Three Variables of Fitness: How To Get The Most From Each
Written by Brock Meadows on July 23 2018
There are endless ways to get your body moving. Increasing your activity level and improving your physical health is not only accomplished by hitting the gym, or participating in group fitness classes. However, no matter your chosen activity, the same variables are available to get the most from your fitness and exercise efforts. It’s how you use them that can make all the difference. 

The first variable is duration. As you might expect, it refers to a timeframe, but in relation to your fitness it doesn't mean it has to fit into a perfect sixty minute block of time all at once for three, four, five days a week. It's important to know that fitness and exercise is cumulative. So for duration to work to your benefit, you could simply start your day in the morning with ten minutes of some body weight exercises; like jumping jacks or air squats or some push ups, some light stretching. Just getting the body moving releasing some endorphins and getting you set up for success for your day. Then you could do a 15 minute walk on your lunch hour, around your work on a nicer day. Now your fitness time is twenty-five minutes. 

You come home, have dinner with the family, and maybe go on an intentional, but delightful walk with your spouse for ten blocks. It ends up being another twenty minutes. The point is it all that adds up and is a positive for you to be able to stay active, get your body moving. Duration is also a benefit when you focus on it and utilize that variable for scheduling; looking at your day, getting in the habit of scheduling that ten, fifteen, twenty minutes of opportunity. Being encouraged knowing that it doesn't have to fit into a perfect sixty minute, all at once, time period. It furthermore establishes a positive routine. One that is practical and doable. It creates an expectation for success. Which I will tell you is vitally important for you to achieve your best fit. Building the skills that develop the habits that create the results. 

The second variable is frequency. Frequency refers to the number of times that you're going to be active in the cumulative effort; three, four, or five days a week. Setting that goal to put towards your favor is important, but I want to encourage you to focus on consistency. Asking yourself, “What can and will I do consistently?”
This is about being real with yourself, knowing there are many different ways that fitness is achieved through being active. Is it two days, three, or more a week that you'll be intentional with your fitness activity? The second part to frequency is choosing activities you enjoy. Again, being real and honest with yourself about things that that are fun to you. If the exercise or activity seems like work, guess what? You will be inconsistent doing it or not do it at all. So think about that when getting the most out of the frequency variable.  

The third variable, and it is the most important, most critical in maximizing your return on your effort and time, is intensity. Intensity refers to the work capacity. Maximizing the workload, the training volume, without adding time. So intensity can be applied to any activity you're doing. It could be that eight, ten block walk. It can be a body weight only workout. The point is you are focused on getting the most out of a certain block of time, so you minimize your rest and keep moving from one thing to the next. For instance, walking at a more intentional pace to cover a greater distance. Within the twenty minute walk you covered an additional block from the time before, but without adding time. 

A most effective type of exercising that maximizes this most valuable variable to getting the most from your exercise efforts, is called metabolic training. Again, it can be applied to a variety of modalities and fitness levels. Metabolic training is completing structural and compound exercises, which means multi-joint movement that engages multiple muscle groups. You're on both feet typically, and you do those activities with little rest in between exercises in an effort to maximize calorie burn and increase metabolic rate during and after the workout. Metabolic training is high intensity, anaerobic work. Anaerobic means without oxygen, and this type of training makes you breathless. If you are completing a metabolic workout and you were not breathing hard and sweating, something is wrong and you're not utilizing the intensity variable as well as you could. Ideally, you'd be lifting weight, you'd have resistance, and you would rest as little as possible between moving from set to set. 

An extreme example of metabolic training would be Crossfit. That's not what I'm suggesting you do or have to do, and don't let that scare you from utilizing the variable of intensity. Intense exercise would qualify as circuit training, jumping rope, running hills, squat thrusts, plyometrics, explosive medicine ball work, kettlebell exercises, even interval running, climbing, cycling, rowing, swimming, each of those can be high intensity activities. Basically, high intensity activity includes any physical demanding task that incorporates many muscle groups and is done near your maximum heart rate. The point here is the muscle stress and adaptation produces the maximum number of benefits including a high energy costs and even a cardiovascular benefit. This ensures you get the most from applying the intensity variable to your workout efforts. 
When you do that, you will gain greater benefit and experience what is referred to as EPOC; Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption. It's also known as the after burn effect. This simply means that with increased exercise intensities, more oxygen is consumed and energy utilized per minute of exercise. Again, less rest, moving quickly, not adding more time, but increasing your intensity of effort and work load and capacity. This continues after the exercise is finished and more energy is burned all day long.

Finally, if you overlook the intensity variable, don't put it to work for you, and do what a lot of people do and just clock in and clock out on their activity. Meaning they move at the same pace, at the same speed for the same distance without increasing any kind of incline, resistance, or effort to that activity; if you're doing the same thing the same way without a new stimulus, and accomplishing more in the same amount of time or increasing intensity in some fashion, very little metabolic cost remains. In other words, once you stop moving, not much else happens. 

Further as muscle activation is low in that chosen activity, without intensity, that type of activity does little to build muscle mass or preserve it with age. So if activating muscle mass and building and preserving muscle as you age is important to you, and you want to get the most out of your movement, consider all three variables, but give special attention to intensity.

Over the years, I personally have trained in every way, in just about every environment and with many different methods and modalities. No matter what I was doing, being efficient was important. As a dad of two boys and a husband to my beautiful wife and my world Nicole, efficiency is critical. I own multiple companies, and work with many different groups and organizations in and around my community. Life and business is demanding, and never seems to slow down. However, I will not sacrifice my fitness just as I have shared strategies with you so you don’t have to sacrifice yours.

I am loving how I am working out and would like to share with you my solution at age 44 for being efficient with maintaining my fitness through consistency, frequency, convenience and intensity. The Bio Force home gym (www.bioforcefit.com) has provided me with a workout tool that challenges me to the max, saves me an incredible amount of time, and allows me to build my body to its fullest capability because of its brilliant design and unmatched technology.

Being efficient with my time and staying consistent with my fitness is key to performing my best. With a busy, and often unpredictable schedule, it is so convenient to be able to go down into my lower level and get on the Bio Force to train. There is a difference between working out and training and the Bio Force allows me to get serious and to train.

Intensity is the third variable and I stated above that it’s the most important. I can tell you that the Bio Force has increased the intensity of my workouts over previous training methods including free weights and circuit machines due to the unique resistance system that you get with the Bio Force. There are very few training tools that offer truly consistent tension on the muscle throughout the entire range of motion from start to finish while simultaneously allowing you to move your body as fast or as slow as you want and still maintain that consistent tension. This is referred to as pneumatic resistance and Bio Force has this technology. It is this resistance, as well as some other key features, on this home gym workout tool and experience that has made this my go to and what I use for the majority of my training. I am absolutely loving my workouts. The experience and results that I’m having are on point. And I wanted to share with you in case you’re looking for the same solution I was.

Stop by BioForcefit.com and check it out and see for yourself how efficient it is and how it can help you master the tree variables of fitness.


Be your best,


Brock Meadows, NSCA-CSCS , PN1 
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