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How To Set The Best Weekly Workout Routine
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How to Set the Best Weekly Workout Routine

Well done! You are probably here because you are serious about starting a consistent fitness regime. Committing to a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health.

It’s easy to say that you’ll exercise every day or so and so days a week. It’s important to keep a plan and stick to it though. And most importantly, make sure the plan is realistic. If you are a busy working mom with 3 kids to take care of after work, don’t go and set 90-minute sessions 7 days a week. (Bravo to those who have done it! I just thought that this is beyond reality in my own terms.)

This is me speaking from my own experience. I once designed a fitness schedule that was way out of the scope that I can commit to. I planned intensive workouts to be done after work, ignoring my irregular, long working hours. I survived for two weeks, and naturally, I failed.

Anyway, you don’t need 7 days a week of exercise to keep yourself fit. Your muscles need at least a day of rest a week after all. According to the founder Joseph Pilates himself, the best results are achieved by following his methods of full body workouts 4 times per week.

In Pilates, the best workout combination would be to train by the classical mat routine and Pilates equipments, whether it is performed in classes or at home. Pilates equipment workouts are an important part of the weekly routine because they provide the resistance training that classical mat workouts can’t offer. Resistance training gives you stronger bones, strength and flexibility.

By the way, the basic Pilates equipments include stretch bands, Pilates ring, Pilates ball, and the Pilates reformer. The reformer is the bulkiest of them all but there are many portable versions nowadays. It is an exercise machine that provides a good resistance training for a full body workout.

Here are a few tips to schedule an effective Pilates routine:

Determine your fitness goals: Is your goal to lose weight, to tone up a certain area of your body, or simply to keep a fitness routine for the sake of your health? There is a myriad of Pilates DVDs and online resources for every purpose to help you out with. Having a clear goal will help you focus.

Put it on Paper: The traditional paper method still works. Print a copy of your schedule and paste it on the fridge or wherever area that is easily visible for you. A schedule on paper will keep you on track.

Do not just focus on one area. Make sure you work your whole body: Even if your goal is “to have flatter abs”, to obtain the best results of Pilates, you will need to give yourself a full body workout weekly. Some Pilates DVDs offer 10 to 15 minute workouts for each muscle group. Be sure to complete all the 10-15 minute sets for every part of the body. However, there may be some days when you simply won’t have the time for a full body workout. Remember the rule of thumb: “something is better than nothing”. So if you only have 15 minutes on that day, remember your goal to have flatter abs and focus on the abs exercises. Make those precious 15 minutes count! Trust me, there are rewards to being faithful.

Keep your workouts varied: Pilates is not a set of boring exercises repeated daily. There are many variations of exercises for each muscle group. Study a few sets of moves for each part of the body and mix and match so that you won’t be repeating the same moves every day.

For Example: Today: Abs Set 1 + Leg & Butt Set 3 + Arm Set 1 Tomorrow: Abs Set 2 + Leg & Butt Set 1 + Arm Set 3 etc.

Looks like some algebra formulae huh? And just like any other exercise programs, do remember to vary the intensity of your workouts as you go along.

Basically, you have to create a workout schedule that works with your lifestyle. Four days a week of an hour long workouts would be ideal, but tell yourself not to go below 2 days a week if you want to keep a healthy pilates schedule.

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