How often should you go to the gym to work out?

As a professional trainer there is one question that stands out, mainly because I hear it at least once a day. Everyone wants to know how often they should go to the gym to work out, and the answer I give can and frequently does vary. How often you go and work out at the gym usually depends on the results you are trying to achieve, your level of motivation, along with how much time you have free.

 

If you are trying to transform your body you will probably want to spend 5 to 6 days at the gym working out for 45 minutes or more, depending on your intensity level. The same is also true for strength training, while bodybuilders often need to be at the gym for several hours every day of the week. This is one of the reasons why I have the privilege of training many of the tourists that visit Gwangju each year.

 

Athletic young man laid on back working his chest with heavy dumbbells

For my clients that are looking to get in shape, lose weight and simply improve their overall health, I usually follow the guidelines that are listed in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. Researchers found that you get the same healthy benefits regardless of how often you go to the gym as long as it totals 150 minutes per week. Remember this will be different if you are going for specific results like “6-pack abs” or a total body transformation. Before you start panicking on how you are going to fit 150 minutes of workouts into your busy schedule it should be noted that the 2.5 hours can be divided into almost any increment that you want.

 

This means you can spend a little over 20 minutes at the gym working out seven days a week or only 5 times if you can exercise for 30 minutes at a time. When my clients realize that they can create a time to exercise that fits their busy schedule they find that they are more likely to stick with their workout plan. This means that they can enjoy healthier lives, and this is what my job is partially about.

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When it comes to how often you should work out at the gym, the best person to answer this question is you. Think about your schedule and the results you are trying to achieve, and then simply go from there. In today’s busy world you should feel proud of yourself if you do have the time to workout for 150 minutes a week.

A Few Diets You Should Try

If losing weight is your goal, exercising is not enough. You also need to start dieting so you can indeed lose the extra pounds that bother you. I want to share with you a few diets you should try in order to get in shape without fearing that you will end up putting back the pounds you have just lost through effort and dedication. I need to tell you that there is no silver bullet when it comes to dieting and the final goal of a diet should not be only to lose weight. Following a diet must have solid health benefits and not simply deprive you of necessary nutrients leaving you famished and lacking energy.

 

 

The Mediterranean diet

ca1This diet has been the talk of many TV shows, articles, books and so on and it is based on what the people living in Mediterranean countries usually consume on a daily basis. People from these areas are known to be healthier, live longer lives and the occurrence of heart diseases is lower in Mediterranean countries, as well, compared to the rest of the club. Unlike fad diets that come and go, this diet is based on solid nutritional principles that have been in the works for centuries, with clear results. This is a really healthy diet that does not deprive you of energy and it protects you from serious diseases. As already mentioned, the occurrence of heart conditions in people following the Mediterranean diet is lower than in other population groups. Other studies show that this diet protects you against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Brain damage is also prevented in aging individuals, so, as you can see, there is a whole bunch of benefits associated with this diet. It consists of a lot of fresh veggies, legumes, fruits, fish, olive oil and a bit of red wine once in a while.

 

 

Yogurt based diets

ca2Another type of diet that is gaining in popularity lately and it shows good results both in weight loss, as well as health benefits is the so called probiotics diet. Yogurt is the main ingredient in this diet, because it is the best source of good bacteria that is easily available. Homemade yogurt is highly recommended, because it is free of preservatives and other add-ons that have nothing to do with yogurt whatsoever, but rather with just prolonging shelf life for these products. The probiotics diet includes other fermented foods, like kimchee, but eating more yogurt seems to be at its core. A good balance of bacteria in your digestive system is the basis for good overall health, and it also stimulates the metabolism, helping you lose weight faster.

 

 

The DASH diet

ca3DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension and with such a name, it is clear what is the main purpose of this diet. However, you do not have to be a patient to try it. Actually, I find this diet to be the kind of thing you should try if you want to lay the groundwork for a healthier lifestyle. The principles behind the DASH diet are simple and they basically re-tell us all the rules we already know. In a nutshell, this diet tells you to eat more of what is good, and less of what is bad for your body. Recommendations include eating more fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis, consuming low fat dairy, limiting protein intake to poultry and fish, which are lean meats, and reducing the amount of sodium and sugar in your diet. The main disadvantage, if we can call it this way, is that you will have to do a lot of grocery shopping and cook at home, so you can really control what you are eating.

A few things you should know about strength training

Strength training can burn fat and calories, along with increase your lean muscles mass. It can even promote strong, healthy bones and significantly reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. These are just some of the benefits you can get from including strength training in your workouts, but there are a few other things you should know.

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Most experienced trainers, myself included recommend adding strength training exercises to your workouts. Boxers and weightlifters will obviously benefit from having added strength, and since these exercises naturally boost metabolism it is a little easier to achieve and keep your body lean and toned. Best of all there are several ways you can include strength training so you don’t have to completely change your regular workout routine.

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You can easily do strength training exercises at home or at the gym, but if you are just starting out I recommend that you do so under the guidance of a trained professional. As beneficial as strength training can be, it can also result in injuries that are usually preventable. As a trainer at a local gym I have witnessed this several times throughout my career.

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These exercises can be performed with free weights, exercise machines, resistance tubing or even just by using your own body weight. To prevent strained or torn muscles you will want to spend 5 to 10 minutes warming up, before you start working out with weights. I recommend starting off at a weight level that will start to tire your muscles after 12 to 15 reps. You can always increase the amount of weight and number of repetitions as your strength improves, but starting off too heavy is one of the main causes of injuries. It is also just as important to use the proper lifting and resistance techniques, and this is why I always recommend at least starting off with an experienced trainer before you start trying to perform strength training exercises on your own.

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If you add just 20 to 30 minutes of strength training a couple days a week to your regular workout plan you will start to notice a difference in stamina and the amount of weight you can move, even if you weren’t in shape when you first started the exercise plan. When strength training is combined with a good cardio workout you can improve your overall health and dramatically decrease your risk for certain health problems, and this is always a benefit.

The best cardio exercises

If you are a boxer aficionado, perhaps you might have become interested in getting a punching bag rather recently. Few people seem to think that cardio can be done by using a heavy bag. We’re here to prove you otherwise. Heavy bag training is good for your physique as it can take your resistance and shape to a whole new level. Perhaps you’re interested in gaining some muscle or maybe just losing some weight. If this is the case, we’ve noticed that some of the most efficient schedules that you can take advantage of rely on the use of a punching bag and several other types of equipment, as well.

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If your time does not allow you to get a gym membership and use the treadmill, elliptical, or weights you might find at such a studio, there’s nothing from stopping you from buying them and using them at home. Sure, many of these items aren’t particularly cheap, but they’re worth the investment as you’ll be able to exercise daily.

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You ought to perfect your schedule in such a way that you’re able to do both cardio and muscle training. You can’t possibly have one without the other. If you like jogging in your neighborhood, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it for as many as fifteen to twenty minutes per session, then going back home and training with your heavy bag. Be sure to become well-acquainted with the basics of interval training as it has been found to be the most efficient kind of exercising when it comes to getting back in shape and maintaining your physique in the long run. Hit the bag for two to three minutes especially if you are out of shape right now, and then take a small break for about thirty seconds. Keep doing this for up to thirty minutes or until you can’t seem to handle it any longer. Again, take a small break then go jogging once again, for just ten minutes or more. Finish it off with some crunches, abs training, and weightlifting, and you’ll be looking and feeling great in just several weeks.

It goes without saying that all these cardio and muscle training exercises should be correlated with a healthy diet. We recommend getting enough veggie and fruit carbs and if you aren’t a vegetarian or vegan, you can have your pick between grilled or baked chicken and low-fat fish as well as some egg whites omelet.

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As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that the internet is filled with many resources, some of which are available in video format. If you ever feel bored with the exercised you’re performing on a daily basis, perhaps you might benefit from changing your routine and spicing it up with other workouts. Many health and fitness advocates have YouTube channels, and the neat thing about all these videos is that they’re free. Be sure to take advantage of all the info you come across and while you’re at it, go through some of the discussions that can be found on workout forums and other platforms.

Punching bag training essentials

 

Some people say that protective equipment is not necessary when it comes to training with a punching bag. Nevertheless, if you want to prevent injuries and pain, wrapping and gloves are mandatory when training. Indeed, you can punch a heavy bag with your bare hands too. You can do it a couple of times until you develop bruises or, even worse, damage your bone structure. The only way you can keep your knuckles in good health is by wearing proper protection.

 

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In boxing and sports in general, a minor injury can stall your development and put you off training for an indefinite period of time. The only way to avoid such circumstances is to take every precaution you can whenever you can. If your trainer asks you to put on gloves during your training sessions, it is probably in your best interest, even if you don’t feel like you need them at that precise moment. Always keep in mind that a serious injury can put you off training for good and end your boxing career.

 

cafe2Another reason for which you should wear gloves when training with a heavy bag is that they keep your hands in the right position and help you develop a good punching technique. This will prevent injuries, pain and will help your development as a boxer. Employing the right techniques will enable you to throw rapid, powerful and accurate punches, thus giving you more chances to win your competitions.

 

However, the way you choose the perfect boxing gloves is where things get a bit more complicated, as opinions differ on this matter. From a technical standpoint, you should not use gloves under 16 oz for training, unless you are a very small person because, as you may know, there’s a connection between the types of gloves you use and your weight. Besides that, the impact of the punch is more powerful on the object you hit, but also on your hands, if you use gloves that have a slim padding. As such, a thick padding will ensure your hands endure a minimized shock, no matter how powerful you hit the bag.

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On the other hand, some trainers will advise their students to wear slim padded gloves during training, as these will ensure a minimum of protection, but will allow you to sense the impact of your punch in a more accurate way, thus giving you a better notion on how you should throw an effective one during a match. Even so, no trainer will advise you on hitting a punching bag or another opponent with your bare hands.

 

The best cardio workout

The benefits of punching bag training are close to infinite as they’ve been proven to improve aerobic fitness, power, body resistance, core stability, and coordination, as well as the boxing technique of people who are working toward perfecting their skills. It goes without saying that it’s difficult to begin with using a punching bag, particularly if you’ve had no prior experience or there was no trainer that could explain to you the basics of this kind of workout. Even so, thanks to the multitude of online resources that are available for free nowadays, anyone can take their training to a whole new level, with minimum equipment.

Another reason you may feel like beginning with punching bag cardio is to develop self-defense capabilities. No one knows when they’re likely to utilize self-defense techniques in any given moment, whether you plan to get yourself out of a tricky situation or interfere when somebody else is in trouble. Finally, if you have a lot of stress built up from your work or daily routine, hitting the heavy bag once in awhile can significantly lower your stress levels.

cafe1One of the most important tips that should be recommended to any punching bag user consists of preparing properly by gathering the crucial pieces of equipment to keep safe at all times. Wraps and gloves are downright mandatory if you’d like to keep your hands and knuckles in top shape, and even more so if you use your hands at work and can’t afford to damage them.

Since cardio can seriously take a toll on your cardiac and respiratory resistance, it might be a good idea to do some warming up and begin as light as possible. Take two to five minutes to circle the bag and perfect your body position so that you don’t hurt yourself while hitting the bag. Moreover, you should use a fighting stance to throw punches, just like you would if you were to hit your opponent instead of your punching bag. Breathe properly to ensure that you don’t suffer from fatigue.

cafe2If you’re slightly out of shape and don’t know how to commit to a training routine, it’s recommended that you start off with just two sessions per week, so that you’re able to gradually increase your resistance and body shape. Once you’ve spent five minutes using a jump rope or on a stationary bike, you can proceed by stretching your legs and arms. This practice will help you relax and perform correct hits later on. Basic cardio can be carried out by throwing some twenty-five or thirty punches depending on your stance. For instance, you could drill twenty-five cross punches, continue with jab punches, throw in some right and left uppercuts and finish off with right and left hooks. Once you’ve reached the training level that’s been your goal for a while, you can try some intensity training. Hit the bag for as many as three minutes at a time with as much power as possible, then take thirty-second breaks during which you stretch out your major muscle groups. Get back to hitting the bag and take a second pause.

With just the right amount of patience, all your purposes can be achieved. Small steps are sometimes better than jumping on the hardcore workout bandwagon. Once you’ve mastered the techniques that you want to learn, you can gradually improve your shape and technique so that the sky’s the limit for your heavy bag routine.

How to work out efficiently? A fitness trainer’s blog

 

I am a fitness trainer in the city of Gwanju. In my years of experience I’ve met many people, including a lot of foreigners that come in great numbers here. My obligation as a trainer is to take care of each one of those coming to train here and put in place an individual exercising schedule for them. However, given the fact that they are many and I am just one, I am sometimes unable to put in place a method of training that would serve each and every person. The best I can do for them is creating a beginner’s program and then a suitable continuation to the initial type of training that will show good results.

However, since a lot of people come to the gym with various issues or for different reasons, it is only fair that you try creating the best program for each individual need. Unfortunately, this is not possible when working with different schedules and different problems.

Class of young adults follow a personal trainer in stretching exercises. Horizontal shot.

This is the main reason for which I believe a blog trying to explain the various types of training for particular cases would be an effective way of assisting people who are overweight or deal with other physical issues. Since, no matter how much I try, I’m not able to help everybody, this blog will try to fill in the gaps regarding essential fitness questions and the best training methods for each category of people.

For starters, I would like to talk just a bit about the main error beginners commit so often. One of the most commonly encountered mistakes that they make is that of selecting the most inappropriate training routine for their needs. For example, if you’re trying to gain muscle and not lose weight, you need to follow a different exercising routine. Of course, there are similarities between the two, but mostly they are quite different.

one caucasian couple man woman personal trainer coach exercising weights fitness ball silhouette studio isolated on white background

Always keep in mind that body building or losing weight are two problems that can be solved only by applying a holistic approach. What I mean by that is, losing weight is not only about exercising or dieting, but it involves changing your entire lifestyle. There are many factors outside unhealthy food and lack of exercising that will determine how your body behaves on the long run: fatigue, stress or lack of motivation, are all essential if you want to achieve your goal. This is not a personal opinion, extensive clinical studies concerning weight loss have reached the same conclusion.

Therefore, I will try focusing on bringing to people’s attention some of the scientific studies and articles that have dealt with medical problems related to lack of exercising, binge eating, excessive dieting and the overall influence that an unbalanced lifestyle has on our bodies. I believe showing how everything in our bodies is interconnected and doing so in a simple manner is the only way to convince people to adopt a sane and balanced approach to physical aspect issues.