The 5 Parts of a Smart Workout

Many people want to know, “which is better – cardio or weights?”  This question is like asking, “which is better your hands or feet?”  Fitness success isn’t about choosing this or that, it’s about addressing all of the essentials with the time you have.  Here’s your blueprint: 

1.  RAMP: To have the safest, most effective workout possible start with addressing mobility, movement quality and any issues you have.  Start with getting closer to health range of motion in your hips, shoulders and ankles, and then wake up your buss, core and upper back.  (10-12min)  

2.  Core:  less is more here.  For 3 days per week, 2 exercises per workout will deliver everything you need.  Focus on exercise where you “move this not this”.  In other words, your core’s job is to maintain a stable spine in the presence of movement and/or stress.  These are the two of the best exercises you’re not doing. (5-8min) 

3.  Power: Contrary to popular opinion power training is more important and more appropriate with age.  Avoiding appropriate power training is just as risky as doing silly, dangerous exercises.  With age we become vulnerable to serious injury or death from slips and falls.  Falling always happens fast, not slow.  So, it is your ability to react quickly that keeps you safe.  For safety we begin with medicine balls, and avoid high risk exercises like Olympic lifting (throwing a bar over your head).  (5-8min) 

4.  Strength: strength training will deliver the highest return per minute invested for fat-loss, definition, and quality of life.  4 exercise per workout is plenty – one push (push up), one pull (row), one hip dominant (deadlift), and one knee dominant (split squat).  Additionally, pairing non-competing exercises – one upper body and one lower body – allows you to keep good technique while also keeping your heart rate elevated. (25-30min) 

5.  Conditioning:  with interval training you don’t need that much time to get into good or great cardiovascular shape.  Pick an exercise that allows you to work intensely yet safely for 20-60seconds, and rest for as long as your work period.  Jump rope, bike sprints, bodyweight exercise are just a few of the options that work great for this kind of training.  (5-8min) 

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