You know that strength training can help you develop strong muscles and bones, but did you know that it can make your heart healthier too? Strength training or resistance training has been shown to lower resting heart rate and improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels. And circuit training specifically (which we will be doing), has been proven to lower resting blood pressure levels. Plus, the stronger your muscles, the less taxing it is on your heart when you do daily activities such as lifting heavy objects.
If you think about it, the heart itself is a muscle, so challenging it with strength training only makes sense!
This week we will be replacing 3 cardio days with strength & flexibility days.
On your three cardio days, I want you to do this:
-5 minute warmup at an RPE of 3
–15 minute workout at a moderate pace RPE 5-6
-5 minute cooldown at an RPE of 3
Your first strength workout is below. Before you get started though, here are a few tips to get the most out of your workouts.
-Warmups should be dynamic enough to get your heart rate up. Perform 15 repetitions of each.
-All core and strength exercises should be performed with 8-12 repetitions in a circuit format. That means, do all of the exercises in a row without taking a break. Rest for 2 minutes, then do them all again.
-Use slow and controlled movements during the strength exercises.
-Exhale during the hardest part of the movement, and inhale on the release. Don’t hold your breath!
-Use proper technique. Have someone watch you or perform exercises in front of a mirror until you are comfortable with the movements.
-All stretches should be held for 30-60 seconds. Don’t forget to breathe and relax into the stretch.
-Don’t bounce, and don’t hold your breath.
All of our circuit workouts are designed to be done without the need for a gym or even any equipment. We will use your own body weight to challenge your muscles. Every workout will follow the same pattern. We will begin with a dynamic warmup, then a few core exercises. Next comes the strength circuit. I encourage you to try going through it twice (you can add a third circuit if you feel up to it). We will finish up with static stretching. There will also be optional foam rolling exercises at the end for those of you who decided to purchase a foam roller.
Ready to get started? Here we go!
This photo shows a push up progression from easiest to hardest. Choose the position in which you can do at least 8 push ups, but it is difficult to do 12. Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Foam Roller (optional)
And there you have it! Your first strength workout. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!