How to exercise effectively and achieve results
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
You’re hitting the gym or exercising at home 3 times per week and have done for the past 2 months. Not seeing results yet? It could be down to a number of things such as diet, stress, sleep or how effective your exercise regime is.
Anyone wanting to lose weight, tone up, gain muscle or make any aesthetic or performance change must follow an exercise plan. If not, it’s like driving to a destination with no sat nav or map and hoping you arrive there at some point.
Having designed hundreds of exercise programmes, there is generally a theme that gets results. Firstly, always perform a solid warm up that raises your body temperature, mobilises your joints, fires up your muscles and mentally prepares you.
The exercises, repetitions, tempos and sets in your programme will vary depending on your goal, but most programmes will include 1-4 compound exercises. A compound exercise is when you use multiple muscles groups at the same time such as a your quadriceps, glutes and calves in a squat, rather than an isolation exercise like a bicep curl.
The reason compound exercises work well in most programmes is that they require a lot of energy, burning more calories, as well as working more than just one muscle at a time. By ensuring you cover the 6 main functions of the body I.e. squatting, pushing, pulling, hinging, rotating and carrying, effectively and at your fitness level, you will achieve results. One trend I see a lot in gyms is people using machines rather than alternative bodyweight exercise. A good example of this is the chest press machine which requires your chest, shoulder and triceps to work. However, I’m quite certain that everyone wants to work their core, so performing a kneeling or full press up will do not only work the muscles a machine would, but also your core too. Always think how to get the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ with exercises.
Isolation exercises have their place too, for example if your goal is to perform a press up doing tricep extensions you will strengthen your push.
Your workouts should be enjoyable, achievable, progressive and are designed towards achieving your goal. If you simply don’t enjoy an exercise or it gives you discomfort, there will be variations you can choose instead. Don’t do the exercise just because you saw the Instagram model doing it, instead pick a regime that you enjoy and can progress in time.
Always get a Personal Trainer’s advice to advise if you are attempting an exercise you haven’t tried before. Ideally, he or she will watch you perform the exercise and advise if you need to change anything. If you can’t perform exercises due to injuries always ask for a PT or physiotherapists advice as there are many alternatives for you to try.
If you want any help with your exercise programme, as well as 1-2-1 and group Personal Training, I also offer bespoke exercise programmes, so get in touch for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.