The amount of time you work out should reflect the goals you want to achieve. If you are keen to take on an endurance race, or even a marathon, you will most definitely need some time up your sleeve to prepare in incremental steps. Your body needs specific training to get stronger, and in the beginning, it will require a lot more rest. Pushing your body to its peak point at any one given time requires recovery so that you can move into the next training phase.
The same is true for weight training. I would recommend no less than four times per week, splitting your body parts. I usually train my most lagging body parts twice a week. For me, that’s legs. Legs have two parts: the front (quad focus) and back (hamstring and glutes). To strengthen your legs properly; you will need to schedule a time to train the quads and hamstrings separately, focusing on the weaker components. This works best for me, but if you find your legs have the capabilities to strengthen and grow accordingly, then once a week is acceptable for you. I tend to assess the growth of particular muscles and then move towards focusing more on them. This is my philosophy because I believe that our whole bodies should work in unison. When one part is weaker, then we will have more potential for injury. We need to think that everyone is genetically inclined to put on muscle mass faster and easier on specific body parts. Some people have tremendous biceps growth; for others, it’s their abs or quads. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t have the same growth potential, and muscle fibres differ from one section to another. I believe it’s in your best interest to focus on the weaker sections whilst maintaining everything else that excels in growth potential. Now, the big one which is fat loss and weight loss maintenance.
I believe this to be a daily occurrence in terms of exercise. That doesn’t mean smashing it daily, but performing some activity that’s low impact every single day. One great alternative which I do every day is walking. I don’t have a car anymore, and that forces me to stop using convenience as an excuse not to use my legs. We spend far too much time sitting in a chair, behind a computer screen and not enough time standing up, or even moving around. This small form of exercise that you can do daily will change your life. You don’t have to do excessive HIIT, get outdoors and walk, ride a bike or go for a swim, as much as you can.
What it all boils down to is having a proper nutritional plan of action. Being active but eating the wrong foods won’t serve your goal. Eat to nourish your body, because it’s going to help you from now, until the very end of your time here on earth. Once you get this part of your lifestyle plan right, everything else will fall into place: your health, body shape, and inner well-being. It’s amazing what simple exercise, healthy nutritious food and proper rest can do.
Sometimes it’s the simple thing that makes the most difference. To summarise
- lift weights 3–4 times a week (preferably four times)
- work on weaker muscles more than your best once
- take on some form of cardiovascular, low impact training daily, such as walking, riding a bike or even swimming.
- Eat whole foods, and don’t think of your body as a garbage can. What you put into it, will determine your health, state of mind and your body shape
- rest when you need to – we all have those days, and no one can escape them
Try a few options out, see what works best for you, then determine how you will use those in your daily life. This is just one opinion of many.
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