Cybex Fitness Blog

Exercise Essentials: 5 Principles of Effective Training Programs

Posted by Robert Barcia

Cybex guide to getting started: Foundational Five

When it comes to working out, relying on beginner’s luck can be fickle – and dangerous. To help you start smart we put together the exercise essentials that reflect the very best research in exercise science.

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  1. Make a decision and begin

    After reading this introduction, get started. If you’re starting out for the very first time, start small with simple choices. Table the idea of developing a “master plan” for later when your body – and your resolve - is ready for a well-developed exercise plan.

    Remember: Decisions are not made until action is taken. Your decision to get fit is admirable, as is your newfound need to endlessly discuss the finer issues of training with everyone you know - but the real decision to work out begins when you actually do the work.

  2. Embrace the "I" of the Tiger

    There may not be an “I” in Team but the “I” in exercise means your program should be all about you.

    More than just a pronoun, the “I” stands for the principle of individualization. In order to be effective, programs should be custom crafted for your body, restrictions and goal. Select exercises, daily routines and cycles that ensure progressive strength and conditioning attainment – but never leave out the element of fun that will keep you engaged long after the first few weeks.

  3. Don't resist resistance training

    Avoid the temptation of skipping resistance training (sometimes called strength training or weight lifting). Regardless of the term, resistance training is the way you preserve muscle mass and tone. And it’s the smartest way to burn more calories throughout the day.

    If your vehicle to fitness is propelled by how you want to look, then remind yourself that lean muscle mass (from resistance training) is your ticket to slim-city. Muscle weighs more than fat, so don't be fixated on the scale if you incorporate resistance training into your workouts. The additional meat on your bones means you’ll burn more calories as you go about your day.

    As we age, muscle volume declines due to hormonal and environmental factors. Similarly, bone density declines as we age leaving us vulnerable to brittle bone breakage and late-life debilitation, especially in females.

    For proper stimulation, bones and muscles require the challenge of progressive resistance training.

  4. Intensity

    There is enormous benefit to working in short instense bursts in addition to steady state work. You can lose more weight, improve your cardiac function, and can even help modulate insulin levels when you perform brief, high intensity, exercise intervals. The next time you’re on a bike or Arc Trainer, try pushing really hard for 10 to 30 seconds and then go slow for the next minute.

  5. Reciprocal movement

    Where there is a Yin, there should also be a Yang. Balancing muscles groups should not be a reaction, but a plan. Or at least there should be when it comes to exercise. Working opposing muscle groups together keeps the body from developing out of balance. Those who forget to pull with every push tend to be those who suffer from weak backs and excessively tight chests.

    One option to easily program push movements with a pulling movement is by working the reciprocal muscles in tandem. Try this by using the following machines together in your workout.

Remember: these five core concepts are based on the objective of progress not perfection. Used properly, they will help you to begin strong, continue strong and never stop moving your fitness forward.

Robert Barcia

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Topics: Healthy Living, Strength and Cardio

Cybex is a provider and manufacturer of premium commercial fitness equipment. Content featured in the Cybex Fitness Blog is meant to inspire healthy living and wellness and should not be taken as medical advice. As always, be sure to consult a physician if you are unsure of your individual exercise readiness or have a preexisting medical condition. While these programs offer great benefits, there are many considerations that should be weighed before attempting any type of physical activity.

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