1/21/2010

Training by the Numbers: Exercise Guidelines to Reach Your Goals

How much do I have to exercise? A minimum of 20-30 minutes a day or 150 per week, double that to see real change

How quickly can I lose weight? Figure on 1-2 pounds per week for safe, effective weight loss

How often can I do cardio? Every day, as often as you like - as long as you're not in pain

How often can I strength train? Give your muscles a day off to recover and grow; you can do a total body workout every other day or split the routine and alternate the muscles that work and rest

How long does it take to see muscle growth? It takes about 16 strength training sessions over several weeks to see an increase in size

How do I increase muscle size? 3-5 sets with weighs that you can lift in a range of 8-12 repetitions

What if I just want to tone? Try 1-3 sets with weights that you can lift in a range of 12-20 repetitions

How about getting really strong, like increasing my bench press? Usually you'll want to be doing 3-6 sets with a weight that you can lift in a range of 1-8 repetitions, with long rests in between

How often should I change my routine? At least every 4-6 weeks, because your body adapts and you'll hit a plateau

Which is the best form of cardio? For most people, the one you enjoy most

What should my heart rate be while exercising? The simple answer for most pregnant, healthy people is this formula: (220-age)x70-75%. Higher or lower levels may not produce optimal results