Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

6 ways to get more from a workout:

It's important to make sure you're challenged & interested to maintain a commitment to a workout program.
By Beth Hart
Date: September 24 2014
Editor Rating:

Despite reams of research proving that exercise is a powerful preventive, and sometimes an antidote, for disability and illness, many of us still need to be pushed and prodded into either starting an exercise program or keeping one going. 

One of the most common requests I hear from both my individual private clients, and at the residential aged care facility where I work three days a week, is the constant requirement for variety in a workout.

I always incorporate some aerobic work and strength training in my routines, even clients in residential aged care. My eldest client is 92; my youngest in my private practice is 16. It also doesn’t matter what age you are when you take-up strength training – it will be of benefit to you through the way you feel, your capacity to complete tasks, improved mental focus and energy levels.

It doesn’t matter what age you are or, within reason your level of frailty, there is always something that can challenge and interest you.

Here are six ways to prevent injury and make the most of your weight training sessions – while warding off boredom. 

1.  Focus on form, not weight

Good form means aligning your body correctly and moving smoothly through an exercise. Poor form can cause injuries and hinder strength gains because you aren’t isolating muscles properly. I often start people with very light weights because I want them to get their alignment and form right. This is the right way to learn an exercise routine. Concentrate on performing slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled descents while isolating a muscle group. You isolate a muscle group by holding your body in the position specified for each exercise while consciously contracting and releasing certain muscles.

2.  Tempo

Control is important. Tempo helps you stay in control and avoid undercutting gains through relying on momentum. And sometimes switching speed — for example, lowering for three counts and lifting for one count instead of taking two counts for each — can enhance power.

3.  Breathe

Blood pressure rises if you hold your breath while performing strength exercises. Exhale as you work against gravity (when you’re lifting, pushing, or pulling); inhale as you relax.

4.  Challenge your muscles

The optimum weight to use depends on the exercise. Choose a weight that tires the targeted muscle or muscles by the last two reps while still allowing you to maintain good form. If you can’t do the last two reps, choose a lighter weight.

When it feels easy to complete all the reps, challenge your muscles again by adding weight (roughly ½ to 1 kilo at a time for arms, 1-2½  kilos for legs); adding a set to your workout (up to three sets per exercise); or working out additional days per week (as long as you rest each muscle group for 48 hours between strength workouts).

If you add weight, remember that you should still be able to do all the reps with good form and the targeted muscles should feel tired by the last two reps.

5.  Practice regularly

A complete upper- and lower-body strength workout two or three times a week is ideal.

6.  Give muscles time off

Strength training causes tiny tears in muscle tissue. Muscles grow stronger as the tears knit up. Always allow at least 48 hours between sessions for muscles to recover. 

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Related Articles
If you can do one, or a combination, of these…
Read more
Get the most out of time at a swimming pool,…
Read more
Tips to maintaining your exercise & healthy eating when it’s…
Read more
When it comes to getting back into pre-baby shape, the…
Read more
Cry babies

Dry your eyes!
The newest additions are on their way from the Babies who cry real tears!


Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!


Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.