How many days a week should I exercise? How do I eat right? How do I lose weight and gain muscle? How do I work out without REALLY working out?
With over 15 years in the fitness industry, I’ve been asked all sorts of questions like these. I’ve even asked some of the same questions myself and have run through the full gamut of answers! You see, I don’t necessarily LIKE working out. I don’t really PREFER healthier meals. I actually would rather EAT nachos and DRINK a (few) beers any day!
That might sound strange considering I’ve helped thousands lose weight and feel healthier and happier by way of gym memberships, personal training and group exercise classes. Now, as a Beachbody Celebrity Trainer, I work to create home fitness programming to reach people all over the world. So, what gives??
Well, it’s no mystery anymore. We all know we should exercise in some way and what we should and shouldn’t eat. If you want shredded six-pack abs, then you’re going to have to give up the crap…unless genetics blessed you with defined abs at birth and a lighting fast metabolism to where you can eat whatever you want (Yes, they exist and the rest of us are very bitter about it.) Social media has made body consciousness even worse, thanks to gorgeous models, photoshop and zero concept of reality for the other 99.9% of the population.
So instead of scrolling and double tapping the thong and supplement pics, let’s get realistic and let me break it down for you.
Believe it or not, basic exercise science is actually quite simple. The human body will benefit most from 3-4 days of weight/resistance training, 1-2 days of cardiovascular training and at least 1 day of rest/recovery. 4-2-1…bam, done!
Now it comes down to figuring out what the actual activities are. My workout plan for example includes 4-5 day of weight training, 1-2 days of boxing/kickboxing training and 1 day of resting, but still active with daily life. If I’m unable to make it to the boxing gym, I add High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to the end of my lift days. That’s it!
Your best bet is to dabble in all sorts of workout activities around you. Remember, the first time you usually try anything is not going to be the best, so give it a few times and see what draws you in!
Again, quite simple. Cut the crap 5-6 days a week, then give yourself a “relax” day. This doesn’t mean you eat the entire pizza or plate of nachos but do let yourself enjoy a couple slices with a cold one. You know your food vices. You know what you shouldn’t be eating. Most importantly, DO NOT starve yourself! Think of your body like a car. If you want your car to go anywhere, you have to give it fuel. Thinking that your body will just “feed on your fat reserves” is ludicrous and will only make it harder to lose weight since your body will basically be in panic-and-save-everything mode when you feed it again. Be realistic, do your best to minimize the junk and you’ll be surprised how fast you’ll see results!
So, it simply comes down to figuring out what works for YOU and what’s realistic for YOUR life. What I’ve found are the things that drive me and actually get me excited to either workout or eat the things that I actually look forward to eating (not kale). I also have found what works for my own personal tastes and cravings, rather than depriving myself from having any fun. It’s my own personal fitness path that includes exercise, nutrition and good (most importantly) Scotch!
We’re not looking for a proverbial wagon to get on. Wagons suck; people keep falling off them.
I’m here to help you find your own real-life fitness path. A path that will make you healthier, less “hangry” and even include some yummy adult beverages.
- Joel Freeman
- IG: @joelfreemanfitness
- FB: JoelFreemanFitness