As a life-time fitness enthusiast who has lived, breathed, studied and practiced fitness for my life-time and followed the current research and trends in fitness I think I can tell you a few things that will not only give you the most bang for your buck- but also save you time in gym.  Over the years I’ve tried it all- and definitely learned from my own mistakes. So if your goal is to get your best body ever in the shortest time possible, here’s my input.

1.) Make Weights the focus of your fitness routine.  You can’t shape a sexy body without  weight training.  You can lose weight  and become a smaller version of what you already are- but if you want to shape sexy legs and butt and shoulders- cardio alone won’t cut it.  Before college all I did was cardio.  I didn’t have much body fat- but I didn’t have much shape either.  You might think I was hot if you liked skinny girls.   It wasn’t until college that I became enamored of bodies like Rachel McLish and Corey Everson.  I discovered weight training and totally transformed my body in a short time.  Here are a couple college photos shortly after I started training with weights.  Untitled 1 300x209 3 Get Fit Tips!  Getting the most bang for your buck!Definitely had much more shape!  But you hate weights?  The good news is the amount of weight training needed to start shaping your body doesn’t require hours and hours in the gym.  In fact, if you are just getting started and you focus on basic core exercises- for each body part- you can see results with as little as 30 minutes in the gym 3 times a week.  Also, a lot gym classes now offer classes with the focus on weights or combination weights and cardio and the classes are fun.  Boot-camps are popping up everywhere.  So if you are intimidated by the weight room- weight based classes are a great starting place.  And while I don’t think they replace basic weight exercises in the gym- they are a great compliment or good starting place.

2.) Cardio- More is not always better.  The latest research suggests short intense sessions which get your heart rate up to 80% of your max heart rate- will give you more bang for the buck than longer slow or medium steady-state cardio.  And the “epoch effect” or calories burned after the fact which last for up to 48hrs will be more with short intense sessions.  So, no need to kill yourself with hours and hours of cardio everyday.  unless you just want to! icon smile 3 Get Fit Tips!  Getting the most bang for your buck!   Honestly, I’ve done lots and I’ve done less.  There really is no difference in results with me.  Cardio doesn’t change my weight and research suggests is not particularly great for weight loss.  The body is very sophisticated and quickly adjusts to longer cardio sessions by burning fewer calories or making you hungrier.  You ever wonder why many cardio instructors who teach 5 classes a day or marathoners who run 10 miles a day are no leaner than anybody else?  Not always the case, but often enough.  I can tell you- as someone who’s done 1hr or has done 3 hours- the only difference for me is the frequency of injuries.   Don’t misunderstand.  I do advocate cardio.  It will work your heart, decrease blood pressure, blood cholesterol, increase endurance and energy plus a host of benefits.  But more is not necessarily better.  What is the optimal amount?  I can’t say for sure- but my personal recommendation would be 1hour at least 3 days-5 days a week.

3.)  Focus on Diet- not cardio- to lose extra body fat.  So much can be said about diet that I’ll have to write multiple other blogs on it.  But in general, if you have a healthy metabolism and no under-lying condition that would prevent weight-loss- calories do count.  And for every time in my life that I actually adhered to it (I do love to eat), the law of thermogenisis applies.  A lb of fat consists of 3500 calories.  You need to eat less than you burn or create a daily calorie deficit in order to lose weight.  How do you  create a deficit?  Everyone’s calorie needs will be slightly different but a general rule is take your body weight and multiply by 10 to find your base calories needed for maintenance.  Add in calories you burned during exercise to find your personal maintenance level. So say you weigh 140lbs.  You would need a minimum 1400 calories to maintain with no exercise.  Add in 500 calories burned during exercise- then your needs would go up to 1900.  So you might try to adjust your diet to 1400-1600 a day to create a 300-500 calorie deficit a day.  I have much more to say on diet and what you should be eating.  But if you adhered to nothing else besides consciously cutting your calories- You should start to see a difference in the scale.  Hope this helps someone just a wee bit!