Braxton Gilbert Fitness

Which workout is the right workout for me? This is a question is commonly asked question!

Which Workout is for Me?

How do I choose the RIGHT training program for me? 

So you’re motivated to get started and committed to following through a training program to reach a goal. But how do I pick the right workout program for me? Or how do I build my own? Let’s start with the basics, and you’ll be able to take it from there–I’m sure!

P.S. I have now found it’s better to teach someone the science and let them create their own way, than to tell them the “way” to go. So. Here’s the basic breakdown.

 

What is Your Fitness Goal?

The two most popular goals people have in the gym are to lose body fat and tone their muscles, or pack on pounds of muscle. Let’s look at a detailed approach for each, but first you’ll want to choose the goal you want to work towards! For most, it’s the first. So we can start there!

Losing Body Fat and Toning 

A quick reminder before we cover the workout position of this fitness goal: Keep in mind, no matter how hard you workout, your eating habits have soooo much to do with your results. If you need help with food, click here. Now that nutrition is conquered, let’s look at training for weight loss and toning muscles. 

 

Cardio

Cardio is a great way to burn extra calories. It’s typically used as a low-impact way to exercise and shed some extra pounds. Most successful programs incorporate 30-45 minutes of low-impact (fast paced walking or jogging) 3-5 times per week. However, you do not have to chain yourself to a stair climber or treadmill to accomplish cardio. Swimming, walking in the park, biking, and play sports are great ways to spice up your cardio life. But, in general, you want to be in a caloric deficit, so after a tough workout, finishing up with 30-45 min of cardio is a great idea when you want to lose weight, or just stay slim when the universe didn’t give you a magic metabolism! 

 

Weight Training 

Weight training is often overlooked when someone is trying to lose a few pounds. Most people tend to think it will have the opposite effect, causing them to gain weight. But it will not. You are going to lose weight if you are in a calorie deficit. Working out will just ensure you are not losing from muscle. By lifting weights you are signaling to your nervous system that although weight loss is the goal, you are not planning on giving those muscles any days off (well technically, yes, but you get my point. You’re still gonna need them around). So, with that being said, lift 3-5 days per week. Start with just a couple exercises, about three to four. Maybe do two to three sets each workout, keeping reps at 8-15. Maybe closer to 15 to start so you can be more focused on form execution first! 

 

Example of a great week of workouts to start with:

*Increase reps, sets & number of exercises as performance improves!

Leg Day

  • Dumbbell Squats: 3 sets of 15 reps 
  • Lunges with Dumbbells: 3 sets of 12 reps 
  • Leg Press: 3 sets of 10 reps 
  • Cardio: 30-45 min of any cardio!

Upper Body Day

  • Push Ups: 3 sets of 5-15 reps *use knees as needed
  • Seated Shoulder Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 10 reps 
  • Lat Pull-Down: 3 sets of 10 reps 
  • Cardio: 30-45 min of any cardio!

Full Body Day

  • Up/Downs or Burpees: 3 sets of 10 reps 
  • Air Squats: 3 sets of 15-20 reps 
  • Curl and Press with Dumbbells: 3 sets of 10 reps 
  • Cardio: 30-45 min of any cardio!

Note: Moderate to heavy weight is great for muscle toning. This means you should barely be able to complete the prescribed reps. But you don’t have to lift super heavy (3-6 reps) unless you are trying to see your strength go up in particular!

Packing on pounds of muscle!

A quick reminder before we cover the workout position of this goal: Keep in mind, no matter how hard you workout, your eating habits have soooo much to do with your results. If you need help with food, click here. Now that nutrition is conquered, let’s look at training for building some serious muscle.

 

Cardio

Cardio won’t kill you. But a heart attack will. General rule of thumb, even if you are not trying to lose weight, still knock out 10-15 minutes of cardio three or more times per week for heart health. If you are gassed trying to do 15 reps of squats, you might just need to work on your cardio. Just because you’re swole doesn’t mean you’re healthy;).

 

Weight Training

Weight training is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of training for muscle building. When you expose your body to a stimulus (like a bicep curl) where your body has to strain against it, and you do this day after day for weeks on end (WHILE GIVING YOURSELF THE CALORIES YOU NEED TO GROW) you will see gains. It’s something called Wolfe’s Law & Progressive Overload. The typical splitting of legs, chest, back, shoulders, and arms targeting is good. However, you might join the crowd of “frequency trumps volume”, meaning train the muscles you want to see grow, more often. Maybe 2-3 times per week. This way you are not dedicating the whole workout to just legs or chest (the area you want to grow), but incorporating two different workouts that both include legs or chest. You’re stimulating the muscle more often, therefore potentially more gains.

Regardless of your split, training 3-5 days is best. Start where you are and add in what you can to push yourself without feeling overwhelmed. If you aren’t training at all, 2-3 days is a good start. If you are already training 3 days, going to 4 or even 5 will be better. But, adequate rest is also important. So 6-7 days training is a no-go for most people.

 

Example of a great week of workouts to start with:

*Increase reps, sets & number of exercises as performance improves!

Leg & Chest Day

  • Dumbbell Squats: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Lunges with Dumbbells: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Incline Chest Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cardio: 10 min of any cardio!

Back and Shoulder Day

  • Lat Pull Downs: 3 sets of 5-15 reps
  • Seated Shoulder Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Military Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cardio: 10 min of any cardio!

Leg & Chest Day #2

  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Box Step Ups with Dumbbells: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Chest Fly: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Dips: 3 sets of 10 reps

Back and Arm Day #2

  • Incline Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 5-15 reps
  • Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Lat Pullovers: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Tricep Press Downs: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cardio: 10 min of any cardio!

Doing both!

Most people start off a fitness journey with a goal like one of the above, but once the goal is reached, focus shifts more to maintaining the fitness. Feel free to adjust the amount of lifting or cardio to find what keeps you in shape, healthy, and HAPPY.