3 Recommended Fitness Programs for 3 Different Fitness Goals

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There are so many fitness programs to choose from.  Some are free, some are expensive, some come with dvds, some come with spreadsheet print outs, others are just general guidelines to use.  As of September 18th, 2012, there are 2 full body workout programs that I highly recommend and 1 general guideline that can be customed into a full workout program.
I’ve identified 3 main goals that I see people struggling for; 1) To lose fat and gain muscle, 2) Gain muscle size and strength, 3) Lose fat and gain cardio strength.
Lose Fat and Gain Muscle with P90x2 by Beachbody (DVD workout program)
People want to get chiseled and they want to burn fat, while also gaining muscle.  The typical Beachbody, if you will.  Although there are plenty that I am sure will work just fine, the best one that I have found is P90x2 by Beachbody.
P90x2 provides a variety of different workouts that will have you lifting weights to increase muscle strength and size.  You’ll also be doing plyometrics to increase athletic performance and cardio strength; yoga to increase core strength and flexibility; and other body weight exercises like push ups and pull ups to help strength your core muscles.
It is a balanced full body workout that even comes with a nice nutrition plan.  If you want everything laid out for you and are willing to pay the premium, then P90x2 is a good choice.
Gain Muscle Size and Strength with Power Bodybuilding by none other than Mike O’Hearn (Free, workout print outs)
P90x2 will help you gain muscle size, but not in the same sense that Power Bodybuilding will.  Power Bodybuilding will help you develop the thickness and density of bodybuilders and athletes.  You’ll be focused on developing raw power and muscle strength, in doing so, you’ll gain size… and lots of it.
The focus in power bodybuilding are 3 main exercises; squats, deadlifts, and incline/flat bench press.  I also like to add in hang cleans to the shoulder day just to add in a more explosive, athletic movement– Not that it really has anything to do with developing shoulders, but just because it is the best fit.
In Power Bodybuilding, you’ll be doing few reps, high weight, and several sets (up to 7).  I highly recommend doing the cardio/ab portion of the workout program as well if you’re looking to gain lean muscle.  Otherwise you’ll end up putting on a lot of size, but not necessarily look fit.
I also like to mix in a week of high repetition every 4 weeks just to change things up. Instead of doing the 4,3, or 2 reps, do 10 reps of each and 30 reps of the secondary lifts.  And every 12 weeks, I like to take a page out of Neil Hill’s Y3T training program and do a 20 rep for the core lifts and 100 reps for the auxiliary (light weight obviously) — Just to switch things up every 12 weeks.
Lose Fat and Gain Cardio Strength customzed by YOU (General guideline to apply)
The last one is more a guideline to use for gaining cardio strength and burning gristle.  It is known as high intensity interval training (HIIT) and it is real simple, don’t let this scare you away:
Maximum Heart Rate = 206 – (.88 * age)
For me 206 – (.88 * 25 years old).  Simplified to 206-22 = 184.
Typically high intensity is above 75% of your maximum heart rate, so for me it would be about 138 (184 * .75 = 138).
You take a cardio exercise, like biking, running, swimming, or whatever and you break it up into 30 second intervals.  We’ll use running as an example.
Get warmed up for 3-5 minutes
Then jog lightly in that 60-70% of your MAX HR range (110-129 for me) for 30 seconds.
After the first 30 seconds of jogging lightly, then you run hard for 30 seconds (above 75% max HR – 138 for me.)
Then 30 seconds at the slower speed to try and get your heart race back down.
Then run hard again for 30 seconds.
Real simple concept.  30 seconds of running hard, 30 seconds of jogging.
Then do about 5-10 sets depending on your fitness level.  It doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you go hard in your high intensity intervals, you’ll be sweating bullets and burning tons of calories.  Again, you can do this with biking, running, swimming, or whatever cardio you want.
Now just add in a day or two of full body strength training and you have a complete training program.
Which one is right for you?
Now you just got to figure out which program is right for you and more importantly, which one you can actually maintain.  I like to work on muscle strength, size, and power so power bodybuilding is for me.
I don’t like to do a lot of Cardio, so I certaintly can’t stand shelling out an hour on a treadmill.  I am however able to stand the high intensity interval training, but I don’t prefer it.  And I do like to cycle P90x2 once or twice a year to switch things up, but it is difficult for me to repeat cycle after cycle of p90x because I don’t really like doing body weight exercises like push ups and pull ups all that much.
Choose which one is right for you based on what you know you’ll be able to maintain, not necessarily what is best for your physique.  After all, a consistent workout plan is much better for your health than an off and on and unmotivated plan.
Which one is right for you?
3 Recommended Fitness Programs for 3 Different Fitness Goals, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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Comments

  1. never used to believe it mylesf. I gave too much credit to training and not enough to dieting. Now I do the reverse. I pay very close attention to my diet and I never waiver. Training is fun , but planning every meal for the rest of your day, week , month and year requires intention. For me, I decided to draw the line in the sand. No white flour, no sugar, no friend foods, no alcohol, and no processed foods. Everything else is available to me. I agree with your analysis.

    • Im a little cosufned because I thought that if my heart rate was really high, then I was out of shape. I have been working on increasing my endurance in cardio for over a year and in the beginning while running or intense cardio my max? heart rate would be around 180 (i was 16). I thought this was too high, and now im at about 175 (im 17 now) max which I still thought was too high. What does this mean?

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