Be Your Own Personal
Trainer to Get Big Results from your Home Fitness Equipment
You know that getting the most from your home fitness
equipment takes more than just jumping onto your elliptical or treadmill for
the same workout each day, but deciding what to do next can be overwhelming. Working with a personal trainer is helpful to
keep things challenging or to learn proper technique, but most of us can get
great results at home just by putting a little extra thought into our
training. Try a few of these tips to
get the kind of results you'd expect from paying big bucks to work with a
Goal Setting: Working with a personal trainer brings
structure and focus to your workouts.
You can get this advantage when using your fitness equipment at home by
deciding on your major goals (frequently weight loss or performance
improvement) and breaking them down into weekly and monthly goals. Once you know what you're hoping to achieve
each week, you can structure your workouts accordingly. For more on planning your workouts, check out
my previous blog on Periodization
Accountability Knowing that you will have to check in each
week and having someone hold you accountable for completing your workouts is a
huge benefit to working with a personal trainer. You can recreate this accountability with a
little planning and using your natural supports. A workout buddy or an online forum may be a
natural fit for you. Choose your partner carefully and make sure they're as
committed as you are. I've seen workout
partners derail each others efforts by giving each other an excuse to head for
happy hour or lunch rather than hitting the scheduled workout. You can also try beginning a personal journal
and reward system to keep track of your performance.
Diet Cardio is important but don't overlook the
effect of diet on hitting your fitness goals.
Current research is proving what we knew all along…that weight loss
happens most effectively when we combine diet and exercise. If you're not keeping track of your diet, you
may unconsciously be consuming enough calories to undo the good of your
workouts. Counting calories and food journaling are effective, but can be time
consuming. You can also try taking a
month to break some of the habits that are keeping you from hitting your ideal
weight. Good targets include dropping
sugar, alcohol, and second (or oversized) helpings from your diet. Hitting these common culprits will keep you from
making up for your increased caloric output with hidden calories.
Hit the Weights In addition to burning more calories and
adding definition to your form, strength training makes your cardio workouts
more effective. By increasing your range
of motion, power, and stability, strength training will let you work out harder
with a lower risk of injury. Try
alternating every four to six weeks between body weight exercises (such as
push-ups and squats) to improve your range of motion and stability and those using
free weights, such as dumbbells, to improve your strength.
Weigh In: What have you done to get more out of your
home fitness equipment? What tools and
techniques have helped you to reach your goals?