Monday, May 2, 2011

How much time to get in shape?

How much time does it take to get in shape? 

Short Answer: 30 minutes 3 x per week BUT!!!!!!!!!!

Long Answer:
     So too often this question seems to come up, and too often it is an issue of time management on getting in shape. Work, school, kids, social life etc can make a big impact, but staying healthy has absolutely got to become one of your biggest priorities. Today I'm going to discuss the bare minimum amount of time to get into better shape... Also check out my article on long term vs. short term weight loss.

The "minimal" amount of time you can expect to go to the gym and see results through my experience in training clients is 30 minutes 3x/week.

     Notice the key word minimum, now don't get me wrong, keep reading, I've seen people who spend 2 hours in the gym without breaking a sweat and I've seen people who walk out drenched and pumped in 30 minutes. Expecting great results in 30 minutes is totally realistic if you are seasoned at training, if you are a beginner expecting results in 30 minutes can happen, you just have to use your time in the gym wisely. The further away you are from your goal the longer it will take as well, be realistic, if you are 100 pounds overweight you are not going to have a six pack by summer, if your goal is to bench press 315 and right now you are working with 95 pounds for 10, you are going to get hurt. Now if your goal is to safely and smartly begin a path to being in great shape and making it a lifetime commitment that you will enjoy, we are on a really great start!

Disclaimer: I personally train in the gym 4-6 hours a week
     This includes cardio, this does not include the commute to the gym (8 minutes by car or 20 minutes blading), diet, cooking, shopping,  getting enough sleep, and planning training through reading and research. But hours that I am physically in the gym is typically 4-6 hours in a 168 hour week. So roughly only 3.5% of my week is spent in the gym, and both my jobs firefighting and personal training rely on me being in top shape.
Now for the absolute beginner who is starting my program or a similar one and is not ready yet to commit that much time, first that is ok... for now...

     For those of you following from my first post you already know that I do not believe in crash workout programs as too often people begin training and don't incorporate it into life gradually enough, imagine it's almost like marrying someone a month after dating. Training is a huge part of life and it will be a lifetime commitment, you have to get to know it first, and it has to get to know you, and you have to get along before you are totally involved... That being said, just like first dates start off as coffee or dinner before long vacations and moving in together, 30 minutes per day/3 x a week is a good casual start.

What you do in those 30 minutes will decide what that 30 minutes does to you.

Here's a basic guide to start:

5 minutes: warm up, interval style but no full sprints, you want to be warm but not winded.
25 minutes: lifting, stretching and working your core. Your "split" for now can be what works best for you, ie. full body, upper/lower, or individually training parts per day chest/back/bi/tri/legs/shoulders/abs. Time management is a huge issue for many people I meet and train, yet I see people doing nothing between sets for up to 5 minutes (or talking on their cell phones). MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME IN THE GYM! stretch between sets, do crunches on the gym pad between sets, do a set of something else between sets, make the most of that 30 minutes. Give yourself a days rest before completing this again, doing it consecutively will not be as beneficial. Make sure you are weighing yourself properly too!

    Want to make your 90 minutes in the week (or roughly less than 1%!) even better, diet! A solid diet will help so much with this training and with achieving your goal. Check out my diet video on youtube and keep posted for more info, and as always feel free to ask me any questions if you have some I will do my best to answer. Keep training.

I am not a doctor or physician, always remember to consult with your doctor or a medical professional before beginning and training or diet program.

Feel free to email or facebook me with more specific bench questions!
Arizona Fitness at Inbox dot com
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  1. Read your blog since the first entry and I love the fact you explain it in simple terms so everybody can understand. Keep posting, I am looking forward to future entries.
    I also have a question and would be very grateful if I got help with that, is there any way I can email you or should I post here? I don't mind either way, it's just that it might be a bit long and notsure if should just write it here. Thank you!

  2. Hi Yanna, thanks for reading, shoot me an email with your question: arizonafitness at inbox dot com :)