How Often Should You Work Out?

Excuse the little role play there, I just found that funny as I was writing it down because that is literally almost every consultation that I’ve had with a new client of mine after discussing their personal weight loss goals :)

​I think the beauty of the conversation above is how much faith people put in personal trainers to give them a definitive answer as to exactly how long it is going to take to lose the 20–30 maybe even 50 kilos — with the usual answer being “It depends on how good you are with your eating.”
 
So let’s forget nutrition and focus on the training side of things for a change.
 
How many times per week for weight loss?
In short, 3 to 5 times per week. Weight loss specifically is about how many calories you ‘expend’ or burn VS how many calories you consume via food. Now as you would know there is an infinite amount of ways to burn calories when it comes to choosing the type of exercise to do it. I always recommend keeping one key point in mind when choosing it — Make Sure You Love It

Put simply, make sure there is some element (however tiny it is) of the exercise that you enjoy because that is what is going to keep to coming back for more before you start seeing results.

I use a very simple system with my clients. We choose a consistent ‘cardio’ interval to do for 30 seconds, then choose 5 to 10 ‘toning’ exercises to do for 30 seconds in between the cardio intervals, then we repeat that process 2 to 3 times. The result is a short 30 minute workout that is incredibly efficient at burning calories EVEN AFTER the session has finished.

Here is an example:
30 seconds each exercise
 
Run or Skiing
Toe Taps
Run or Skiing
Heel Taps
Run or Skiing
Plank
Run or Skiing
Squats
Run or Skiing 
Kick and Lunge
Run or Skiiing
CG Push Up on Bench 
Run or Skiing
Dips
Run or Skiing
Plank Ups
Run or Skiing
Squats
REST for 1 minute

Repeat 3 times

How many times per week for toning up?

3 to 5 times per week

To be clear, toning up and weight loss are two different outcomes. Weight loss should be all about reducing the body’s fat stores where as toning up is about building lean muscle tone. Why would you want more lean muscle tone? Well put simply the more of it that your body has, the more calories you burn while at rest and the easier it is to keep unwanted weight off.

It also raises your metabolism, increases your strength (important for your eighties just so you can bend down and pick up a box) keeps your skin supple and ultimately fills out those areas where body fat once lived. Sounds awesome right? Why the hell wouldn’t you want to get toned up!

Toning Up sessions can be performed either in a gym or outside. You just have to plan your sessions beforehand so that you don’t lose intensity. In my experience (and opinion) toning exercises are more so associated with that ‘burning’ sensation that a lot of people are familiar with — “Feel the burn.”

That’s your muscles releasing lactic acid into the area that you’re stimulating, lactic acid is a bi-product of exercise so the more effort you put into your workout the more of this ‘burning’ sensation you tend to feel. On top of that toning exercises are usually ones that don’t leave you completely out-of-breath like traditional cardio exercises i.e running.

Toning exercises include — push ups, squats, dips, lunges, chin ups, bench press, leg press, leg curls, shoulder press…just to name 9 out of a probable million.

But rather than give you an example why don’t you just go and download a free training program here. It incorporates both the weight loss and toning exercises into some very short but effective sessions that take no longer than 15 minutes a session.