The Perfect Workout?
Exercise is great for the human body. Nobody disagrees with that. The real question is, what exercise or workout modality is best? Before we dive into the different makeup of a perfect workout, there is a clear first ingredient.
The best workout is the one you are going to stick with. This is easily the base of your perfect workout pyramid.
Exercise should be safe. Remember, exercise keeps your body and heart strong. It is also the single best antidote against all-cause mortality. If you injure yourself, this could affect your ability to maintain your routine and thus, potentially decondition your body. Injuries that heal could also be a weak point and therefore make you more susceptible to another injury down the road. There are many things that can lead to injury. Over-use is a major cause of many injuries. Your body and your muscles need time to recover. Poor form is another root cause. Momentum is another. Many times, you can find momentum and poor form together in the gym. The double whammy. The perfect workout should be one of good form, infrequent enough as to not overuse joints, muscles, and tendons, and minimize the risk of injury due to momentum.
If you're in a time crunch, much like the rest of the world, your workout needs to be brief but effective. Getting the most upside from your workout in the least amount of time would be ideal. As you do your own research on this topic, you're going to find that some form of High-Intensity Training (HIT and HIIT) is going to slide into your pyramid as the exercise of choice.
We mentioned the word effective. What does that mean in terms of exercise exactly? We need to really examine what we're attempting to do with exercise. When you exercise, ideally you are stressing your body and muscles enough so that they are forced to change in order to keep up the demand you are forcing upon them. That's right, proper exercise is a stressor. If you don't give your heart, muscles, and everything else a reason to change for the better, they will stay the same. An effective workout should stress the entire body. This means the cardiovascular system as well as the muscular and skeletal system.
There is a Perfect Workout that exists and here is what we think it is. High-Intensity Strength Training (HIT) checks a lot of boxes. It is a workout routine you can stick with. It's very efficient. You need to perform a HIT workout only 1-2 times per week. You must give your body the rest in between workouts to recover. Each workout only lasts about 20 minutes. Before you dismiss this based on time, please know that you don't want to do anymore after your 20 minutes is up. cardio session in one.
A HIT workout is very safe. You move weights around (mainly on machines) in a slow and controlled manner. Doing a HIT workout with a trainer will also ensure your form is always on point. Since you're moving the weight slowing, you are not at risk for a momentum type injury. There are also new-age pieces of equipment out there that don't put your body against any gravity-based weight. Check out ARX Machines (Adaptive Resistance Exercise).
What about the effectiveness of a HIT Workout? Your goal of a workout is to break down and stress the muscles of your body enough to force change. A properly performed HIT Session does just this. Each muscle group is worked to the point of muscle failure. The muscle failure point is the point in which your body signals change. This is what you're after with every workout and this is what a properly performed HIT Session does, it causes each of your muscles to reach a point of failure in a safe and efficient manner.
The benefits of a HIT Session is a new concept for many people. This form of training has been around for years and become extremely popular in the 1970s. Do yourself a favor and find a location in your area that specializes in High-Intensity Strength Training. It just may be the Perfect Workout for you.