It’s a common question: what is the perfect workout? Or what does an ideal weekly fitness program look like?
To answer this question, we must first look at the definition of physicalfitness:
Physical fitness is a measure of the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist diseases, and to meet emergency situations.The components of fitness include:
- Cardiorespiratory endurance – how long a person can perform a continuous activity (e.g. jogging, swimming) and is limited by the cardiovascular system (heart and lungs).
- Muscular endurance – how many repetitions of an exercise a person can perform.
- Muscular strength – how much weight can be moved over a smaller number of repetitions (usually less than 12 reps).
- Muscular power – how much force can be generated during a given activity (e.g. vertical jump).
- Flexibility – how far muscle, fascia, nerves and joints can be stretched.
- Balance and stability – how long a particular position can be held with or without some type of activity being performed (think core stability).
- Speed – how quickly an individual can move from one point to another.
- Body composition – this is the amount of fat on the body versus other tissues such as muscle, bones and skin.
So what is the perfect fitness schedule? The answer is not simple and I would argue that it depends on a number of things:
- Are you training for a particular sport? (Specificity is key to high performance)
- What do you enjoy? (If you hate one style of training is there likely to be longevity there?)
- What is realistic in your life? (If you’ve got a full-time job, 3 kids and elderly parents then I doubt a comprehensive and variable 1-hour-per-day program that covers all of the above components is realistic)
- Injury profile (high impact endurance on an arthritic hip is not smart)
- Body type (different bodies need different things –for example, hypermobile/flexible bodies don’t love long runs)
With all of this in mind, I still believe there isa perfect training schedule to target all the components of physical fitness…
Monday: High intensity intervals (30-60 second efforts near maximal output – e.g. sprinting, jumping)
Tuesday: Core and flexibility (yoga and Pilates)
Wednesday: Strength training (weights)
Thursday: Continuous cardio/endurance (bike, run, swim, surf, row, walk etc.)
Friday: Core and flexibility (yoga and Pilates)
Saturday: High intensity intervals (speed, strength and power)
Sunday: Recovery: stretching, flexibility, self-release and walking
This program covers all components of fitness, allows for personal preference of activity-type, is time efficient (HIIT can be done in 20mins), allows adequate recovery and is a well-rounded…Enjoy!