Posted on 18 June, 2019

How to Program Exercise for Best Results

By Jacob Andreae in Exercise, Lifestyle, How-to, Fitness How to Program Exercise for Best Results

Many people, when they start out on a new fitness journey, only focus on one or two important components of exercise. It might just be strength training with a personal trainer, jog/walks with their friend or HIIT classes at the gym. However, any general exercise regime should include a combination of key components.

When I was consulting for the Flight Centre group, I would perform a health screening with their staff. At the end, I needed to provide some recommendations, and I found myself saying the same thing over and over. Even now as I deliver health screening and wellness consultations with my private clients, I still say the same thing most of the time.

Low, moderate and high-intensity exercise are all necessary components of a well-rounded exercise regime. But strength training is fundamentally the most important.

People often ask, “What’s the best exercise to lose weight?” Whether it’s to lose weight, or just be healthy, my answer is always the same. Get a balance of low, moderate and high intensity exercise, underpinned by strength.

How to Program Exercise for Best Results

Low-intensity exercise. Most simply, this is the amount you move in a day. I often refer to this as the number of steps you take each day. Aim for 10,000 steps; however, if you are just starting out, begin by measuring how many steps you take on average per day, and aim to increase this by 500 each week.

Moderate-intensity exercise. This is exercise whereby you are increasing your heart rate to a moderate level (usually 120-150 beats per minute) and hold it there. This is generally at a pace where you can maintain a conversation, but only just. This could be brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or even dancing.

High-intensity exercise. This is the type of exercise you would typically do in a group fitness class at the gym. Often it also has strength training incorporated into it. This is the type of exercise whereby you increase your heart rate to a high level (greater than 150 beats per minute) and then drop it, repeating this process.

Strength training. Developing strength not only increases lean muscle mass, which in turn burns more energy (even at rest), it strengthens your body to better cope with what you’re asking it to do in the above three types of exercise, as well as resist fatigue and reduce the risk of injury. Strength training is imperative for any exercise regime.

A typical training program might look like this:

Aim for 10,000 steps each and every day (low-intensity exercise).

Monday - High-intensity exercise

Tuesday - Strength training

Wednesday - Moderate-intensity exercise

Thursday - Strength training

Friday - High-intensity exercise

Saturday - Moderate-intensity exercise

Sunday - Rest

Aim to move as much as you can each day. A good measure for this is 10,000 steps. In addition to regular movement, make time for what you might consider more “formal” exercise. This includes strength training, moderate-intensity exercise, and high-intensity exercise.

How Do You Program Your Exercise?

Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash

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About Jacob Andreae

About Jacob Andreae

I write and speak about Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset. 

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How to Program Exercise for Best ResultsA quick start guide to losing weight and staying on track. Learn the strategies I use to eat and move for optimal health. Includes worksheets to enhance your motivation, commitment and discipline, along with a sample eating plan and exercise program.