Every cadet knows that in order to be effective and competitive in the US Air Force one needs to be a lean, mean, fighting machine. This is why as AFROTC cadets we must attend a required number of personal training days, a minimum of two per week. A requirement that helps ensure that we become the best that we can be. To help out with these PT days, here are a few tips on how to really get the most out of your workout.
The biggest and most important factor to think about is water. Water makes up 60% of the human body. Exercising while dehydrated has been recorded in a decrease of VO2max, the maximum oxygen consumption, meaning that while dehydrated your body is not using oxygen as efficiently as it could. Leaving a person more winded than usual. Remaining hydrated can have a vast improvement on any cardio or high intensity workout, just because a person will have a better oxygen uptake rate.
Another factor that can have an effect on how effective a workout can be is form. It is true that lifting heavier weights will help a person progress in building muscle, however one should always ensure that they are lifting with a proper form before moving up in weight. Not having the proper form while lifting can result in a serious injury. Along with not just wanting to deal with the hassle of being injured, it can keep you from a regular workout regimen. It has been reported that after just one week of no exercise a person begins to lose power in their muscles, speed and flexibility at a week and a half, just two weeks for muscular endurance, and it's about four weeks before a person will start to lose strength. Basically a lengthy injury can seriously hinder any progress that you can make in PT, so always do an exercise using the proper form.
One trick to really making getting some of the major muscle groups is to use compounding exercises. Isolating muscles works great if you need to work on a certain area or muscle group but for overall fitness, compound exercises will strengthen multiple muscles. A few examples of compound exercises include, squats, lunges, pushups, good mornings, dead lifts, rows, pull ups, and bench presses. All of these exercises include multiple muscle groups that all work together, and strengthen each other.
There are many things that a person can do to maximize PT days and get the most out of a workout. Hydrating is a huge factor that will help with endurance and high stress workouts because it will keep your oxygen intake at its maximum capacity. A couple things like using proper form and compounding exercises will ensure that all the muscle groups are used, but properly. This just helps prevent injury and keeps the muscles working as they are designed to do so. These things are important aspect to think about while working out and can help maximize time spend at PT.