We’ve all seen the extreme crazes, such as, Insanity and P90X, not to mention the countless spinoffs they have created minimizing the time needed to workout and guaranteeing even better results. While the latter may not be entirely true, the bottom line is, in fact, that if they are followed correctly these programs do provide great results. This isn’t to say that these are the only programs that could work for you at home with minimal equipment. But there is an underlying component that ensures the success of these workouts… It gets your heart rate up! The exercises are chosen and designed specifically to keep you moving and keep your heart rate elevated.
Remember this term: Perceived Rate of Exertion. More or less, this tells you how hard you’ve been working. Here’s how you do it during your workout: find your pulse, watch the clock and count the beats for six seconds, add a zero to the number you count. For example, if you counted 14 beats in 6 seconds, your PER is 140. Your goal during these workouts is to keep your heart rate in zone two (76-85%) of your maximal heart rate, for the duration of the workout. Some workouts will also have you peak in zone 3 (86-95%) for a brief amount of time. An easy way to figure out your maximal heart rate is 220 – your age. Example: 22 year old female’s max heart rate is 220-22=198 beats per minute.
So why are these famous programs so successful? They have been specifically designed to guide you through exercises that will boost your heart rate, and that don’t completely fatigue a single body part immediately. By doing total body circuit training, one muscle rests while other muscles work, therefore allowing you to keep your heart rate up while minimize rest.
The bottom line is that any exercise that elevates your heart rate helps you burn more calories. So, the secret to the success of at-home training is just that, get your heart rate up! P90X and Insanity have been marketed phenomenally, but they aren’t the only programs that work. If DVDs are attractive to you and will help keep you motivated, then they are worth the investment. Otherwise, you can get together with your local trainer and have them help you design an at-home program with the space and equipment that you have available to. It doesn’t need to sparkle, it just needs to get you working hard! YOU ARE ONLY AS SUCCESSFUL AS YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE!