What is the ultimate workout?
Which workout works best is one of the topics frequently discussed between people, and we all asked the questions and wondered if we were doing what's best. Is it quality over quantity? Should I go to the gym? Or for a swim? Should I do weights? Or cardio would serve me better? Whether you are looking for muscle growth, toning and shaping or if you want to lose weight, we all wondered if it will work. Unfortunately a lot of people experiment with different routines but come back empty handed. Why?
The main reason why a lot of people fail to obtain the results they are looking for is because they don't understand the mechanics and the goal of different types of workouts. Each type of workout (if you have a good one) targets different movements and gives different results. Generally speaking the most essential clauses of any workout are, stick with it don't stop, have a healthy diet and have a workout plan. Then once you accomplish these things you should learn what each type of workout gives you.
I will start by saying that if you feel like you are not 100% sure of what you are doing, get help from a professional trainer or a coach they will be the best people to give you a workout plan and make you stick to it.
Now for someone who is trying to lose weight, going to the gym can be a good idea, as long as you target the right machines and do the right routine. Cardio is a must, but cardio without weights is not too efficient. The reason why you do weights when trying to lose weight is so you can grow the muscles a little bit. Most of the time it's not a very noticeable growth but it can help you reach your goal a lot faster. A stronger muscle can work for longer so keeps burning calories for a lot longer, and it can do more so your body will require more effort to recover. A bigger muscle burns more calories as it consumes more than a smaller muscle.
The difference between toning and growing the muscles is a very small simple change within the same routine. If you want a more toned body rather than big muscular one, you should decrease the weight and increase the number of reps. When you are trying to grow your muscles you should not be able to do more than 6 to 8 reps, when you are toning you should be able to go up to 12 reps.
Weight workout or weight free? I always recommend a weight free workout for countless reasons. The most important of them all is the effect of the weight on your posture and your bones. You don't want to be looking good now so you would suffer the consequences in 10 years. Another reason is, when you work with weights you are adding something unnatural to your body's kinetics, which will lead to abnormal results, either muscles that are too big or not proportional. I will also mention one more reason, it's one that makes you lose a key ingredient of your workout. A weight workout targets one or a few muscles rather than the whole body. The weight free workout targets the muscle you are working on and your core muscles at the same time. When you sit to do bicep curls for example you use your bicep only, maybe the triceps a little bit, but if you do push ups or pull ups all your upper body works hard as well. So you'd be concentrating on a specific muscle while in the background, even without you noticing it, your core is moving and working.
Diversity is also one of the most important things to add to your workout. Don't go to the gym for five days straight, you will get bored. Don't always run on the treadmill, an outdoor run with fresh air can be very rewarding. Every now and then play a sport that you enjoy (basketball, soccer, tennis... ) make your workout fun for you and don't make seem like a routine. DO YOGA even if you are too manly to sit in a class of 10 women. The stretching yoga brings to your muscles is extremely important and efficient, specially that it's also a workout for your core. And never forget to treat your self, not too much of course, but when you stuck to your program for a month, give yourself a spa day, get a massage, sit in the sauna or the jacuzzi. I'm very close to saying, a massage and sauna once a month are essential because your muscles need a break every now and then, they need to relax. Over loading your body only leads to extra stress.
Say you done your research, understood every workout and you are very determined to reach your goal but you have a lot of choices, in that case which workout should you do? You can go to the gym, you can go for a more running oriented workout, you can do your workout at home with all these online videos, or you can swim but which is the best? In my opinion going to the gym isn't the best solution even though sometimes it's needed a little bit but I don't think it should be your main focus. Videos at home yeeeaaaaa... but you need to have a good program and you need to be able to stick with it on a daily basis. If home videos is your choice I suggest you look up P90X, I think it's the most complete and efficient of them all. Outdoor runs is a great idea, not only you enjoy the outdoors but it's also one of the best cardio workouts and a very good weight loss routine. If you chose running, the treadmill is not a very good tool, run on a solid ground but make sure you have the proper shoes to avoid knee and back problems. So running is great but it comes with limitations and that's when you need the gym as well to fill the gaps. When you run you use all your body muscles, that's true but you use your legs mostly. Which is good since your thighs are the ultimate carb burners but your upper body doesn't work enough! Which leads me to the best of all workouts. Swimming! Swimming, swimming... Not only it is the best cardio of them all, it's also the best core workout you can ever do. In addition to cardio and core, it's also a muscle builder, all the machines in the gym mimic the movement of you do in swimming. So in order to work all the muscles you use while swimming you need to use around 10 machines. You'd be working on your endurance, stamina, weight loss, cardio and core while you are growing your muscles and improving your lung capacity. On top of all that it comes with no stress on the bones and very minimal injuries can occur. And did I mention that it's a survival technique? You never know when you will need to help someone in a pool or just survive yourself. I will also tell you even though I shouldn't, if you dedicate your time to swimming you won't even need to diet or monitor your calorie intake!
If you like this post and you want to learn more stay tuned for my next few posts on the subject, those will be more specific, "The best gym routine", "Why is swimming the ultimate workout?", "If you want to diet whether to lose weight or be healthy", "Workout plan", "P90X" and "The iron man, workout for great athletes only!". In the mean time you can visit http://thedalle.blogspot.com/ for various information about health and nutrition or one of my older posts on a friend's blog http://hrmshaker.blogspot.com/2011/03/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-weight.html