing them.
Determine what your goal is, decide which exercises and which training programs will get you to your goal, and then just follow your program. This is pretty basic information, but you may be surprised by how many people just follow the crowd, which will get you exactly nowhere.
Once you have your training program ready to go, you have to do it right! If your program calls for eight 30-second wind sprints in 5 minutes, guess what you have to do?
If your program calls for picture-perfect free weight squats, bench presses, or lunges, how should you do your free weight squats, bench presses, and lunges?
You have to get your training program from a reputable, trustworthy source, such a personal trainer, or a friend or family member who is in very good physical condition. Once you have determined that your source is qualified to tell you how many wind sprints to do, or the proper way to do lunges, then you need to do exactly that.
Too many people get "distracted" during their training sessions and just end up going through the motions. During each and every exercise or activity, your form should be perfect, your concentration should be fierce, and your effort should be maximal.
Safeguard your health as well as your fitness goals by doing things the right way. You'll achieve maximum results, with minimal risk or wasted time.
How many sets of each exercise should you do? No doubt your favorite fitness magazine has instructed you at some point to do 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions. That is good advice in some instances, but not in ALL instances. Who came up with that number, anyway? The proper number of sets to perform of each activity depends on the activity itself, what your training goals are, and where you are at in your training program. 3 sets may be perfect in the beginning, but later on down the road, you may need more or less than that.
Don't do the "traditional" number of sets, or the traditional number of exercises. Think outside of the box! This will keep your mind and your body from getting bored or over-stressed by any given exercise program.
Here is a newsflash: You need protein at every meal, regardless of your fitness goals. It doesn't matter if you are a bodybuilder or a glass blower - your body needs protein several times per day, every single day of your life.
Don't think that just because you aren't trying to put on muscle mass that you don't need to consume protein. Your body uses the amino acids in protein to repair damage that happens naturally to your body everyday, even if you don't exercise. If you are involved in an intense exercise program, then your need for protein is amplified by a large percentage.
Do you need the latest protein supplement? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on your present training program and nutritional intake. Decide if you are getting at least 20% of your calories from protein everyday, and as much as 40% for some competitive athletes. If not, then you may need to take a protein supplement, or at least increase the amount of lean protein in your daily diet.
Cardiovascular training is just good for burning off calories, right? Wrong! Cardio does burn a lot of calories, but let's break down the word "cardiovascular".
Cardio: Having to do with the cardiac muscle - your heart.
Vascular: Having to do with your circulatory system - your veins and arteries.
When put together into the term "cardiovascular", can you determine the primary reason for doing cardio? To improve the strength and efficiency of your heart and circulatory system!
Yes, improving the strength and efficiency of your heart and circulatory system burns a lot of calories. Yes, cardiovascular training is part of any good health and fitness program.
However, if you don't do it right, you won't get much out of it. There are various formulas for determining the intensity of your cardiovascular workouts, and they include the Target Heart Rate Zone and the "Talk Test".
Whichever method you choose, you must always put forth a true moderate to intense effort, and you must also practice different activities, and different amounts of time spent doing cardio. If you always do the treadmill at 3.5 mph for exactly 30 minutes, your body will quickly adapt to that, and your progress will cease.
Change the activity that you engage in, change the intensity, and change the amount of time you spend doing it. Keep your body guessing, and it will reward you by literally "throwing your fat into the fire" to fuel the workout!
About the author:
Aaron Potts is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Success Coach whose customers include consumers as well as other fitness professionals. Sign up for his free Fitness Journal at http://www.fitnessdestinations.comor visit his coaching site at http://www.ptsuccesscoach.com
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