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My Workout Routine

by Marty Copeland | Exercise, Featured, Top Resources | 2 Comments »

While 3 workouts a week is both a great place to start and great for maintaining an intermediate to advanced fitness level, there seems to be something powerful about each additional workout for losing weight and changing your body. Getting an unfit body fit quite honestly requires some hard work. My personal advice to people desiring to lose weight or reshape their body is to work out aerobically a minimum of 4 days a week including weight training on at least 2 of those days. For some, I go on to recommend that they just go ahead and work out aerobically 5 times, Monday through Friday, for even faster results.

Really, I have found that for many people, forming the habit of working out during the workweek on consecutive days is easier than breaking on Wednesday and starting back on Thursday. This also allows taking the weekend off. It seems easier to take on the mind-set of doing it every day, achieving your fitness goals faster, and then cutting back to a 3-day maintenance program. Now, I am trusting you to use common sense on what defines a workout. If you are playing one-on-one basketball every Saturday morning with your teenager, then you can obviously count that as one of your workouts.

When I was really out of shape, my fitness schedule included the need for much fat burning, muscle building, and all-around body shaping. I started out walking 3 days a week. As soon as possible I moved to 4 days a week and began some light weight training on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I progressed to 5 days a week, which was my goal. Many times the demands of my schedule would not allow me to work out 5 times a week. Rather than consistently getting frustrated about not reaching my goals, I simply changed my goal to 4 times a week with a 5th workout as a bonus. In other words, I did everything I could to get a minimum of 4 workouts in per week. This included aerobics for at least 40 minutes twice a week and 20-30 minutes twice a week.

On my weight-training days, I started with the shorter aerobic sessions, then moved to weights. Working out 4-5 days a week eventually got me to my goals. Now, here is a very important key. My workouts were always progressive. Each week that I worked out, I worked out a little harder.   I started walking for 10 minutes. I progressed until I could walk 30-40 minutes 4 times a week. Then, I started walking 5 minutes, jogging 1 minute, walking 5 minutes, jogging 1 minute and so on. I gradually increased my jogging time. In several months, I was running a mile, walking a few minutes, running a mile, walking a few minutes, running a mile, and walking a few more minutes. I did this 2-3 days a week. I eventually worked my way up to running 3 miles straight on occasional workout days.

For my aerobics on my weight-training days, I used a machine called an elliptical cross-trainer. By cross-training with non-impact exercise, I was giving my knees and legs a break from jogging. I would do this for 20 minutes and then do my weight training workout. After a few months progressing at one program, I would vary my workouts a little to keep my body changing. As my fitness level increased, my body got leaner and stronger. Some weeks I would do 3 days of weight training, and shorter, higher-intensity running. I would walk or jog at an easy speed for 60 seconds, then I would increase my speed for 60 seconds. I would repeat this pattern from 20-25 minutes. Did you ever have to run wind sprints in school? Well, this is very similar. Even though these workouts were shorter than my 45-minute aerobic workouts, because of the higher intensity, I was burning more calories in a shorter amount of time. I could also tell a tremendous metabolism boost was taking place. I am normally very cold natured, but I would stay warm for hours after high-intensity training.

It took my body several months to progress from overweight and out of shape back to an advanced fitness level. Losing weight is very hard work, but the payoffs are worth it.  One of my personal favorite benefits to being in really good shape is just feeling so healthy and strong. Because of so many years of struggling with losing weight, more than anything else, I think that I appreciate the freedom of not thinking so much about how I look.

2 Responses to “My Workout Routine”

  1. This is very helpful to me as I try and figure out what to do. Thank you.

  2. I’m just starting out after having my second baby. You have encouraged me to do what I can and keep trying. You are a blessing!

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