Summer Workout Tips – Everything you need to know
Need some workout inspiration?
On our YouTube channel, Proskins TV we’ve got a whole playlist dedicated to health and fitness. Just subscribe to watch them and you’ll also get notifications when we add more so you’re the first to see anything new.
All of the short videos are created in conjunction with our Brand Ambassador and Personal Trainer Steve Sheppard. We caught up with him to get the lowdown on training and how best to structure your workouts for maximum results.
Steve Sheppard’s workout FAQs
How often and for how long should I be working out every week?
If you’re new to training I’d suggest 2-3 times per week, for 30-50 minutes each time. If you’re more advanced then increase that to 4-5 times for no more than 60 minutes a session
How many reps should I be doing?
This all depends on the results you are after and your ability. If you’re used to training already and want to improve strength and power I’d say 1-5 reps.
For beginners/intermediates go for 8-12 reps but make sure the last few are a struggle, but not impossible to complete. Anything over 12 reps is classed as endurance training, so don’t get mixed up thinking light weights for lots of reps is going to get you a toned look – you need to stimulate the muscles through heavy lifting.
What sort of weight should I be lifting? If I lift really heavy will it bulk me up?
Lifting heavy weights will not bulk you up.
For fat loss, lifting weights will not only increase your fat loss goal but also increase muscle definition to get the toned look that clients are after.
The most important thing though if you’re new to lifting is to make sure you perform the movement correctly. Once you’re comfortable with the movement you can start to increase your load on the bar.
How can my diet improve my workout performance?
You need to make sure that you’re fuelling yourself at the correct times.
Pre-workout: Don’t eat too close to your workout. Leave at least an hour, to an hour and a half to let your food digest properly before training. Eat a good balanced meal that’s going to give you enough fuel to hit that sesssion hard.
Post workout: It’s extremely vital to feed your body after you’ve trained. Post workout nutrition can be in the form of a protein shake for convenience, but try to have a good balanced meal of protein and carbs around an hour after working out.
What should I do to get the most out of my workouts?
Have a plan. Don’t just go in and do a free for all.
Speak to a Trainer to set a programme or you can design one yourself. Make sure you know what exercises you are going to do, how many reps, how many sets and your rest periods as well. Also increase your weights or times each week.
How should I structure my workouts?
Warm up with 5-10 minutes of mobility work to loosen the joints and increase your heart rate.
Save the stretches until the end of your workout.
Plan in your heavier weights first so that you’ve got enough strength to perform those lifts.
Perform your cardio towards the end of the workout.
Finally cool down with static stretches for at least 5 minutes.
How do you feel about training more than once a day?
If you’re a beginner you only need to be training once a day.
For the more advanced it’s perfectly ok to do some steady state/fasted cardio in the morning and then a weights session later in the day.
If you do want to train more than once a day though, you just need to ensure that you re-fuel in between and that the sessions aren’t both, or all the same discipline as each other.
So what if you don’t want to be tied into a gym membership – what are the 5 key pieces of kit for a home gym?
Relatively heavy pair of dumbells (hexagon are good as they are more stable on the floor)
Agility bands for warm up and working out
Medicine ball or slam ball
Free weights versus machines
Both have their benefits. If you’re new to training, then using the machines will probably benefit you more, as you are able to stimulate a certain muscle group e.g. a Leg Press ensures you are in the correct position with your back supported.
Free weights are more difficult, therefore you’re going to get more muscle stimulation and also engage the core.
Steady state cardio versus HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
What’s more beneficial – walking on a treadmill or sprints on a treadmill or watt bike?
This totally depends on the individual and your capabilities and also comes down to time. If you’re short for time I would recommend doing a HIIT workout, for example Tabata which is short and intense and gets your heart rate up quickly.
HIIT training should last no longer than 20 minutes. If you’re doing it correctly it means you are going absolutely maximum effort every single time so, couldn’t last much longer than 20 minutes.
If you’re new to training or maybe carrying a little extra weight I wouldn’t recommend HIIT. Start with steady state cardio until your joints are ready to take the more high impact work.