We are about to enter Week 2 but I thought I'd give you a little recap of Week 1! After doing some movement and strength assessments with Micah, I was ready to design a program. Although Micah is relatively fit, I felt it necessary to start with muscular endurance protocols for Weeks 1-3. This means using weight that is light enough for Micah to get to 15-20 repetitions twice. Starting with muscular endurance training will not only get Micah's muscles prepared to bear heavier weights when we get into strength training going into Week 4 but will also strengthen his tendons and ligaments to prevent injury. It's also a great way to torch some calories :)
We trained twice in Week 1: Day 1 focused on weight training (using dumbbells, the lat pulldown machine and body weight) with some cardio blasts. Day 2 focused on core exercises and interval training. Needless to say, Micah was a bit tired after these workouts. The great thing is, though, that his body will go through tremendous adaptations in these next 6 weeks and if we were to do these same workouts Week 7, my guess is they would be wicked easy.
So here's the thing for those of you who are looking to get leaner and more toned: Riding the stationary bike or elliptical machine for 60 minutes at one pace is not doing you ANY favors. If you're going to spend an hour at the gym, wouldn't you want to get the most bang for your buck? Get your heart rate up during your entire workout! Incorporate some high-intensity cardio blasts where you feel like you can't go anymore after 30-60 seconds and slow it down for 30-90 seconds and then repeat about 10 more times. On a scale from 1-10 (1 = sitting on a couch and 10 = running away from a pack of wolves), you should be around an 8 during the high intensity portion and a 6 when you slow it down a little. You can also do some weight training exercises in between your intervals. This kind of training makes your body work super hard not only during the workout but for hours AFTER so you're burning calories for much longer than just the time you're in the gym (this is called EPOC: Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). When you're leisurely reading your magazine on a cardio machine for 60 minutes, you're only burning a few calories while you're on the machine and nothing after.
So check out what Micah did this week (outside of winning two soccer games!). A lot of these exercises don't require equipment so try incorporating them into your own workouts! Enjoy!