the fitness journal
How often do you need to exercise to gain results?
If you’re one of those people for whom exercise seems extremely daunting, I’m pleased that you’re taking time out to read this post. That’s because most people don’t realise that they don’t have to train nearly as hard and often as they think to get great results.
The Internet is filled with a plethora of utter nonsense about health and fitness. I’ve seen some articles online about Hugh Jackman’s training regime that claim he trained eight hours a day. Or that he ate 10000 calories a day. Or that he dehydrated for three days for a shoot.
This is misinformation at its finest and I’m going to tell you some fitness realities right now!
- More doesn’t equal more – more training doesn’t equal better results
- More doesn’t equal more – you need a calorie surplus to build muscle but anything over what is required will be stored as fat
- More doesn’t equal more – dehydrating for three days is not smart….. in the slightest!
I could go on but now I want to focus on the healthiest, most effective and most time-conscious ways you can get the results you’re striving for.
Muscle gaining progress
One thing you do need to train is adequate training stimulus. Some of the best results I have achieved with my clients are based on 3-4 days of weights per week with each session lasting one hour.
You also need adequate intensity and progressive overload. Focus on the quality of your sessions over the quantity of hours in the gym.
Even if your training is perfect, you will still need to supply your muscles with adequate protein for recovery and calories for energy. Otherwise they simply won’t grow.
If you want to build quality muscle, then you should focus on calculating your cals and macros, and spend quality time on food prep.
Fat loss progress
There’s an easy formula for fat loss and fitness. The number of hours of exercise you need to do to lose weight is proportional to the number of calories you eat.
To lose fat, you need to create a calorie deficit. The greater the number of calories you eat, the more exercise you need to do to burn them.
Losing fat does not require hours of exercise a day to change. You simply have to balance your calories with your exercise to create a consistent calorie deficit. I recommend three hours a week minimum for optimum results. The less time you have to train, the less calories you will be able to consume and going too low will result in low energy and negative metabolic adaptations.
But you can achieve great results on less time than you might think! You just need to include the following in your fitness and health:
- Training intensity
Fitness should be incorporated as a natural part of your lifestyle. When you follow the reality of getting fit as opposed to the Internet falsehoods, you’ll realise that’s not such a struggle. It’s easier than it seems to balance family, friends, great food and training. When done correctly, you can work out just three or four times a week for one hour each time to get your results.
Now it’s time to go and get started! Forget what other people are doing, focus on what you have time to do and build a plan from there.