PT-Approved Tips For Getting Fit Fast
PT-Approved Tips For Getting Fit Fast

PT-Approved Tips For Getting Fit Fast

Gone are the days when you needed to spend hours in the gym to see results. The secret, according to the experts, lies in knowing how to maximise your time. From the moves to prioritise to the benefits of interval training, here’s what three PTs recommend…
By Tor West

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Think About Your Goals

“Tailoring your training based on your goals is a smart idea, especially if you don’t have huge amounts of time. If you want to sculpt and tone, prioritise strength training and focus on supersets and trisets. For endurance training – perhaps for a 10k – you’ll still need to include some longer sessions, but don’t discount the effectiveness of interval sessions on a bike or running machine to build speed and power. If fat loss is your goal, the most important factor is calories in versus calories out, so both strength training and cardio can support this.” – Aimee Cringle, PT


Know Your HIIT Ratio

“High intensity interval training – HIIT – is an excellent form of exercise for maximum efficiency. By splitting your workout in short, intense bursts of exercise, followed by a period of rest, you fatigue and challenge the body in a different way to accelerate muscle gains and build stamina. But you need to do it properly to see results and push yourself in the bursts – pushing your heart rate up is where you’ll make fitness gains, and keeping rests to a minimum will ensure your heart rate stays high. If you’re a beginner, aim for 20 seconds of work followed by 40 seconds of rest; if you’re at an intermediate level, try 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest; and if you’re at an advanced level, do 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. Avoid taking longer than 60 seconds of recovery, unless you really need it.” – David Wiener, nutrition & training specialist at Freeletics


Work Up To Tabata

“Tabata is a form of HIIT training that involves 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by ten seconds of rest, for a certain number of rounds. With Tabata, your body is forced to use both your aerobic and anaerobic systems simultaneously, which means you can improve your fitness in a shorter amount of time. Don’t be fooled – Tabata is no walk in the park. If you’re doing it properly, it will be tough. But the results are worth it – it’ll make you look leaner and more toned in a shorter amount of time.” – David


Ditch Crunches

“If you want to train your core, you may default to moves like crunches and sit-ups, but taking a more dynamic approach will help you see results. Compound exercises – i.e. moves that engage multiple muscle groups at the same time, thus building more muscle mass throughout the body as a whole – should be your priority. Do more deadlifts, which use your core and lower body to bring the body from a near-squat to an upright position, resulting in greater core stability and improved posture. Front squats with a set of dumbbells or a kettlebell are also a great way to sculpt the core as holding weight in the front of your body rather than on your back forces your abs and core to work harder.” – David


Aim For Two Gym Sessions

“You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to see results. Even if you’re short on time, it is possible to get incredible results with two decent sessions. As long as you’re following a sensible plan that includes progressive overload (to keep the body challenged) and work at the right intensity level for 30-45 minutes, you will see results. Keep your workouts full-body to give you more bang for your buck.” – Emily Taylor, PT


Tick All The Boxes

“Lifting weights is a great way to tone, sculpt and burn fat, but for the best results, it’s worth thinking about the structure of your sessions. Either enlist the support of a PT to help you formulate a programme, or take the time to put together a couple of workouts that include three to four exercises that hit the fundamental patterns of movement – this could be something for a ‘squat’, a movement that incorporates a ‘hinge’, followed by a ‘lunge’, and then something for both a ‘push’ and a ‘pull’. This could look like weighted step ups, a dumbbell bench press, a single arm bent over row, and kettlebell swings. Pick a weight that you can lift for eight to ten reps. The last rep or two should feel tough.” – Emily


Think Quality Not Quantity

“If time is of the essence, intensity matters. This is where people go wrong with classes and feel frustrated when they don’t see results. The popularity of HIIT classes has made us think intensity means ‘do as much as possible,’ and while this isn’t a bad approach, it can leave you spinning your wheels and feeling like you’re working hard, but ultimately not seeing the results you want. If you’re using weights, go heavier than you think and aim for quality of your movements, not quantity. If a client only has 20 minutes to train, I’d rather they picked four or five exercises and did two to three hard sets of each of them, instead of a non-stop HIIT class where you’re constantly moving. If you want to build lean muscle, the former approach will yield far better results.” – Emily


Prioritise Your Moves

“Some moves will give you more bang for your buck. A burpee is a great place to start – they’re a fantastic, full-body movement that can be used in many different workout scenarios. Push-ups, air squats, lunges and step-ups are also worth incorporating into your workout. Plus, these moves can be done with minimal, if any, equipment.” – Aimee


Don’t Overthink A Warm-Up

“One of the biggest mistakes I see people making in the gym is overthinking their warm-up and spending 15-20 minutes doing banded ‘activation’ work, foam rolling and stretching. This usually isn’t necessary and wastes time. Instead, use the first set of a strength workout to ease yourself in. For example, use a lighter set of dumbbells for your first round, then build the weight up. If you have a few minutes to spare, hop on a cardio machine for three to four minutes at an easy pace – a rowing machine or cross trainer is ideal.” – Emily


Try A Triset

“If you enjoy lifting weights, a triset is a PT-approved way to build strength quickly. A triset consists of three or more exercises that stimulate the same muscle group in a slightly different way, performed back-to-back, without rest. When you challenge the body in this way, you put your muscles under constant tension, leading to increased strength and endurance. Plus, by working without rest periods, you elevate your heart rate and increase your metabolism post-workout, known as the afterburn effect.” – Aimee


Be Focused

“Resistance training and cardio both have fantastic health benefits, and we should all be doing a combination of both across the week. For the best results, split them into separate sessions. If you combine the two in one session, you won’t be able to give 100% to either. Say you have half an hour free in the morning, four or five days a week. Dedicate a full 30 minutes to strength training on two or three of those days, then a full half hour to cardio the remaining two days.” – Emily

For more training tips from the experts visit & follow @Aimee_Cringle & @EKT_Fitness.

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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