By Jordan Rudolph —
Getting the most out of time we spend exercising is crucial toward meeting our goals. We are often poor time managers, trying to squeeze every little thing into our daily lives and get as much as we can out of each free minute.
Since we all have such busy lives, how do we know what type of exercise makes the most of our limited time?
The simple answer is that it depends on your goal. If you’re like 90 percent of the people out there, you want to look better and/or feel better. If this is your goal, we can be pretty specific as to what you should spend most of your time on.
After hashing out your schedule, you’re typically left with two to four days during the week where you can spare 60 minutes/day for a trip to the gym (if you’re lucky). To make sure every minute is getting the best bang-for-your-buck, remember the old cliché that tells us to “work smarter, not harder.” Most people fall into the trap of finding their favorite piece of cardio equipment and going to town on it (the trap of working harder, not smarter).
I get it. You want to feel like you worked hard so you push harder … and harder … until that elliptical says you’ve burned 1,000 calories. The most frustrating thing about seeing someone in this loop is that there isn’t a ton of change happening after the initial month or two, and the person doesn’t look better or feel better after that time. Instead, they just get really good at what they’re doing.
If you have a goal of looking better or feeling better, here’s your new weekly game plan:
- 2 days/week
2 total-body strength training sessions with complex movement patterns
- 3 days/week
2-3 total-body strength days or 1 metabolic cardio day (interval training or metabolic resistance work)
- 4 days/week
2-3 strength days, 1-2 metabolic days and 1 recovery day
- 5 days/week
2-3 strength days, 1-2 metabolic days and 1-2 recovery days
You’ll get much more out of the strength training days (even though you might feel like you didn’t work as hard). Trust the process! An extra bonus is that you don’t need to work toward maximal effort every time you’re at the gym—you just need to make sure you’re challenging yourself.
You’ll get more long-lasting effects from your workout AND you’ll build beautiful lean muscle, which is fat’s No. 1 killer! Strength training has additional benefits, and research has shown it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease (the No. 1 killer in America), improves body composition, helps treat type 2 diabetes, reduces stress and builds stronger bones. It is also an effective intervention for lessening pain in osteoarthritis and has highly beneficial effects in cancer rehabilitation, not to mention several other benefits that improve one’s overall quality of life. There’s no other type of exercise that has all those benefits.
All in all, strength training helps you look better and feel better; therefore, it needs to be a MUST in your routine!
Did I mention that strength training also makes you STRONGER? Being stronger will help make your everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable. You may even find that you can do MORE when you’re stronger. Plus, you’ll be harder to kill if the zombie apocalypse ever happens.
Strength training is the secret behind everything we do at Unity Fitness. If you want to experience what an individualized program could do for you, just give us 30 days and you can decide for yourself. We have new, flexible hours and coaches available to answer your questions. It all starts with a free consultation that we call a Strategy Session. Give us a call and we can book yours today!