With over 17 years of experience in the fitness industry I can safely say I’ve heard it all when it comes to training.
Whether its spending sixty minutes on the bike, two hours in the gym or only ten minutes of HIIT to see results, there are plenty of conflicting ‘facts’ out there from so-called ‘experts’ who claim to know it all.
And the reality is, with all this garbage thrown around, it can get totally confusing when trying to figure out who you can and can’t trust.
I’m here to finally debunk the myths surrounding how much and how often you really should be working out to see results and to highlight some key points to keep in mind when figuring out what works for you.
It’s not about volume:
“Sam, I want to lose weight, but I just don’t have enough time to exercise” is a line I’ve heard time and time again. I get it, we’re all busy. But there is always time. They’re always surprised and relieved to hear the good news that just 28 minutes a day is enough for you to see results, while still leaving you with enough time to enjoy hanging out with family and friends; the moments that matter the most.
In fact, 28 minutes can actually be more beneficial for your fitness than long extended periods of exercise. When we do short bursts of high intensity training it leads our body into excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC), a process that heightens your resting metabolic rate for 24 hours or more, meaning your burning fat even when you’ve finished your workout. This is why I always encourage short bursts of hard work as opposed to a 60-minute steady jog.
Keep it consistent:
I’m always telling my 28ers (members of the 28 by Sam program), that when it comes to exercise, consistency and frequency is key. If you can fit some form of workout for 28 minutes in every day, you’ll not only feel healthier and more energised, but you’ll start to see results. If you’re flat out mum or just completely time poor, try to take every free moment as an opportunity. You have a half an hour lunch break? Perfect, squeeze in that jog to the post office and back. You can make it to that after gym class after work if you leave work by 5.30 on the dot? Even better.
Fitting exercise into your day where and when you can will make a massive difference and will start to become a habit that fits effortlessly into your routine. Aim for 3-4 workouts per week. Remember not to beat yourself up, if you can only squeeze in 14 or 20 minutes, that’s OK too. Something is always better than nothing!
Up the intensity:
Just because it’s simple doesn’t always mean it’s easy. Keep in mind that most of your workouts should get you out of your comfort zone, so try to up the intensity and work up a sweat each and every time. A high intensity workout that will ensure you see results should mean that you’re working at 80 or 90 percent of your total capacity. Remind yourself, 28 minutes is just 4% of your day and under that 30 minute mental hurdle. Totally achievable, right?
Variety is key:
It might be all well and good to commit to 28 minutes a day in your head, but in reality, what happens when the time rolls around to actually exercise can be completely different. A big component of my training philosophy is variety and making sure you always mix it up. The minute you let your workouts get monotonous and repetitive is when you’ll start to lose interest and maybe even fall off the bandwagon. Find different activities, whether its swimming, high intensity training or running, that you love doing, and change them up as often as you can.
I love seeing the look on my clients faces when I tell them that yes, 28 is truly the magic number and really does give you bang for your buck. Remember, small wins like smashing a 28 minute workout each day will lead to big results in the end.