| 5.6°C Dublin

Don't fall for fitness fads: Hard work and simple eating is the key


Keep it simple: the key to fitness is good eating and hard work

Keep it simple: the key to fitness is good eating and hard work

Keep it simple: the key to fitness is good eating and hard work

Yet again another new trend has emerged on the very first day of the New Year.

There is always a new an¬gle on exercises every year. Of course variety is good in lots of ways. It gives you an opportuni¬ty to try the latest craze, but eventually it all comes back to the basics of hard work, combined with a simple eating plan.

When you read about the combinations that are recommended by the diet books you would need more time than a normal person has just to search for the ingredients – you’d then need to become a contestant for MasterChef.

The secret of any new eating plan is to keep it as simple as possible, including ingredients and easy accessibility for buying the food that is required.

The recent fad is to exercise intensively for three minutes, three times a week. The programme was based on using Dr Michael Mosley’s use of a stationary bicycle at your maximum effort level to the point of exhaus¬tion for three minutes. This according to research helps increase metabolism, burn fat and increase lung power.

If you have never tried this routine give it a shot for three, three-minute bursts of your maximum at the highest resistance you can manage. It will certainly get your lung and heart pumping more blood and oxygen around the body.

Initially you might feel a little bit nauseous so take it slowly. But while this routine will increase lung power and help your metab¬olism in my opinion you will never change your body type.

He gives the impression all you have to do is exercise for nine minutes a week and be transformed.

Not so. All those who have made great strides in improving their physique exercise each muscle group with possibly two or more exercises per muscle group and constantly change the tempo of their workouts, combining light and heavy weights.

This is a routine that will tax the body and force the muscles to break down, rebuild and repair the body with healthy new cells.


To change your shape you need spe¬cific exercises that are designed for you and your particular body shape, although all exercises routines will help you make improvement.

To take it a step further don’t fall for these new fancy trends. By all means give it a try but I know that no matter what fads come and go the most effective workout will be a programme that is designed for you to help you be your best – and that this is made easier by getting a trainer who can set you realistic goals.

The aim should be to lose a maximum of 2lbs or 1kg per week, which will be body fat, not muscle. Any bigger drops will be mainly liquids, waste and muscle.

So by setting real targets over a real period of time your shape will start to improve, clothes will feel more comfortable and no matter what path you take in the New Year keep it simple.

Don’t over extend yourself by train¬ing seven days a week like a lot of people who rush into training after Christmas.

They often burn out their enthusiasm after a few weeks. Dr Mosley was right about one thing – three times a week is suffi¬cient to make great improvements.

But I recommend three 45-minute weekly worksouts. Don’t rest in between sets, move efficiently with steady explosive movements, performed in a strict style to avoid injury.