Many of us started working out by just hopping on one of the cardio machines with the hope that it’d do the trick. However, understanding the anatomy of a proper workout will help you each and every time you’re in the gym. Let’s eliminate excuses and negative experiences forever with our 4-step workout plan.
Anatomy of a Proper Workout
1. Know Before You Go
Each workout should serve a purpose and should have a definite desired outcome. Many athletes plan their entire season; including monthly goals and plans, weekly, and all the way down to the specific day. Of course, this takes a little more time and effort, but it pays off. If you don’t plan to that level, it’s fine. One day per week, just jot out your goals for the upcoming week, and include as much detail for each day as you’re able. And this takes only a few moments to do.
Each workout should include a thorough warm-up. While this will likely be different for each type of activity, the necessity of a warm-up is constant. The goal of a warm-up is to get the heart rate to increase, to open the blood vessels, to warm up the body core temperature, and to prepare the muscles and connective tissue for the work ahead. A proper warm-up is critically important to not only improving the quality of the workout, but to help keep you injury-free as well.
3. Main Set
After a proper warm-up, you can then jump into the “guts” of the workout. Whether this is an interval session, a hill climbing session, or any other quality work, your body is completely ready! Want to try a new workout? Try one of these:
- The Monster Mash Workout
- No Time? Three 10-Minute Workouts You Can Do Today
- 30-Minute Warrior Dash Circuit Workout
4. Cool Down
As you complete the main set of your training session, your heart is pumping, you’re hot and sweating, and your muscles are fatigued. This is NOT the time to simply jump in the shower and carry on with the rest of the day.
Take a few minutes to allow your heart rate and breathing to come down to normal and you’re sweating to stop. This cool down period should occur while you’re moving your body; whether this is walking, spinning your pedals easily, or doing your activity at a very, very low intensity. As you cool down, you should perform a series of static stretches, which gently allows your tight muscles to stretch back to normal length.
Each workout should include these 4 steps. Your workout time will be efficient and effective, and your chance for injury will be significantly reduced. What more can you ask for?