Get Fit Quick
Over the past decade there are has been a vast improvement in the speed in which we can perform everyday tasks. The internet and improvements in communications and technology has meant we can perform our everyday tasks more quickly, and with less effort. When it comes to the wellbeing and performance of the human body there has been improvements in nutritional information and supplement products, yet there is often a short term view to getting physically fit, and many seek the latest fad to “get fit quick”. Is it possible to “get fit quick”? What would a “get fit quick” training plan look like?
The western body image culture, compounded with the short-termism of results, has fuelled the publication of fad diet and training plans, commonly seen in women’s glossy magazines. Improvements have been made in the science of physical training and nutritional understanding, and these improvements can have a real effect on our performance, and efforts in getting fit. Yet, it must be realised by the individual that getting fit should be seen as a lifestyle change, otherwise fitness levels, and possible body weight, will yo-yo in an unsustainable environment.
The “get fit quick” plan, if such a plan exists, should not sacrifice sustainability for short term results, if the individual wishes to improve general fitness for the long term future. It is possible to improve fitness levels in a relatively quick span of time – optimal training, diet and rest can be extremely rewarding. It would be fair to say that the majority of people who wish to find a “get fit quick” guide generally seek a plan to get fit safely and in a sustainable manner, yet see results in the shortest amount of time. The main issue is most do not know how this is done.
Getting fit – the training
Aerobic exercise can be performed three to four times per week, for a duration of between 30-60 minutes. Intensity levels will depend on current fitness levels, with those who have begun their fitness training with a low level of fitness beginning with a relatively low intensity. Intensity levels can be elevated as improvements in fitness levels improve.
It would also be wise to vary the speed and intensity of the training to improve the various fitness components, such as muscle endurance and cardiovascular ability. A 30 minute session of short sprints can be aerobically taxing, and incorporate muscle strength and power, just as a 30 minute long distance cycle can be taxing on muscular endurance. Different fitness activities will tax a variation of fitness components, and it is therefore beneficial to incorporate a varied training plan if the goal is to achieve overall fitness. Swimming is an activity which is great for cardiovascular fitness, as well as muscle conditioning.
Resistance and weight training can be implemented for two to four days per week, with each session lasting between 20-60 minutes. Just as with aerobic activities, weight training should include a spectrum of exercises and repetition ranges to ensure maximum improvements in muscle strength, power and endurance. A low repetition range, up to 6 in a set, will ensure gains in muscle strength – targeting the slow twitch muscle fibres and the CNS (Central Nervous System). Repetitions up to 12 will generally be performed to increase muscle mass, and higher repetitions are preformed to improve muscle endurance.
Staying motivated is the biggest barrier for most. A lot of people decide to get fit at the start of the year, yet struggle to maintain their new lifestyle past February. As you can probably tell, I am not a big believer in having a short term view in achieving fitness, as it really does require a lifestyle change and continued motivation to train and eat well.
Below are some ideas for staying motivated
- Track progress – either by taking monthly photographs to see physical changes (if applicable), or by tracking performances in a log. When times get hard you can look back at how far you have come, and know the effort is worth it.
- Begin an online progress journal on the Fitness Uncovered forums. Following on from the above point – beginning an online journal can also open up communication with likeminded people who can encourage and aid your progress.
- Get a training partner. Not all people like to train with other people, which is perfectly understable, but a large number of people will benefit from having a training partner. It encourages both of you to stick to a plan, and the partner can aid in encouragement and motivation.