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Sweating the Small Stuff-The Basics of Working Out from an Irvine Personal Trainer

13 Mar

I know first hand as an Irvine Personal Trainer that once you have begun working out, you will genuinely understand that your body is a piece of art, and working out makes it a work in progress. In order to become a masterful artist, you must take the time to understand the semantics of working out and how to do so most effectively. You can continue to work aimlessly, and you might turn out good results. Wouldn’t you rather take the tools and use them most effectively to get the maximum results? You know that when doing anything that taking shortcuts does not yield the same results as going slowly and doing it right the first time. The same rules apply to your body.

There are three main things that are necessary to understanding your workout’s effectiveness and the resulting body you get. These are the number of sets and reps, how long to rest between sets, and the cardio guidelines. If you have been working out with a trainer, you may be well aware of these terms. If these are new concepts to you, here’s a brief overview on each and how they affect your workout’s effects.


When doing strength training, a set is the number of times you do the certain exercise, and the reps is the number of times you repeat the exercise within the set. Example: you do twelve curls (reps) for two sets for a total of 24 curls. A trainer can help you find the right weight to use for this exercise regime.

Why do exercises in sets? You will want to take a rest for one to two minutes in between sets to give your muscles a chance to recover.

An effective workout program will have a gradual increase in the intensity of the weight, number of reps and sets. In order to keep up with your progress, get a workout journal. Some facilities have a printout with all the available machines listed. Keep up with your sets and number of reps. Sometimes these will look like a bowling score chart with the diagonal line with room for both numbers and a calendar across the top.

If you are using a different method of sets, you may see it written like this: 3×10,8,6. This means that your first set will have 10 reps, the second set 8 reps, and the last set will have 6. This is used in some workout regimes with the lowered reps with each set.

List the weight you worked with as well. The importance of resistance can’t be stressed enough. If you keep working with the same weight you will hit a plateau and not keep challenging your muscles to increase.


If you are working your muscles, why rest? The rule of thumb for workouts is to rest one minute in between the sets. If this gives your breathing enough time to return to normal, proceed. If you need a little longer, your breathing is a good indictor of whether you are ready to proceed.

This is to allow your power to regenerate while you keep a steady pace to your workout. This allows you to burn calories and keep the pace going. Strength gains are 2-5 minutes for full recovery of you energy. If you are working towards fitness and fat loss, a 30-45 second break is best. Even better than that is doing constant change ups of different exercises and not taking a rest.

What is the ideal working cardio rate? If you are new to fitness, take this formula:

220-YOUR AGE x 60%

One hundred and eleven would be the ideal heart rate for a 35 year old, based on the formula above. This is for beginners. Once you have gotten comfortable work towards 75% at 30-60 minute increments for the best results.
It takes about 16 minutes for your body to get done burning sugars while doing cardio before you really start burning fat. Since weight training uses these sugars, it makes sense to do the weight training first. Once your body has used the sugars for strength training, you go straight into fat burning mode right away with the cardio. This allows you to maximize both aspects of your workout.

These little pieces of information are not enough to know by themselves. You must get out and DO . Remember that any workout is better than none, but it’s always better to do it right the first time to get the results you really want. Good luck with your fitness plan.

Steve Hochman is an Irvine Personal Trainer, and founder of Irvine Personal Training Company. Irvine Personal Training Company uses the Unstoppable Fitness Formula to tone up Irvine Ca residents.
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