Remember that ridiculous recommendation from the 90s that told us that we only had to exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week to lose weight?
It’s up there with that other awful health relic that told us that we could eat as much as we like, as long as it was low fat.
Like nasty rumours, the mud sticks long after the flawed theories have been disproven.
So today I’m giving you a no BS guide to exactly how much you should be exercising to reach your goals. Brace yourself.
How much training for fat loss?
The best way to lose fat is to combine HIIT (high intensity interval training) with regular weight training, and perhaps some lower intensity longer cardio sessions. If you’re serious about fat loss, you really need to be moving your body every day of the week.
My recommendation is:
- 3 HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions a week.
- 2 or 3 weight training sessions
- Long walk on the other days.
This doesn’t mean smashing yourself with high intensity workouts every day. That’s just a recipe for adrenal fatigue and a surge in your stress response which will make your body hold onto fat like crazy. (You can learn more about this at our upcoming Beat Burnout seminar).
I know this sounds like a lot, but those HIIT and weights sessions can be combined into the one workout. At New Image, we design our sessions around a mix of interval training and weights for the best metabolic outcome.
If adding size is your main training goal, you’re also going to need to show some consistent commitment in the gym.
At least 3 weight training sessions a week of a properly designed, periodised program (meaning with deliberate stages of load and recovery) are required to see real gains
Baseline activity for general wellbeing
I love the 10,000 steps a day concept as a guideline. And with all the great new wearable tech out there like fitbits, garmins and apple watches, having a daily steps goal is a great way to ensure you’re moving your body enough each day.
But I’d like to see you do more. Start where you are and work up to 12000-15000 steps. If you’re a person who loves a daily target, a steps goal is a great one.
If you’re not exercising at the moment, what I’m about to tell you may be a hard pill to swallow.
The truth is if you want to achieve the level of health you deserve – for me that means avoiding lifestyle related conditions, feeling good most days, and having a fitness level that allows you to participate fully in life – you’ll have to move your body in some deliberate, structured way, most days, for the rest of your life.
The good news is that you can start where you are. The really fantastic news is that once you start exercising regularly you will feel so much better that you will want to maintain this habit for the rest of your life.
I’m a pretty committed exerciser but I don’t always feel like training. But on those days I just show up anyway and do what I can. After all these years of “didn’t feel like it” workouts, I can honestly say I’ve never regretted one.
You can’t out train a bad diet
Even if you’re a really committed exerciser you still need to eat well if you want to reach your goals. A baseline, healthy eating plan (we’re not talking anything crazily restrictive here) will help you train better, recover better from your sessions and keep the pounds off.
Again, this is something you’ll have to commit to for the rest of your life if you’re serious about your health.
But I promise you, once you start to see the benefits of these lifestyle changes, you’ll never go back.