In this busy world we live in, finding the time to workout and making certain that those workouts are effective may be challenging.  There are however, efficient and effective workout strategies which, when applied consistently may lead to great results.  As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, consult your physician.

Strategy #1:  Always have a plan and write it down!

Efficiency – determine on what specific days of the week, specific times of day and specific duration your workouts will be regularly performed.

Effectiveness – determine what specific components of physical fitness (i.e. cardio/muscular strength training/HIIT//flexibility work) you will perform on those days, at those times and for that duration.

Strategy #2:  Focus on goal oriented training!

Efficiency – if caloric expenditure is your goal but you have less time on a certain day, safely increase your intensity and shorten the duration.   Rather than a steady state cardio workout, perform HIIT (i.e. high intensity interval training) interspersed throughout which may elevate the level of intensity leading to greater caloric expenditure.

Effectiveness – if your goal is to increase your muscular strength level, safely increase the amount of weight and initially lower the number of repetitions (i.e. if you were lifting 150lbs. on a bench press previously at 12 repetitions per set, then increase the load by 2.5 percent and lower the repetitions back to 8 per set {there are hundreds of progressions and it depends upon the type of muscular strength training one is performing as to the number of sets/reps}.  Once you are able to perform the 8 repetitions without momentary muscle failure occurring, then it is time to increase the repetitions to 10 and then 12–think of progression of load and regression of repetitions).  Keep in mind that the muscle must be safely stressed to a point of momentary muscle failure during each set.  And, you must practice the time under tension (i.e. T.U.T.) principle consistently, which requires the muscle to remain under tension (i.e. stress) long enough to create the physiological changes we seek when striving for muscular strength.

Efficient + Effective = Great results!

Strategy #3:  More isn’t necessarily better!

Efficiency – think about quality rather than quantity.  Perform a quality cardio workout performing large range of motion movements with the entire body, but particularly the lower body.  Strive for smooth, fluid, and controlled movements rather than rapid small range of motion movement patterns.

Effectiveness – as with efficiency, think about quality of movement.  If you begin to break form during a biceps curl, stop the exercise, re-set the body/posture/position, consider lowering the weight increment or the number or repetitions, and focus upon slow, controlled full range of motion movements allowing the muscle to create the movement, not momentum.

Strategy #4:  Do not waste time and money on empty promises!

Efficiency – avoid products which promise immediate results.  There are few situations in life that provide immediate results.  Weight gain takes time and weight loss will as well.  So, be efficient with your time and money and put it where it will have the greatest long term impact and create lasting results.

Effectiveness – focus upon products and programs which are based upon sound scientific research and seek out fitness professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to effectively help you to reach your goals.

Lastly, every time you workout, ask yourself, is this the most efficient and effective way to workout?  If you do not know the answer, seek the advice of a fitness professional so that you may achieve the results you seek.

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