For some people, working out three days a week just does not provide the results they want fast enough, so a 5 day workout routine is a great solution. While you could technically work out six or seven days a week, you really need to schedule breaks so your body has time to recuperate in between exercise sessions. Of course, exercise alone does not create a great body. A proper balanced diet with plenty of fluids is a key component to getting the body results you want.
Cardio exercise is an important part of any workout as it limbers up the body to prepare it for targeting core muscle groups. You should really fit in at least 30 minutes of cardio each day, reaching and maintaining your target heart rate the entire time. You can do it all at once at the beginning of your exercise session or split it up – half before working your muscle groups and half afterward. Great cardio options include elliptical machines or treadmills, a brisk walk or jogging, a stationary bike or even jump roping or high step marching.
In addition to your 30 minutes of cardio, choose one muscle group to target. For instance, if you choose legs for your first day of the week, you can do calf raises, squats and lunges with or without dumbbells or barbells. If you have access to weight resistance machines, you can also add leg presses, hamstring curls and knee extensions.
After performing a different cardio routine, target your next muscle group in your 5 day workout routine. Since legs were day one, the chest is a good second choice. The incline bench press works the pectoral muscles in the chest as can dumbbell flies, push-ups with an exercise ball and parallel bar dips.
Again, alter your cardio exercise if possible for your 30 minute session before targeting another muscle group like your back. Pull-ups on a chin bar, wide grip pull-downs, barbell rows, dumbbell or barbell deadlifts, lying back presses and rowing machine moves work all muscle areas of the back.
Day 4 – Rest
The fourth day should be a no exercise day to allow your body to rest and recuperate. This will allow you to be ready for another few days of fitness.
Don’t forget your cardio exercise as it helps promote fat burning! Your next target muscle group can be your shoulders as they have not been totally engaged in your workouts on the previous days of fitness routines. Some great shoulder moves include dumbbell overhead raises, deltoid military raises, dumbbell upright rows and lateral raises, reverse incline dumbbell flies and bent over rear deltoid raises.
Warm up with your favourite cardio exercise before targeting your last major muscle group, the arms. Dumbbell bicep curls, tricep extensions, reverse barbell preacher curls, bar chin ups, hammer dumbbells curls, dumbbell kickbacks and bench dips are all great moves to tone up your arm muscles.
Day 7 – Rest
The seventh day should be another rest period for your body before starting your fitness routine all over again in the new week.
During this 5 day workout routine, you can choose three to five days to add ab exercises to the mix. Unlike the other muscle groups, the abdominals recover more easily, especially if you don’t overdo each day. Bicycle crunches, ab crunches, the plank, flutter kicks, oblique crunches and exercise ball crunches are just a few of many options to tone the abdominal muscles.