5 Things Every Workout Should Include / by James Leath

Every workout should include 5 things: warm up, cardio, resistance training, cool down, and flexibility training. So many people go to the gym without a plan and wonder why they are not seeing results. I have been a trainer foralmost 10 years now and never have I stepped into  he gym for a client or for myself Keep these 5 things in mind w in mind when planning out your session and you will see the results you are after. Warm up:

This one is obvious. However, there are studies that show warming up is not necessary for the body to start a workout. Even if that is true, a warm up gets your mind ready to push the body. After a day of sitting at a desk or a night of "okay" sleep, preparing the mind with a few minutes of gradually heart pumping walking, jogging, or cycling can really get you in the mood. Always start with a warm up even if you are going to be on the cardio machine for a while. Examples:

  • Treadmill jog, stationary bike, elliptical, row machine. 


Cardio is not a pseudonym for fat burn. It is a Greek term for "heart" and vascular means "related to blood vessels". So, when you do cardio, you are strengthening the heart and pushing blood through your vessels at a fast pace. This helps with circulation and allows the body to heal itself, aka grab fat and use it for energy! And you dont have to stay on this machine for an hour. Crank up the resistance, and crank up the speed. Examples:

  • Set the treadmill on 9.0 and sprint for 30 seconds, then step to the sides. Wait 30 seconds, and start sprinting again. DO this 10 times. BAM! Cardio done.

Resistance Training:

Women, please read carefully: YOU WILL NOT BULK UP IF YOU LIFT WEIGHTS! As much as every young boy wishes for the muscles women are so afraid of, that is not how muscles work. First of all, most women do not have enough testosterone for bulky muscles. Second, it takes years for men to build up huge muscles. Lifting weights, or any other resistance training, helps burn fat and put muscle where it belongs. That being said, every resistance session should include one of the following:

Pull (Chin up, seated row, hamstring curl)

Push (Chest press, shoulder press, leg press)

Rotation (woodchop, torso twist, seated twist with medicine ball)

Cool down:

A cool down is necessary to prevent blood from pooling. When this happens, you usually get dizzy and in some cases could faint. Be sure to go for a walk or do some light jogging/cycling to bring the heart rate down. Also, just like the warm up gets you psychologically ready for the workout, a cool down gets you psychologically ready to get back to your life. Examples:

  • Yoga, light cycling, light treadmill walking.

Flexibility training:

Don't skip this, even though I know you probably will. Studies have shown stretching after a workout is more likely to prevent injuries and sore muscles and opposed to stretching before. I always walk my clients through a stretch. A good stretch is like a great massage. If done properly, it can give you a real euphoric feeling. Also, helps with joint range of motion and has been shown to reduce the risk of injury.

Is there anything I missed? Leave it in the comments below.