What workout is best for me is perhaps the question we ask ourselves most often when we’re starting out.
“Whoever starts well is halfway through”
Optimum training means the best ratio between training intensity and duration, correct training frequency and use of the most suitable exercises according to individual physical and postural characteristics.
What Workout Is Best For Me?
Let’s start by talking about the correct duration/intensity ratio of training: the intensity must always be privileged regarding the duration of a single training session, because after about 50 minutes from the start of training there is a progressive increase in the release of certain hormones including cortisol, which is highly catabolic (uses proteins for energy) and creates a further protein lysis, counterproductive especially if muscle tone improvement is sought.
If the training is done seriously, already after 35-40 minutes the muscle fibres will be exhausted.
As far as the ideal weekly frequency for training is concerned, the answer is not as simple as it seems: compared to the canonical three sessions, in fact, very often you can already get excellent results with two sessions per week.
The muscle, in fact, “grows” during rest, so if we do not give the body time to recover both at the muscular and mental level, we risk going into “over-training”, i.e. in a phase of over-training that can lead to poor (or even counterproductive) results.
To understand whether it is better to train 2, 3 or 4 times a week, therefore, it is necessary to know perfectly the subject’s ability to recover, a factor that depends on several factors, including: type of work done, quality and quantity of food ingested, psycho-emotional characteristics of the person, stress levels.
An individual who works ten hours a day, who eats little and is stressed because of family and/or relationship problems will need reduced training (sometimes even once a week is sufficient), at least until some variations – such as diet and stress – have improved: as far as the use of the most suitable exercises is concerned, a careful evaluation of individual characteristics is necessary both from a musculoskeletal and postural point of view, to identify which muscles need to be toned and which need to be stretched, without running into problems of body asymmetries.
There are no right exercises and wrong exercises, but there is the person who has a very precise muscular reality on which you have to work specifically to get the best result with minimum risk.
The question that will now arise spontaneously will be this: if I want to improve my physique to the full but I have limitations that discourage the execution of some exercises to tone the aforementioned muscle group, how do I develop it?
Well, you will work in the first periods (about 2-3 months) on muscle rebalancing and, after obtaining this, you will start using exercises with isotonic machines and/or free weights even on those muscle groups where initially you had only done a stretching job.
In short, the classic card on Monday: chest-biceps, Wednesday: back-biceps, Friday: shoulder-leg-abdomen, still in vogue in many Italian gyms, cannot work for everyone.
Understanding individual needs also means stopping to think about what you really need to do to improve your physical condition, getting away from the notion that “more is better”.
Maybe you didn’t know that:
- About 25% of deaths from chronic illnesses are caused by sedentary living and lack of physical activity.
- Physical activity is an independent factor for human health: it means that physical activity alone can reduce the risk of mortality from any disease. Thus, for example, a smoker who exercises is much less likely to die than a smoker who does not exercise.
- Just as physical activity is considered a medicine, lack of physical activity is considered a disease, the so-called “hypokinetic disease”.
- Reduced physical activity in childhood also has serious consequences in adulthood and old age.
- Reduced physical activity is often associated with poor eating habits.
- The negative effects caused by lack of physical activity are dose dependent, i.e. the less physical activity is practised, the greater the risks.
- Lack of physical activity also has very serious repercussions on the economic budgets of the state because it increases the costs of public health.
- Reduced physical activity has negative effects on the entire body, from bones to hair, from the heart to the lungs.