Never Forget The Basics...They Will Take You Everywhere!
By Sean Kehoe

Workouts are becoming trendy and ever changing…10-Second Abs, Butt Blasting Booty Brigade or Ignite Your Insomnia Infomercial. They all try to be the next latest and greatest calorie burning, sweat inducing routine. However, when it comes to results and consistency, starting with the good old-fashioned basics is what I usually prescribe.

Any routine whether it’s Insanity, P90X or a Jillian Michaels DVD has a beginning point. Just like any gym or home workout should have a beginning point. The basics of any workout regimen provide the solid groundwork that you can take with you in your Lululemon’s and apply to any future workouts. Learning to perform body weight exercises like squats, push-ups, pull-ups, dips, planks etc. properly is the key to future success and injury prevention. I like to tell my clients that these are the roots and foundation of your tree that allow you to branch off to other more challenging exercises.

No matter what path you chose to go down, make sure that you don’t overdo it on your first try. The words Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced were created for a reason. The speed at which you progress is not important unless you are training to become a professional athlete or participating in a highly skilled athletic event and even then, there should be a reasonable timetable and plan mapped out. As most disclaimers read, take careful consideration of your age, your coordination and strength as well as any past or current injuries. Their combination is important in deciding at which level you should begin and knowing yourself, how long you should remain at each level.

When I sit with potential clients, I ask them about their experience in terms of workouts, are they current or has it been awhile, have they ever worked with a trainer before and was it positive or negative, do they have any injuries I need to be aware of and what their goals are. Even if the personal trainer route is not where you are headed, you should still do a self-assessment with the above questions to set a jumping off point. If you are still unsure about what to do or where to begin, seek out the advice of a professional at your gym or via the web in asking a trainer in your area for help. Either should be more than happy to answer whatever questions you may have and could open the door for future training sessions with someone you trust.

Now, back to training…Make the most of your time that you have allotted for yourself. Remember, this is your time and once it’s gone, you cannot get it back. My sessions are 60-minutes in length and while that may seem like a long time…depending on exercises chosen, speed at which they are completed, rest in between and occasional chit chat, that hour can go quickly. In order to maximize the time, I put my clients through a circuit of exercises called a superset. A superset is defined as a combination of one exercise performed right after the other with no rest in between them. I create a series of three exercises to circle through and each exercise is performed three times. Generally it is a total body routine so the first exercise could be a squat, followed by a reverse lunge with a medicine ball rotation and a plank variation on the BOSU ball and then a short break of 30-60 seconds. This method is far more effective than doing one exercise at a time until completion because you are getting more done in less time, making it highly efficient.

The ideal workout is to get in four rounds of three exercises and anything else after that is (low fat) gravy! I stress the importance of balance and core training so all rounds have an element of one and/or the other as well as a definitive abdominal exercise. It is also important to make sure that you are continuously being challenged so in order to do that try increasing the weight, the repetitions, the degree of difficulty or the rate at which you complete each exercise/set.

Lastly, don’t be afraid of strength. For women, strength does not equal size or mass. Strength will breed confidence and allow you to excel and succeed at a rate you may have never thought possible. I preach that overall strength is of utmost importance so your daily activities, whether they are carrying groceries, lifting a case of water, doing yardwork or some serious cross training become that much easier and can be completed without having to stop and think. Never forget, your body is an incredible piece of machinery that can operate at extremely high levels of balance, strength and efficiency when given the right foundation to build upon.

Transformations By Sean Michael operates out of Bergen and Passaic counties
and is the most complete, mobilized fitness and wellness solutions company,
certified by NASM. In-Home or In-Studio services include one on one
personal training, partner training, seasonal boot camps and special events