Fitness Friday Issue 17 – Effort Equals Reward?

Posted on March 7th, by John Thomson in Fitness Friday. No Comments

Fitness Friday Issue 17 – Effort Equals Reward? By John Thomson.

Do most peoples exercise effort equal reward?

Questions need to be asked when embarking on an exercise routine, we need to account for:

  •  Effort
  • Duration
  • Frequency
  • Recovery
  • Benefits
  • Dangers
  • Possible outcome
  • Results

Sounds complicated, but not really, just common sense, exercise for pure enjoyment and adrenaline rush may take into account extreme sports such as:

  • Mountain climbing
  • Sky diving
  • Snow boarding
  • Skiing
  • Motocross etc

These sports generally require fitness just to take part, benefits are many, and dangers come with the adrenaline rush. Most of us can see the benefit to risk element involved with this type of exercise/activity.

Often to participate in these sports at a reasonable level will require other fitness activity to compliment  the sports physical challenges. Generally a good dietary lifestyle would be required, and this is shown for example, as you can not skydive if you weigh over 15 stone.

You need to be fit and it is required that you are not obese just to participate in many activities effectively.

So why do most people who attend the gym have no real prescription for their exercise schedule and nutrition. I have seen thousands of people exercise and have watched people and their exercise habits for over 35 years!

I can tell you some common denominators that I have seen that tend to prove themselves again and again:

The Path to Great Results

1. Short intense workouts seem to give the greatest benefits in terms of recovery, strength, muscle
tone, size and fitness.

2. Brief intense effort does equal reward.

3. Good nutrition brings amazing results.

4. 4 – 5 workouts a week of 20-40 minutes work best.

5. Alternating between heavy low rep workouts and lighter high rep workouts really works.

6. Cardio can be performed with weights.

7. Cardio exercise is not an effective prescription for fat loss.

8. Cardio as additional exercise to a weight training programme will diminish results dramatically.

9. No one can train hard and long (over 45 minutes).

10. All results start with massive action and a positive thought process.

The Path to Poor Results (if any)

Training 2-4 hours a day 6-7 days a week and mixing cardio, weights and lots of core work might be fun but going back to our original idea might cause more harm than good.

If you want to look lean toned and fit this may not give you the rewards from the effort. I have met plenty of clients who exercise for over 10 hours a week! And some 20 hours!

To some it’s like a full time job:

Effort: Massive
Duration: 10 – 20 hours
Frequency: Nearly every day
Recovery Minimal
Benefits: Minimal
Dangers: Without exception every single person who exercised excessively saw many
detrimental side effects.
Possible outcome: Chronic overtraining, no muscle gain, often muscle wastage, joint damage, heart
damage, tendency to lose muscle and gain fat.

So it seems that the human body is really designed to recover from 2-4 hours of intense exercise a week!


More is not always better and effort does not always equal reward.

A professional bodybuilder may only gain 3 – 7lbs of muscle a year.

1. Some train twice a day every day and seem to gain very little.
2. Others train 4 -5 times a week for 30 – 45 minutes, and still seem to get great results.
3. Many use anabolic hormones to promote recovery and recuperation.

Excessive endurance exercise demands that you train and eat accordingly, so to be an elite marathon runner you must already:

1. Weigh about 8 stone
2. Have an extremely low muscle mass
3. Eat a diet that reflects the first two.
4. Be very weak and lack white twitch muscle fibres.

Now if you already fit the above criteria set out a running schedule that enables maximum endurance effect.

Please understand that marathon running will not create the criteria needed to be an elite marathon athlete. The same as to be an effective Bodybuilder does not involve just entering the contest! You need to get the body first before you enter the show.

For exercise to be effective it must therefore be worth the effort.

Hope you enjoyed the 17th issue of ‘Fitness Friday’ – if you have any questions or comments on any of the above, please either leave a comment below, call me on 07718096476

See you in the Gym and be regular! 

John Thomson


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>