My workout system could be better. I could follow proven plans online, and probably should. There are lots of options to follow, but what works best to achieve results is what works for you. In that regard, my workout system is awesome.
I’m not really a cardio type of person. I say that now, but that may well change over the course of this journey, and I’ll update along the way should things change. I prefer to lift. Lifting stuff stresses your muscles, causing them to grow. It takes a lot of stress, over a long time, and with sufficient fuel, to make them grow to a point where they are noticeable. You can’t look like a bodybuilder by accident, but what you can do is burn calories during a lifting workout, and continue to burn calories for a few hours after the workout at a rate higher than cardio exercise provides. What you also do is build a better frame of muscle, so that as you make progress with weight loss, what’s left underneath looks better.
I have a lifting cage and Olympic bar, along with a cable machine to work out with. These are tools which allow me to do the various lifts I perform each time I head out to the garage. Though my setup is more complete than other people may be able to have, any gym would have the same, and you can make do with alternatives.
I have 3 lifting variations on reps, with 5 sets of each. My standard is 8 reps, which is where I spend most of my time. I try to increase the weight I’m using each week or 2. I then either throw in a 5 rep variation where I use heavier weights, or a 12 rep version where I lower the weight. I do one of these once every 2 weeks. My reasoning for this is so I test my muscles in different ways, so they don’t get used to a single system, which hopefully means they get worked more. This hopefully promotes muscle growth and burns more calories. Move wise, I do a total body workout each time. I have 2 variants that I alternate between in the gym, which work the muscles in slightly different ways. Again, hopefully to keep the muscles guessing and make better progress. My lifts are ones which can be found online very easily; a mix of bench presses, lat pulldowns, rows, squats, deadlifts, should press and various other moves. At some point, I will settle on a final move set on each workout, which I will later share. Currently, I’m still tweaking the system and adding new elements.
I also have a third workout, which is using a power bag (sand bag). With this, I perform similar moves to those in the gym, but due to the lower weight, I do these at a faster pace with less rest between sets. I also add body twists to various moves.
What’s important about exercise in this journey is making sure you get the job done. Workout hard enough that you feel like you’ve earned the right to count it. Who cares if you burnt 200 or 500 calories. Who cares if you lose of gain a pound. If you keep doing the work, and you aren’t being silly with food, you will see progress. Set a simple target – 20 workouts in a month. Then just tick off the sessions. When you’re done, set yourself another 20 for the following month. If the longer term is too hard to focus on, you could set yourself a target of 4 workouts in a week. Do this, and start again the next week with the same target. The importance is to have something very measurable to you can directly control and influence.
You can’t control when the next pound will fall off. You can’t control where the next inch of fat will disappear from. You can control when you do another workout.