You make time for your workouts and stick to the schedule. You work our religiously and give it your best. Yet, somehow your results aren’t as expected. Did you know that there are three essential elements of a successful workout? Yes, today let’s explore these elements to get the best out of your workouts.
- Slow Paced Workouts –
Be it Weight / Functional Training or Cardio – the best form of a workout is slow paced. This means going in slow motion and not finishing off the exercise quickly. This is a very effective technique that helps you perform better without having to lift heavier weights or do more reps.
How does it help weight training?
When you go slow, it extends the time your muscles are working during a single rep, you can build strength, burn fat, and develop lean muscle faster.
There are three phases of any exercises repetition – positive, static, and negative. The positive would be the actual weight lifting part. The static is the peak contraction point, where you aim to take the weight. The negative is the lowering of the weight. By slowing down the negative phase, you gain the maximum strength and tone more muscle.
How does it help in Cardio?
In simple terms, slow paced cardio burns more fat than carbohydrates.
After a few minutes of doing consistent but slow paced cardio, the body will automatically switch over to the fat stores for energy, sparing the carbs. Because you’re not working at a high enough level that the body needs to use its primary source of energy (carbs), but it has to give you something to utilize for fuel, that is “fat. This can only be achieved by getting to the fat burning stage. It’s generally after about 10-15 minutes of cardio.
Ultimately, in the big fat-loss game, it’s how many calories you burn off, relative to how many you take in, that makes the difference.
Why is breathing an essential element? When you exercise and your muscles work harder, your body uses more oxygen and produces more carbon dioxide. Your circulation also speeds up to take the oxygen to the muscles so that they can keep moving. Therefore, it becomes very important to monitor and constantly breathe in and out while exercising.
What happens when you hold breath while exercising?
You may find that it is easier to perform a certain exercise while holding your breath. But that is a very wrong technique and harms you almost immediately.
This happens due to a sharp rise in blood pressure, followed by a sudden drop in blood pressure. This can cause one to faint or blackout while performing an exercise. As you hold your breath, you build up your CO2 in your body which causes you to fatigue faster.
The importance of breathing is linked directly to the importance of one particular element your body needs constantly: oxygen. When you inhale, a large muscle called the diaphragm flexes downward to help draw air into your lungs. This keeps blood and oxygen flowing through your body and to your muscles as well. Hence, also preventing cramps.
Repetitions or ‘reps’ is the number of times your repeat the exercise. Keeping a count on the reps is very important to get the desired results. Usually the muscle is in a resting phase. When you start the exercise, it takes a certain number of reps to wake up and warm up the muscles, post which the other following reps will actually start working and toning the muscle and aid fat loss. The most important aspect to consider here is muscle fatigue. Achieving fatigue in a muscle means that it is not capable of performing one more rep and ensures that all of the muscle fibres responsible for moving that muscle have been engaged.
The number of reps required varies as per the exercise, person’s muscle strength, endurance, and weight of the equipment. The number of reps you do for an exercise has an inverse relationship with the amount of weight used. As the amount of weight goes up, the number of repetitions able to be performed decreases. The goal is to achieve muscle fatigue in less than 90 seconds. If you’re able to perform many reps for more than 90 seconds, it is time to level up with your weights. If you’re doing body weight/functional training, it is recommended that you increase the negative phase of the exercise, as mentioned before.
With these elements corrected, I hope you make the most of your workout and achieve your goals faster. Share your experiences with us in the comments below. Let me know how you’ve incorporated these mindful changes to get the best out of your workouts. I will always happy to help you out should you have any doubts.