A Simple Exercise Program

Break It Up Into Tinier Components. 

Instead of ignoring exercise altogether, here’s a suggestion for integrating it into your busy schedule.  Think of exercise like you think of a major task in the office.  Break it up into tinier components

Instead of spending two hours in the gym or in the tennis court like your friends do, ask your trainer to divide your workout program. 

Suggestion A       

30 minutes four times a week, i.e.: 20 minutes cardio, 10 minutes weights (1 muscle group, e.g. legs)

Suggestion B       

30 minutes three times a week

Mon:  20 minutes cardio + 10 minutes stretching;

Tues:  20 minutes weights (2 muscle groups, e.g. back and abdominals) + 10 minutes of cardio.

Wed:  20 minutes cardio + 10 minutes of

Weights (two muscle groups, e.g. triceps or chest, biceps or shoulders)

Suggestion C       

20 minutes 5 days a week.

Week 1:  all cardio

Week 2:  weights

Week 3:  Cardio on Mon/Wed/Fri

Week 4:  Weights on Tues/Thurs

Repeat the entire cycle when you get to month 2.

Frequency and Intensity

Ideally, one should gradually increase the frequency or intensity, or both.  But if you’re busy, and definitely can’t spare more than 30 minutes a day, then increase your intensity.  This means if your cardio involves the treadmill, take the notch up 1 level (if you started with level 3, go on to level 4 on month 2).  

For your weight training, if you started with 5-pound weights, graduate into 7.5 pounds in month 2.  And then on those days when your day is not filled with meetings, try to stay an extra 5-10 minutes. 

Be realistic with your goals, especially when you’re just starting.  Increasing frequency and intensity too soon can overwhelm you, making you want to give up.


Fit as you should be for your age?

Exercise won’t just help you maintain a healthy weight, it could be the single most important step you can take for your mental and physical health, and the best way possible to keep the effects of ageing under control.

Exercise can reduce your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers by up to 50 per cent, and lower your risk of early death by nearly a third.

It can also cut your risk of osteoarthritis by up to 83 per cent, boost mood and sleep quality and reduce your risk of depression and dementia.

The official recommendation is to be active daily, with at least two-and-a-half hours of physical activity a week. But a recent report from the British Heart Foundation found that 48 per cent of adults never exercise. The good news is it’s never too early or too late to start.

Use tests to check whether you’re as fit as you should be for your age, right up to your 80s – the experts explain what you can do to improve your fitness, whatever your age.

Improve Functional Strength?


A Best Way to Improve Functional Strength?


by Ryan Halvorson

Making News

A popular goal among weightlifters and exercise enthusiasts is to improve functional strength training—that is, to produce higher-quality movements with less effort. A new study from Loughborough University in England may have determined a best practice for doing just that.

The very small study included 43 young men, who were divided into three groups. Two groups followed a 12-week knee extension training protocol, and the third acted as a control group. The first exercise group performed explosive contractions (ECT) lasting no more than 1 second. The second performed sustained contractions (SCT) lasting 3 seconds. Both training groups completed 40 repetitions of the exercise three times per week. The purpose of the investigation was to determine the effect of each protocol on strength improvements, muscle contraction, muscle growth and neural output.

From their postintervention analysis, the researchers reported the following results:

SCT yielded greater improvements in maximum voluntary torque than ECT.
Both protocols produced similar improvements in neural drive.
Quadriceps muscle volume growth was greater with SCT than with ECT.
With ECT, explosive torque improved at all points of contraction; SCT produced only late-phase explosive-torque improvements.

“These results showed training-specific functional changes that appeared to be due to distinct neural and hypertrophic adaptations,” explained the authors. “ECT produced a wider range of functional adaptations than SCT, and given the lesser demands of ECT, this type of training provides a highly efficient means of increasing function.”

The study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (2016; 120 [11], 1364–73).

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 13, Issue 9