Most Fit-20 workouts will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. You may find that as you get stronger and your endurance gets better, you can complete them in shorter amounts of time.
Fit-20 workouts are high intensity, full body workouts, with little or no rest between exercises. This means you will sweat. If you’re trying to squeeze a workout in during your lunch hour, you’ll probably need to account for shower time too.
You also shouldn’t need to “power up” with energy foods for a 20 minute workout, which makes these workouts easier to plan around, and which helps you not have to ingest extra calories just for the workout.
Minimum amount. There isn’t really a minimum – even once a week is better than nothing. However, if you’re really trying to lose weight or to get into shape, I’d recommend 3-5 days per week. You can customize your schedule based on your own body – how hard do you push yourself (harder may require more rest in-between workouts), how fast does your body recover, and how aggressive do you want to be to attain your goals?
Maximum amount. There isn’t a maximum, either, with a caveat: You’re body needs time to heal. Working out can cause your muscles to rip and tear; it’s the healing of these muscles which actually makes your muscles bigger and stronger. Your body needs time to repair the damage you’ve caused to your muscles. One way to do this is to mix in more cardio workouts, especially at lower intensity &/or impact, where you can still burn calories but without putting more stress on your muscles. One of my favorite “recovery” workouts is to ride the stationary bike, using a low resistance level and a high pedal cadence count – my legs don’t get a muscle workout, but my lungs burn and my shirt gets covered with sweat!
You won't need a full gym to do these workouts. You won't even need a large collection of weights. Most of these exercises can be done without weights. However, these are designed to be full body workouts, and some areas of the body are difficult to train without some sort of equipment. Some of the exercises will assume you have access to a couple of basic, inexpensive pieces of equipment:
- Pull-up bar. Pull-ups and chin-ups are very powerful full-body exercises, and will be featured regularly in the Fit-20 routines. (They're also easy to adjust the strength required, because you can put a step or chair under the bar, and use your legs to help lift yourself.) Pull-up bars can be found just about anywhere these days, including Target and Walmart, and run about $20.
- Dumbbells. These aren't required for any exercises, but you'll find yourself getting more out of the workouts over time if you add weight, particularly on a few of the exercises. Ideally you would have access to light and heavy weights - maybe 2.5 - 5 lbs and 10 - 15 lbs for women, and 5 - 10 lbs and 15 - 30 lbs for men. (you can adjust according to your own strength.)
- Kettlebell. Probably my favorite piece of equipment, and there will be a few Fit-20 routines dedicated solely to Kettlebell work; others will have a Kettlebell routine or two mixed in with the rest of the workout. Kettlebells usually cost about $1 - $2 per pound, so they aren't cheap. But you only need one, and they're an awesome, simple, powerful tool for overall fitness.
- Box / Step. Some of the Fit-20 workouts will feature box jumps, where you're jumping up onto a box and back down again. You could substitute stairs, or a bench, or a step-wall in the garden - anything safe and sturdy will do. The height can vary according to your abilities - somewhere between 6 and 20 inches will do. As a bonus, the step can help out as your “spotter” for pull-ups until you’re strong enough to do pull-ups without any help!
Equipment Note. As far as equipment goes, I don't want you to have to run out and spend $100 before you start the program. There are plenty of exercises you can do without any equipment at all, which should give you a couple-few weeks to decide if you like the program enough to spend money on equipment. In addition, you can substitute exercises for which you have the right equipment available.
- Short – 20 minute workouts you can fit into your already too busy lifestyle, without having to rearrange your schedule.
- Flexible – most workouts can be done just about anywhere.
- Full Body – you’ll tone your whole body to look and feel better.
- Customize – easy to make the workouts more challenging as you get fitter.
- Compliments a healthy diet. (I’ll have a section dedicated to diet & nutrition, coming soon.)
Fitness in General
- Being active makes you a happier, healthier you.
- Fitness is a great compliment to a healthy diet.
- Fitness can be done anywhere.
- Fitness doesn’t need to take over your life with long workouts and expensive equipment. A moderate amount of exercise, say 20 minutes at a time, can have a profound effect on your life.
- You’re only in shape for whatever it is you’re in shape for. Huh?! Want to run a marathon? Train for it. Want to run a triathlon? Train for that. Want to kick box or fight mixed martial arts? How about fitness boot camps? Or ride the Tour de Your City/State/Country? Whatever it is you want to do will require its own type of training. You can be in awesome marathon shape but not be able to do a 1-hour fitness boot camp. And most MMA fighters, while in fantastic shape, couldn’t run a marathon. You have to figure out what your goals are, and set up a training regimen to match. Fit-20 is a great place to start getting into overall shape – healthier, fitter, trimmer, and happier.
What Fit-20 Won’t Do
- Want to lose 30 pounds in the next month or two? You’ll need a much more intense workout regimen, along with a carefully crafted diet. Fit-20 is designed to compliment a healthy diet, with a goal to achieve health & fitness over the long term, using regular food & workout routines you can do as part of your life, for the rest of your life. Losing 30 pounds (or a lot more) isn’t too hard, but this program will require more than a month or two.
- Training to run a marathon? You’ll need to train a lot longer than what this program can do for you. Fit-20 is for long-term, overall health & fitness, but it won’t help you train for a marathon (or any other ultra endurance event.)
- Be the biggest guy on the beach? You’ll need a few more hours in the gym, and some heavier weight, than what this program can get you. Fit-20 will help you shape your body – legs, butt, arms, chest, back, shoulders – but the goal is health and fitness, not Mr. Olympian.
Fit-20 and Weight Loss
2 thoughts about losing weight.
- Your diet is far more important to weight loss than your fitness regimen. (see Daily Diet.) You can lose weight without a fitness program. (yes, fitness helps accelerate your weight loss, and it helps shape your body, and it’s good for your heart and overall fitness, but you can lose weight without working out.) On the other hand, unless your fitness routine includes multiple hours per day of working out, you won’t lose weight without adjusting your diet.
- Sustainable changes. There are lots of options out there – crash diets, eliminating certain food groups diets, hard core boot camp style fitness routines.. They all work, to a certain extent. The downfall to these programs is their sustainability; you probably aren’t going to be able to eat like that, or workout like that, for the rest of your life. So what happens when you stop and things go back to normal? My Fit-20 workouts and Daily Diet (coming soon) are designed to fit into your already too busy lifestyle, which will allow you to use these principles for the rest of your life. Losing 30 pounds in 30 days may not be part of this plan, but losing 25-30 pounds per year, for as many years as you’d like, and keeping it off indefinitely, is. You can make small changes, which are easy to keep, and then let small changes add up to big changes over time.
Questions? Comments? Success Stories? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or shoot me a private email.