Sometime ago, I was introduced to the My Gym Trainer workout binders. I can’t remember which blog reviewed them as I have crossed into the over 40 crowd and can barely remember what happened last week. Suffice it to say, I am indebted to them for the review. I purchased a binder of my own sometime late last year. At the time, I was spending my time piling on the miles for my Fall Marathon and then the Goofy Challenge so really didn’t have time to work it into my routine like I wanted. A few weeks ago, it became time to crack open the binder. My apologies in advance if this sounds like a commercial, I just love the book THAT much.
My Gym Trainer is a binder of workouts for four weeks. The program comes in Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Not knowing exactly which category would suit me, I went for the middle of the road with Intermediate. I have some experience with strength training from attending boot camp classes but as my instructor used to say, “you look stronger than you are” so the advanced program intimidated me a bit.
The workouts are printed on laminated cards that come in a binder. I love that you can pull out the card and take that with you to the gym. Each day has approximately 20 to 30 minutes of strength followed by 20 to 30 minutes of cardio. There are 6 workouts a week which rotate through core, arms and legs on the strength side and treadmill, elliptical and bike for cardio. For example, day one you would focus on legs followed by a treadmill workout. Day two would be arms followed by the bike. As with any strength workout, it can be as hard or as easy as you make it. You aren’t given specific weights for each exercise (i.e. 50 pounds) but instead it would say 10 leg presses using heavy weight.
The strength workouts are laid out in two sections with 3 exercises per section and you rotate through them three times. For me, this is perfect as it sort of mimics the boot camp format I am used to for my workouts. The cardio is very straightforward and gives enough of a challenge to keep it interesting. Most of the cardio workouts are interval based so you are constantly changing speed or resistance. I love the intensity of the workouts and feel they are challenging; however, if you want more than 20-30 minutes cardio, you could easily repeat the cardio intervals and get a supersized workout.
All in all, two enthusiastic thumbs up for My Gym Trainer. Did I mention that they include pictures of the strength exercises? The pictures have been a big help to me. I don’t know about you but I occasionally will see a workout in a magazine and have to google the name of the exercise to find out how to do it and see a picture. I love having it all right there on the card. I have spent a fair amount of time in boot camp classes that regularly use weights and the machines at the gym but when I went on my own to save money, I didn't have a lot of confidence to put together my own workout. I constantly tear workouts out of magazines but they rarely make it to the gym with me. I love that this gives you a whole month of workouts that you can repeat. If it seems too easy, ramp up the weight or double the cardio. Definitely worth a look if you are interested in doing some strength training.