Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
10.000 steps, 30 minutes brisk walk each day, 15/25 minutes HIIT each day, 24 minutes cardio vascular exercise 4 times per week, 60 minutes resistance training three times per week. Confused yet? I know I am, and I do this for a living!
The problem with, almost all, of the above is that half of them are trying to sell you something and others are just trying to get sedentary people to move even a little bit by grossly mis-/under-representing the amount of exercise people really need to do to have a half decent level of fitness.
So let’s put them into categories and then let me tell you exactly what you need to do depending on your goals.
People trying to sell you something; 10k steps (fitbit and all the fitness trackers), 15-25 minutes HIIT each day (Joe Wicks, T25 etc). 3 x 60 minutes resistance training per week (Personal trainers who need their schedule filled)
Government guidelines just trying to get people moving; 30 minutes brisk walk each day. 3 x 10 minutes brisk walk each day etc.
So how much exercise should you actually be doing? I find that HOW MUCH only depends on the kind of exercise you should be doing, which depends on your goals. So let’s break it down per goals
Improving cardio vascular fitness. You can do 2 things here, depending on how much time you want to spend training. HIIT will improve your CV system faster, there is no doubt about that, but steady state cardio will still improve your CV if you push yourself a bit. How often you should do cardio vascular exercise (Jogging, cycling, boxing, Kettlebell swings, in other words; anything that raises your heart-rate) depends on how fast you want to achieve your goals but at least twice a week. The harder you push yourself the sooner your cardio will improve.
Lifting heavy things, your body counts as a heavy thing, is the only way to improve your strength and you obviously want to get some results for the time you’re putting in. If you’re smart with the exercises you’re doing, and you’re targeting the areas you’d like to improve, you should hit the muscles regularly, I recommend at least twice per week. I’m not going to put a time or duration on it as that really depends on how you train. Bodybuilders tend to take absolute ages in the gym whereas most people just need to do some heavy lifting for 20-30 minutes twice a week and see some great results.
Rehab of an injury, and I include post-natal exercise in this.
If you’re re-training muscles and are looking to improve flexibility or muscle activation then you have to do something every day. All my post-natal clients have a 7 minute home routine to do on top of their strength sessions for muscle activation and strengthening. They do 1-2 sessions with me each week and do their home routine every day, or almost every day, on top of this.
So what should a standard week look like when you’re just looking to improve your physical health?
2 strength/resistance sessions, 2 bits of cardio and a good stretch is sufficient to improve almost everybody’s general health and fitness. It doesn’t matter what age you are. It doesn’t matter whether you do weightlifting or use your bodyweight, use kettlebells or dumbbells. Whether you do a 15 minute lung-busting HIIT session or go for a nice long cycle also doesn’t matter. If you mix things up regularly then your overall health will improve.
If you’re looking to improve a specific area then just target your exercise to fit that particular goal, it’s as simple as that.
As always, if you’re looking for any help just get in touch