Strength training is another form of weight-bearing training which promotes the production of important vitality and growth hormones and testosterone. I view my strength training as a complement to my cardio training and not the other way around. I forgo strength training when I do not feel good or have even the slightest hint of muscle soreness. For me, cardio training is the first priority – and I complete it on an almost daily basis.
I always complete my strength training first and then use the remaining time to train with the stepper in order to promote recovery. Recently I have also begun to use this time to jog while surrounded by nature. I exercise in order to improve my quality of life. It is not my goal to take part in competitions. Of course I would like to improve my appearance through strength training, however, first and foremost I wish to live a life filled with vitality.
My training is one of the building blocks of a successful day. In order to keep it that way, it is necessary to maintain a certain intensity. In time it is possible to get a good sense of when you are working at seventy to eighty percent of your maximum intensity.
Periods of rest should be short in order to have beneficial resistance training workouts five days a week. And my experience shows: after a short time (around six months) one’s level increases greatly. And yes, making use of five to eight machines for two rounds per workout, and doing so four times per week, can lead to muscle growth. Admittedly, this does not occur as fast as it would if you were to complete two to three intensive strength training workouts per week. However, in my opinion the following advantages clearly outweigh this fact:
- The routine helps me to stay in the flow throughout the entire week. This seeps through to other areas of life.
- Less injuries occur, as a result of the fact that you are not pushing your limits. Yet this does not mean that you cannot challenge yourself.
- It is less difficult to give yourself the push to complete a short training session. This is particularly helpful at the beginning and results in less training sessions being skipped due to the fact that it is easier to complete the workouts.
- It is worthwhile to have two or three different routines in which different muscle groups are worked. When these are alternated, each muscle group gets sufficient rest time. Five thirty or forty minute strength or intensive training sessions five times a week add up to at least one hundred and fifty minutes, which is sufficient in order to build muscle mass.
- The time gained is precious. I enjoy listening to inspiring audiobooks while training and these lend a whole new quality to my day.
- Every day you have the feeling of having achieved something. Confidence levels increase and this daily boost can give you the kick you need to get through the most difficult periods of life.
My philosophy of never reaching my absolute limit works for me. The relevant question is “how much can I reasonably expect from myself if I hope to also complete the next day’s training session without being impaired?” You quickly develop a feel for this. And so I always have recovery in mind. Staying consistent, meaning training throughout the year without hiatus or injury, is highly beneficial for one’s health and performance. Both less active people and those who are more experienced may barely recognise themselves after following a training regime such as the one above for an entire year.
If you are interested it is possible to receive updates about my current fitness level and training regime on this blog.
During the first two years of my training, my fitness regime looked like this:
Monday: Strength training for 30 – 40 minutes and 30 minutes of low intensity cardio on the stepper with an average pulse of 130bpm
Tuesday: Strength training for 30 – 40 minutes and 30 minutes of low intensity cardio on the rowing machine with an average pulse of 130bpm
Wednesday: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on the stepper for 30 minutes
Thursday: Rest day, swimming
Friday: Strength training for 30 – 40 minutes and 30 minutes of low intensity cardio on the stepper with an average pulse of 130 bpm
Saturday: Strength training for 30 – 40 minutes and 30 minutes of HIIT on the stepper
Sunday: Rest day, Walk
At the moment my training regime looks a little different. I complete two higher intensity training sessions per week. This strategy is more difficult to implement. Practice and experience are required in order to not leave out any training sessions.
Monday: 10 minute jog right after getting up, 10 sets of 10 push-ups spread out throughout the morning, and a 30 minute jog in the evening
Tuesday: 10 minute jog right after getting up, 10 sets of 10 push-ups spread out throughout the morning, 90 minute intense strength training session with at least three rounds per exercise and 30 minutes on the stepper or a 30 minute jog
Wednesday: 10 minute jog right after getting up, intensive interval training on the stepper or outside for 30 minutes
Thursday: 10 minute jog right after getting up and a relaxing 750m swim in the evening
Friday: 10 minute jog right after getting up, 10 sets of 10 push-ups spread out throughout the morning and a 30 minute jog in the evening
Saturday: 10 minute jog right after getting up, 10 sets of 10 push-ups spread out throughout the morning, 90 minute intense strength training session and 30 minutes spent on the stepper or jogging
Sunday: 10 minute jog right after getting up and a walk of at least 30 minutes.