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Last Updated on March 20, 2018

Exercise Routine That Best Fits You (With 3 Difficulty Levels to Choose)

Exercise Routine That Best Fits You (With 3 Difficulty Levels to Choose)

Do you find it difficult sticking with an exercise routine? Do you love the idea of creating a routine, yet still lack the motivation to apply your creation? If so, you are not alone. If you have not heard of my 24 Hour Workout, let me introduce you to the ultimate exercise routine hack.

Let’s examine the routine by splitting it into three levels as my routine can seem a little intimidating at times.

Why you need an exercise routine

The ultimate exercise routine identified here is different than most routines in that it requires no gym membership and can be done anywhere at any time. The benefits of exercise (and maintaining an exercise routine) will lead to an overall healthy life.

Simply adopting this exercise routine will completely change your life. Let’s examine 11 Benefits of Exercise provided by Dr. Axe:[1]

  1. Boost happiness levels
  2. Learn to set and achieve goals
  3. Reduce risk of heart disease
  4. Improved sleep
  5. Boost in overall energy
  6. Increased strength and flexibility
  7. Improved memory
  8. Increased self-confidence
  9. Perform better at work
  10. Less susceptible to disease
  11. You will live longer

An exercise routine (combined with a morning routine) is the ultimate life hack. Not only will it provide you with a way to think, look, and feel great, but it will also boost your productivity, increase your energy level and intelligence, improve your memory, and increase your overall quality of life.

Equally important, you can begin an exercise routine at any stage in your life.

The 3 levels of exercise routine

This exercise plan is designed based onthe American Council on Exercise (ACE) Health-Fitness-Performance (HFP) Continuum as a guide for better health, fitness and performance:

    I have broken the fitness program into three different difficulty level: beginners, intermediate and advanced.

    Workout routine for beginners

      It is easy to imagine starting an exercise routine, yet it is very difficult to begin doing the actual work. That’s why it is actually the hardest level.

      The following is a beginner’s exercise routine:

      1. Exercise hourly or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

      When:

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      Monday, Wednesday, Friday

      • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
      • How long: 2 months

      Both options are exercises that can be done at home (or anywhere indoors).

      Option A – Exercise hourly (if possible)

      Using a version of the Pomodoro Technique, use a timer and set it for every 60 minutes.

      Once the timer goes off, do the following:

      Power Push-up. Start with 10 push-ups and do these five times a day. Watch the following video:

      Plank. Hold the plank for at least 30 seconds (five times a day). Watch the following video:

      Option B – High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts for beginners at Home (morning or evening)

      Before beginning the following workout, make sure you warm up for 3 minutes (jumping jacks, quick jog, etc.). After you have completed the workout, rest for at least 1 minute and stretch.

      The HIIT Workout for Beginners at Home by Anytimestrength.com outlines the perfect alternative to my 24 Workout.[2] Follow Circuits 1-4 in the image below:

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        2. Cardio workout exercises of your interest (works with Option A or B)

        • When: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
        • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
        • How long: 2 months

        Do some form of cardio (i.e. jogging, elliptical, stair climber, jumping rope, swimming, cycling, etc.) for at least 20 minutes.

        Before you do any cardio exercises, do this 5-minute warmup routine to prevent injuries:

        Fitness tips for the beginner level

        • Stand while you work. This simple change will improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and prevent neck strain.
        • Drink more water as it will increase your energy, relieve fatigue, promote weight loss, and flush out toxins.
        • Take a cold shower to wake up.

        Workout routine for intermediate level

          After 2 months you will want to step it up. At this point you should start seeing some of the benefits of your new exercise routine. The following is an intermediate guide:

          1. Exercise hourly or 10-minute home fat burning workout

          • When: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
          • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
          • How long: 4 months

          Option A – Exercise hourly (if possible)

          Using a version of the Pomodoro Technique, use a timer and set it for every 60 minutes. Once the timer goes off, do the following:

          Power Push-up. Do 20 push-ups (five times a day).

          Plank. Hold the plank for at least 50 seconds (five times a day).

          Option B – 10 minute home fat burning workout (morning or evening)

          Before beginning the following workout, make sure you warm up for 3 minutes (jumping jacks, quick jog, etc.). After you have completed the workout, rest for at least 1 minute and stretch.

          ATHLEAN-X provides a fantastic (and killer) workout you can perform in the morning or evening if you are not able to exercise hourly.[3]

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          Watch and follow along with the following video:

          2. Cardio workout exercises of your interest (works with Option A or B)

          • When: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
          • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
          • How long: 4 months

          Do some form of cardio (i.e. jogging, elliptical, stair climber, jumping rope, swimming, cycling, etc.) for (at a minimum) 30 minutes.

          Don’t forget to do this warmup routine to prevent injuries:

          Fitness tips for the intermediate level

          • Stand while you work. This simple change will improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and prevent neck strain.
          • Drink more water as it will increase your energy, relieve fatigue, promote weight loss, and flush out toxins.
          • Take a cold shower to wake up.

          Workout routine for advanced level

            After 6 months you should start to think, look, and feel really good. It’s now time to enter into beast mode! The following is an advanced guide:

            1. Exercise hourly, or Bodyweight only HIIT workout

            • When: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday
            • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere (try it in an airport!)
            • How long: the rest of your life!

            Option A – Exercise hourly (if possible)

            Using a version of the Pomodoro Technique, use a timer and set it for every 45-60 minutes. Once the timer goes off, do the following:

            Power Push-up. Do them until they hurt (ten times a day).

            Plank. Hold the plank until it hurts (ten times a day).

            Bicep curls with a resistance band (as many as you can ten times a day – can be done anywhere and everywhere). Learn how to do it with this video:

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            Pull-ups (as many as you can 5 times a day). Watch this video to do it right:

            Option B – Insane HIIT Challenge – Bodyweight Only HIIT Workout (morning or evening)

            Before beginning the following workout, make sure you warm up for 3 minutes (jumping jacks, quick jog, etc.). After you have completed the workout, rest for at least 1 minute and stretch.

            FitnessBlender.com provides an insane HIIT workout and I recommend it as an alternative to my 24 Hour Workout if you are unable to exercise hourly. [4] Watch and follow along with the following video:

            2. Cardio workout exercises of your interest (works with Option A or B)

            • When: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
            • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
            • How long: the rest of your life!

            Do some form of cardio (i.e. jogging, elliptical, stair climber, jumping rope, swimming, cycling, etc.) for (at a minimum) 30 minutes. Bump it up to 60 minutes or more when training for an event (i.e. a marathon).

            Always remember, warming up your body before any exercises is important:

            Fitness tips for the advanced level

            • Stand while you work. This simple change will improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and prevent neck strain.
            • Take a Vitamin B-12 to increase energy and improve cardiovascular support.
            • Take a Nootropic. Known as “Smart Drugs” will boost your memory, increase focus, and can provide mood enhancing benefits.[5]
            • Drink more water as it will increase your energy, relieve fatigue, promote weight loss, and flush out toxins.
            • Take a cold shower to wake up.
            • Listen to audiobooks while you exercise.
            • Read a book while you plank.
            • Sign up for an event (i.e. a marathon).

            Adopting an exercise routine is a life-changing experience. I guarantee, if you adopt the exercise routine discussed here, you will see significant improvements in your life. You will find that your “happy” chemicals in your body will receive a boost, your stress levels will reduce, your ability to cope with stress will get better, your self-confidence will increase, and your mental capacity will improve.

            Essentially, you will think – look – and feel better than ever!

            Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

            Reference

            More by this author

            Dr. Jamie Schwandt

            Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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            Last Updated on August 15, 2018

            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

            Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

            Video Summary

            Why is it important to train up our core strength?

            There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

            This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

            Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

            In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

            One Exercise, multiple benefits

            There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

            By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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            When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

            Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

            In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

            What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

            What will happen when you start doing planks every day

              1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

              Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

              • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
              • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
              • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
              • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

              2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                  Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                  4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                    Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                    A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                    A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                    On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                    5. You’ll improve overall balance

                      Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                      6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                        Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                        7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                          Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                          How to hold a plank position

                          1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                          2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                          3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                          4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                          5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                          6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                          7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                          Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                          Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                            How to improve your plank time gradually

                            1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                            2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                            3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                            Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                            Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                            You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                            • Prolapse
                            • After prolapse surgery
                            • Pelvic pain conditions
                            • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                            • Previous childbirth
                            • Overweight

                            Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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