It seems that 30 day challenges are all the rage lately especially on Pinterest.  I constantly see people sharing the 30 day squat, plank or burpee challenge.  If you aren’t familiar with 30 day challenges it’s meant to improve your strength over 30 days by repeating the same exercise and gradually increasing each day so by the end you’re up to a set amount of reps or time.

The body definitely learns by doing the same motion over and over again and you’ll certainly improve but the reason why training this way can do more harm then good is because your body needs a day of rest; the muscles need a day of rest.  When you don’t give your muscles adequate rest time you run the risk of getting injured because the muscle doesn’t have time to repair itself and prepare to be used again to the same capacity.  You can certainly workout 5 days a week as long as you’re alternating the workouts.  For example, if you have workout #1 and workout #2 you would repeat workout #1 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and workout #2 (which utilizes different muscles) on Tuesday and Thursday.  That way you’re giving your body the rest it needs to perform those same exercises, lifting the same weights (or using your body weight) at your highest capacity.  You always want to perform your best and with adequate rest, you will.  You will see greater improvements training this way rather then doing the same exercise for 30 days.

Challenges should be geared towards transformation which includes eating properly.  Whether your goal is to put on weight or lose weight, nutrition is a key component to your success.  Couple that with the correct mixture of exercises and you’re on your way to the land of results!  For some reason society has it in their mind that there’s a quick fix….that they’ll see drastic results in a short amount of time and when people don’t see the results they want they get discouraged and stop activity and eating properly all together.  Or, they make the small change and participate in a challenge (like a 30 day challenge) and think they don’t have to do anything after that.  It takes planning and dedication to get the results you want so completing a workout here and there and eating healthy when you think about it won’t create a healthy habit.

In saying that I would like to leave you with 2 beginner workout plans that you can alternate throughout the week to see results.  You can do these at home or in a gym.  My hope is to make people understand that injuries are hard to recover from so be smart about what you’re doing to your body and who’s training you.  Educate yourself first before starting any workout routine; especially one you find online.  Most of the workouts shared on Pinterest or Facebook aren’t formulated and are just a bunch of exercises put together. So educate, educate, educate, educate, educate, educate, educate, educate, educate yourself before doing any type of exercise.

Exercise Reps Sets
wall push-ups or modified push-ups

15

2

standing wide row (cable machine or resistance band)

15

2

dumbbell shoulder press

15

2

laying on ground, chest fly

15

2

standing narrow row (cable machine or resistance band)

15

2

lateral raises

15

2

bicep curl

15

2

tricep overhead extension

15

2

Exercise Reps Sets
squats

15

2

stability ball hamstring curl

15

2

step ups 15 each side

2

lunges 15 each side

2

standing calf raises

15

2

plie squat

15

2

side lying abduction 15 each side

2

plank 45sec-1 min

2

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