3 Reasons You Should Commit to a Yoga AND Gym Routine

I have been going to the gym since I was a teen, but the constant muscle soreness and “rest day” encouraged me to get into yoga. At first, I would think that weight training goes against what the zen and calmness yoga is all about. I started doing yoga more often and began to skip my gym visits. But soon I figure the strength lacking in my body was hindering my physical growth to advance the yoga practice.

So why not incorporating weight training and yoga to make my routine more effective?

Strength and flexibility

Obviously with weight training, it is more progressive in terms of putting muscle on. However, yoga practice requires the natural body strength to hold each pose rather than just striking into the pose for one or two seconds. By improving your joint flexibility and range of motion, you can not only control the depth of each pose but also improve the tight muscle caused by constant weight lifting.

Explosiveness and endurance

When you are lifting weights at the gym, you activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers that develop power and speed. In yoga, while you are performing different poses slowly and steadily, you activate your slow-twitch muscle fibers that build endurance. By combing the two, a hybrid training routine enables your body to balance these types of muscle fibers. Better muscle shape!

Training and restoration

Typically, a minimum of 48 hours is required for muscle tissue to recover and be ready for another session. Otherwise, muscle fibers become more prone to injury and negative impacts, such as loss of strength and over-stressed muscle. Depending on the used muscle group and style of yoga, a Hatha or gentle Vinyasa class will be a good restorative method to repair the musculoskeletal system on a non lifting day.

Here are the basic recommendations to start combining the two.

  1. Set your weight training schedule with a specific muscle groups you wish to target (arms, abs, or legs)
  2. Determine the type of yoga that suits your body requirements (Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Restorative, Relaxing and Stretching, Aerial, or Wall Rope Yoga)
I would suggest to spend a couple months on yoga/ weight training to establish a foundation and slowing incorporate the other into your routine. That way, you will not be burned out by the strength and balance required to perform a complete routine.

Here’s a sample practice schedule:

Monday: 30 minutes weights on upper body (chest, shoulders, arms, back) followed by a core yoga class

Tuesday: Ashtanga Primary Series

Wednesday: 30 minutes weights on lower body (hamstrings, glutes, quad…) followed by 10-15 minute of HIIT (sprints)

Thursday: 30 minutes weights on upper body followed by 30-60 minute Hatha or Restorative and Stretching flow

Friday: 40 minutes weights on lower body and cardio (burpees, forward lunges, jump squats etc)

Saturday: 60-90 minute Vinyasa yoga class

Sunday: Rest day! A meditation practice early in the morning or before bed

How is it helping towards my goals?

Handstand, increased range of motion to target unused muscle group, a more pleasant recovery (you all know the feeling when you walk like a penguin after leg days!). I will be sharing my performance pictures on my Instagram so follow me if you wanna see my progress!

 

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