August 13, 2020, by Charlotte Gauja
Planning your 75 minute workout
To manage capacity and maintain social distancing, all members are required to pre-book their activity via your online account in advance. The bookable sessions in the fitness suite will be limited to 75 minutes to allow for cleaning in between sessions. In this blog, fitness instructor, John, gives top tips to ensure you get the most out of your 75 minute session.
Why do I need a plan?
A great place to start is to consider how much time you usually spend in the gym. For a lot of gym goers, being limited to 75 minutes may be less than they usually would like. If you like to take-time using mixture of cardio and weights, finished with a good amount of core work and/or stretching, you will need to take a more tactical approach to your session.
Having a plan before you enter the gym will not only help with your time management but also give you focus and enable you to ensure your goal for each session is met. Rather than wasting time thinking about what exercise you should do next, you’ll have it in black and white, saving precious minutes.
OK, how do I start?
At this point it is a great idea to find some sort of program you would like to follow. Maybe it’s from YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook. Maybe it’s from your favourite fitspo or it’s a personalised fitness program from one of our fitness team. Regardless where the program is from, simply make sure that you understand it, feel comfortable performing it in the gym without help and that it is conducive to your goals. If you choose to create your own program, ensure you balance workout volume and intensity with adequate recovery and, especially if your activity levels have dropped since lockdown, take it easy!
Now you have your program, try and picture yourself performing it in the gym. Walk through step by step and think about the timings. For example – an average 10-15 repetition set of an exercise will be around 45-60 seconds. So, let’s take the high end and assume each set of an exercise will take 1 minute, with up to a minute rest in between (bear in mind this example is on an average set of an exercise with a moderate load. High loads will require longer periods of rest) and again, taking the high end of this time, we do 3 sets – that’s 6 minutes in total for that exercise. Now imagine you do 10 exercises accounting for a whopping 60 minutes of your workout! Suddenly time has escaped us and that leaves 15 minutes for warmups, cool downs, bathroom breaks, PB (Personal Best) victory dances, cleaning down equipment after use and cardio.
If your program needs more time than what you can imagine as you walk through, you will need to have a look at how you can split or condense the workout. Once you reach the point where you can picture your workout from the moment you walk in to when you walk out, and you can comfortably make the allocated 75 minutes time period, then I guarantee you will feel so much more confident and ready for the workout ahead.
How do I condense or split a workout routine?
So, you’ve found a program but you realise you don’t have the time to complete the workout. I would recommend 2 options here.
Find a split – if the workout requires too many exercises for one session, think about how you can split the routine without losing the effectiveness. Consider moving a few of smaller (less demanding/less muscles used) exercises to a separate day alongside a longer cardio based session.
Condense the workout – if you cannot split it, the next best thing you can do is find ways of shortening the workout but keeping the exercises. As an example, think about what exercises could be paired together as super sets (one exercise straight after the other without the rest period in between) or giant sets (several exercises straight after one another without rest periods in between). These are just a couple of methods you can use to condense the workout whilst keeping the training volume and load.
Warm up with a purpose
There are many benefits of foam rolling. It can reduce pain and muscle soreness, improve flexibility and range of motion, activate muscle tissue, prevent injury, and boost performance. Foam rolling can be done at any time such as before a workout, as part of a cool down or as an active recovery session.
Personally, I use foam rolling as a warmup accelerator – rolling areas that are ‘tight’ and I intend to work in my session gives me crucial improved range of motion, especially in my hamstrings which are very tight from years of playing sports and being uneducated on effective stretching and flexibility routines. Improving my mobility and muscle function prior to my sessions enables me to get stuck into my weights sessions far quicker and with a reduced risk of injury.
Foam rolling should take 3-5 minutes and should be focused on the larger muscle groups e.g. legs, back and glutes. For smaller muscle groups such as the chest and shoulders you may need a smaller accessory such as a tennis ball. Foam rollers are inexpensive and can be brought with you to the gym in a drawstring bag- as part of our new measures we have removed ours from the gym floor until further notice.
Raise your temperature
Performing activity that raises the heart rate is a well-known warm-up for a good workout, however the main aim of a warmup should actually be to increase core body temperature . The activity required to hit that ‘sweet spot’, not being too cold or too hot, will vary within individual’s depending on how their core temperature varies throughout the day. Breaking a light sweat and feeling your muscles heat up slightly are both key indicators of reaching that sweet spot. Did you know if you train in the morning, your core temperature is at its lowest when you first wake up?
To potentiate means to make something effective. By including dynamic stretches and mobility exercises in our warmup, we increase muscular activation and range of motion. For example performing a 3-5 set warm up pyramid of barbell squats starting a light weight, and working up to a moderate load, before hitting a working weight will enable you to perfect your movement pattern, increase our range of motion and activate our leg and glute muscles safely, but more importantly, effectively.
Our team can’t wait to welcome you back and we’ve been preparing carefully to ensure your health, safety and wellbeing. Please remind yourself of our new measures in place before you attend a pre-booked session at our facility.
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