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Effective training for people with little free time

The very first thing that people should realise is that, if you don’t make time for fitness, then you’ll have to make time for sickness later.

To get off on the right track, you need to make a commitment to fitness. You need to allocate part of your week to training. Saying that you will get around to training when you have free time is not good enough!

You need to set aside certain times and diarise them as designated training slots. You should explain to your work, partner or friends that you have an appointment (no need to say that it is with fitness) at specified times on certain days.

Ok, now you are going to get busy and do some training. There are a number of elements to fitness training that will be most effective, sustainable and encourage you to keep training. Fitness is a long term commitment and you can’t go from zero to hero overnight.

It has been proven that training outdoors is more effective than indoors. More oxygen, more motivation and more varied so your body get’s accustomed to training in different conditions, instead of the exact same conditions in gym.

Training with a partner or a group is more effective than training alone. You will be less inclined to postpone your exercise if people are relying on you to train with them.

Combining strength and cardio exercise in high intensity training is the most effective for people with little time.

You don’t need weights or equipment to get really effective exercise. Compound exercises that use different muscle groups are more effective (e.g. squats, press ups and burpees) than isolated exercises (e.g. Bicep curls)

British Military Fitness provides motivating, outdoor, extremely effective, group classes that are scaled to your fitness ability in a friendly training environment.

Here is an excellent routine which is very effective. It is called Tabata training and will increase your aerobic and anaerobic abilities while burning fat and increasing strength.

The protocol is to train hard for 20 second and then rest for 10 seconds and repeat this for 8 rounds i.e. 4 minutes. Choose an exercise and then to a full 8 rounds of each. Have a breather and then choose another exercise and go 8 rounds. Score yourself with how many repetitions you can do with each round, but the kicker is that your final score is the round that you do the least repetitions. The aim is to beat your previous scores.

Make sure that you spend 5 to 10 minutes warming up and moving around so that your body is ready for the exertion, then make sure to stretch afterwards.
The following a good exercises to use:

Air squats– Stand with feet shoulder width apart, feet facing forward and parallel, squat down so that your hips are below your knees. Keep the lumber curve of your back and look ahead and slightly upwards. Use your arms for balance by reaching forward and upwards at the bottom of the squat. You weight should be going through your heels, with no heel lift at the bottom.

Press ups – Lie on the ground with hands facing forward and underneath the shoulder. Your elbows should be tucked in against the side of your body and your feet should be 5cm and 20 cm apart.Keep your entire body rigid and push yourself off the so that your elbows lock out and your arms are fully extended. If you cannot push your body off the floor, you can push up on your knees.

Simon Richman Chief Instructor at British Military Fitness South Africa

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