Fit To Lead – Maximize Your Results

As a leader and an executive, finding time for physical fitness can be a big challenge.  Nestled somewhere between meetings, emails, tasks, and crisis management, you’ll find my scheduled work out.  This is my 7th post in my Fit To Lead Series.

maximum results

I posted earlier about picking an hour to go to the gym, click here to read that post.  Assuming you have worked out your schedule to be able to squeeze in a workout, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

This post is designed to show you how I work out and my philosophy toward my approach in the gym.  Years of trial and error have proven this to be my most effective means of working out.  Below is how I achieve maximum results with minimum effort.

  1. Timing – Keep your workout within 45 – 75 minutes.  Working out more than this is detrimental to your health and can actually cause overtraining.  Overtraining will cause you to lose muscle as you wear yourself out.  Try to squeeze your whole workout into this timeframe.
  2. Warm up – Begin your workout by stretching and warming yourself up.  Choose and exercise that will work all your muscles in the muscle group you’re working that day.  For instance, if you’re working your chest and triceps, do some close grip bench press with just the bar.  Do 20 to 30 reps to get your muscles warmed up.
  3. Sets and Reps – To maximize your results, you should perform 3 sets per body part.  I typically work two muscle groups per workout session.  For instance on Tuesdays I’ll work my chest and triceps.  I perform 3 sets for each.  When it comes to repetitions, I find 8 -12 reps per set to be best.  For more on reps and sets visit
  4. Two body parts – Work two body parts per session.  On Monday I work legs and lower back.  Tuesday is Chest and Triceps.  Thursday I’ll work my Upper Back and Biceps.  Friday is the day I work my Shoulders and Traps.  This type of approach allows you to work your entire body during the week.  I do it in this order however to minimize strength loss.  For instance, you’ll need your biceps to perform your back work out.  This is why I don’t work biceps before back.
  5. Calves and abs – Perform 2 sets of either Calves or Abs after every work out.  For instance, on Monday I perform two sets of Calves.  On Tuesday I’ll perform two sets of Abs.  The same pattern is repeated for Thursday and Friday.  Calves and Abs heal quicker than the other muscles and are more difficult to push to full fatigue.  As such, working them twice a week is optimal
  6. Perform Cardio Last – Without getting into too much of the science here, I recommend performing any cardio after your weight lifting.  I recommend this because I believe it is best to use your strength to perform heavy lifts.  Cardio for fat loss should be performed at about 65% you maximum heart rate.  As such, it is not an exercise that requires maximum effort.  Therefore you should use your strength for your heavy lifts.  This allows for maximum results from your cardio.  More on this subject here.

Following this short set of rules every time you enter the gym will get you in and out as quickly as possible while maximizing your results.

What  do you find as a helpful time saver when you’re in the gym?


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