Maximizing Your Workout Results

Written with love, by Kim Riegel

Wouldn't it be nice to have a trainer come to your house five days a week?  For most people that is not possible. However, I want to show you ways that you can maximize your workout results and hold yourself accountable for your workouts so you can look amazing on your wedding day!

I like to get most of my clients on some kind of a heart rate monitor or fitness tracking device. While I am not here to advertise or sway you towards a specific fitness apparatus, by having one that can show your daily steps, heart rate or calories burned is one way of holding yourself accountable for your workouts.

Count those steps!

First, a device that can count your daily steps, some sort of pedometer, will give you a realistic look at how active you are on a daily basis. Roughly, people should move about 10,000 steps a day or the equivalent of 5 miles give or take. Some people would be surprised that they don't move anywhere near that on a daily basis. Others may easily achieve that in a morning run. Getting up every day and moving and burning calories and getting your steps in is a valuable way to hold yourself accountable and to make sure you are getting your exercise in. It may make you realize that you should walk more during the day, take the stairs or even get out various times throughout the day to meet your steps goal. All of this can make a big difference towards your fitness, health and bridal goals and something to take ownership of on your own.

Monitoring Heart Rate

The second reason to use a heart rate monitor/device is to make sure you're staying within your appropriate heart rate ranges during your workouts to maximize your results. If you're putting in the time for exercise, why not make sure you are getting the most out of it? I have found in many cases people either exercise too light and don't get their heart rate up high enough or exercise too high, almost anaerobically, and may feel nauseous or dizzy. Therefore, long breaks are needed to recover and bring the heart rate back down which can make workouts inefficient.

What I recommend is to find a realistic exercise range and to stick within the range the best that you can throughout the workout.  A formula to find your heart rate range is to take the number 220 minus your age multiplied by the percentages of how high and low you want to work out.

For example, a 20-year-old would end up being 220-20 = 200. 200 would be the working number. Take that number and multiply it by a reasonable lower and upper range to get the beats per minute (BPM) that your heart rate should stay between. On the low end, you can take 200 x 65% or times .65 and get 130 BPM's. On the upper range you could aim for 80% or 200×.80 equals 160.  So for this particular person wearing a heart rate device they will try to keep their workouts between 130 to 160 BPM. The formula is not always perfect and can be slightly adjusted based on the persons already existing fitness level.

Burning Fat

Another question I get is if a person should work out lighter to burn more fat?  If anyone has seen a cardio machine they will know that some cardio machines tell you to work out at a lighter intensity to burn fat and work out harder to burn carbohydrates. Wouldn't it be great to hardly work out and lose all the fat you would like? Unfortunately that is only partially correct. Initially, working out at a lower intensity will first utilize fat stores for energy. Once your heart rate begins to increase and your body has a specific heart rate, it will then turn to carbohydrates for the majority of the energy stores to burn for exercise.

Two important things to keep in mind when you decide how you want to exercise:

1) The higher your heart rate is the more calories per minute you will burn overall. So for 10 minutes of running you will burn nearly twice as many calories per minute than 10 minutes of walking where you were trying to burn fat. Lower heart rates burn less calories no matter what energy stores are being utilized.

2) Ultimately when it comes to exercise and eating, it is calories in versus calories out. So while having light exercise days may be good to try to burn fat for the workout, your overall calorie loss that day will be lower so you will have to adjust your eating accordingly.

What I recommend is to train in different intensities on different days. If you decide to have a lower intensity day you will need to exercise longer than you would on a higher intensity day to try and burn the equivalent amount of calories. It is good occasionally to have longer slower workouts which will produce cardiovascular results too. High intensity interval training workouts are great to tap into burning carbohydrates and to burn a lot of calories. Regular interval training is really good for bringing your heart rate up and dropping it back down and you can sustain a longer work out that way too.

By investing in some sort of a fitness device and using these tips you will be sure to get the maximum results and have the bridal body you want on your special day!