Exercise can be a confusing place. Should I do cardio? Are weights going to make me muscly? How often should I train? There is so much conflicting info out there so over this article we’re going to break it down for you.
Now for most of you that are reading this I’m guessing that you want to change your body shape, you want to lose body fat, have less bits that wobble and be happy with what you see in the mirror?
Over the last 10 years we have constructed the following exercise routine which is where we start with every client. Ok, some exercises have to be regressed/progressed or modified to the individual but this is the core foundations of how we get our clients stronger, moving better and dropping body fat quickest.
This programme should be followed across the first 8 weeks as a simple rule. With some clients we have them move on quicker or keep them going for longer. If we’re going to keep a client on this programme for longer than 8 weeks it’s because they are still making gains in either reps or weights. If we’re going to move client on its either because they have reached a plateau i.e. they are seeing no improvement in reps or kilos or they need the variety (mainly because they are training 3 times per week consistently)
This programme is set up for you to do a minimum of 2 days per week, hitting all body parts across those 2 days. If you train a 3rd day then you repeat day 1. If you are hitting 4 days or more in the gym then this is not the program for you.
You will see the exercise name in column 1, The sets (how many times you perform the exercise before moving on) in column 2, the reps (how many times you raise and lower the weight in one go) in 3.
Tempo of the rep (the speed in which you raise and lower the weight) is important too. For this initial program we keep it really simple and say raise the weight for a count of 1 and lower the weight for a count of 3.
All exercises are done in pairs, with each pair of exercises being the opposite of the other i.e. when the back of your arm (tricep) is working the front of your arm (bicep) is relaxed. You take minimal rest between each exercise (10 seconds), at the end of the two exercise you then rest for 60 seconds. We find that working with opposing muscles like this gives those that are new to exercise a greater feeling and connection to the muscles in their own body whilst creating more movement but not exhausting one specific muscle too much ( as with the example above we could be doing up to 24 reps for our arms, but when the back of the arm is working the front is resting and vice versa).
Each of the exercises above can be located on the HUSTLE. YouTube channel. Please click here!
We’re always asked about cardio – “is it necessary? how much should I be doing?” All cardio is energy expenditure in the same way that being active during the day is. So any increase in our daily expenditure is a good thing. If we want to lose body fat then our energy expenditure needs to go up. Initially when we start with clients, until they get stronger and are familiar with the exercises their energy expenditure isn’t going to be huge so initially we encourage 20 mins or cardio at the end (sled pushing, rowing etc) or doing 1-2 of our half hour cardio/Boxing sessions at Hustle (which are unlimited to all our members) As we get stronger and better at performing the exercises above, our energy expenditure will increase during the weight sessions and as long as body fat is going down I will decrease the amount of cardio our clients are doing.
As we have covered in previous articles (link to the 3 biggest myths and mistakes) high volume cardio, especially in those who are already overweight is not the way to go. Which is why at Hustle we place so much emphasis on strength training to get the body shape you are looking for.
NEAT (non-exercise activity)
The only real way we can gauge NEAT is through tracking our daily step count. Due to NEAT’s ability to influence energy expenditure, setting step targets per day can accelerate fat loss.
In order to make this work in the long run, you need to think about how you can build movement into daily life, without it affecting work and life in general.
Here are some of the best examples:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or lift
- Take phone calls while walking
- Walk to the bus stop or train station
- Get off a few stops earlier on your commute
- During your breaks at work, go for a walk
- If your office has a standing desk, stand instead of sitting down
- Have ‘walking meetings’
Now we have all heard that we should be doing 10,000 steps per day, but if we are only doing 5,000 then attempting to do 10,000 is setting ourselves up for failure. So the first thing I’d do is check what you’ve been naturally averaging on a daily basis. If you have an iPhone or Android, you should have an in-built step counter in the ‘health’ or ‘heart’ section.
So if we are only doing 5,000 steps then the first goal should be to attempt 6,000 then 7,000 and so on.
From here, slowly increase over the course of weeks and months.
We believe that 8-10K a day is a realistic target, and a healthy amount of activity to maintain on a day-to-day basis, which will reap all the benefits of increased activity without the fatigue that 15-20K a day can often create (unless you’re in an already highly active job that requires this).
We always start with encouraging clients to make changes with exercise first. For us it’s the easiest place to start with new clients. It takes the minimum amount of change (unlike food which we will come to next week), we say “meet me here at this time and on this day, simple”. With exercise we are in control, with food not so much as this is done away from the gym. But if we can get people moving more and making progress they are much more likely to want to make changes elsewhere.
If you want any further help or would like to know more about our personal training programmes at HUSTLE. please complete the contact form or click here to get started and we would be happy to help!