The optimal way to sustainable wellness
Like Al, you never seem to get going with fitness. Maybe you were in shape previously, but fell off the wagon somewhere, somehow – as 'life' took over.
Now, fitness devotees usually manage to prioritize their goals and find the required 'workarounds.'
But Al struggles to keep head-above-water – let alone find time and make the effort to understand and commit to getting ‘properly’ fit.
I know, because it was similar for me too.
Fitness seems so complicated and so time-consuming, such that most of us procrastinate, or kind of do it 'haphazardly.'
Although I did manage to train ‘frequently’ in the past, in hindsight though, I wasn’t consistent enough. I also made mistakes (including some expensive ones) by naively buying into false promises.
I was therefore never 100% satisfied with my results. It was only when I took the time and made the effort to get properly-informed. When I finally stopped 'dabbling', got serious and tried different things – did I establish what 'actually' works.
My biggest realization – and the good news I love spreading is:
“Being and fit and healthy and looking good is really far far simpler than we're encouraged to believe!”
And you'll see why when we look at the program design below.
So yes, there is a practical way to pull off a fitness transformation – even if you're short on time. Being committed and organized is essential, and I deal with that throughout this Site and with my clients. But you also need a doable program that'll help you become a much better version of yourself without the need for hours of exercise and a boring restrictive diet.
Since my initial transformation back in 2002, I've used the Sensible Fitness Program (SFP) as the basis for all my training. It's how I stay in optimal shape while living a busy and engaging life.
The sensible approach is the only realistic way Al (and any other busy person for that matter) are able to make (and maintain) time and space for health and fitness. (The ‘about SFP’ and FAQ pages have more on how this is possible.)
Allow me to share with you an important point before proceeding, especially if you're new to fitness: It's wise not to simply follow another person's program – and hope for the exact same results they obtained.
And even if SFP (in standard form) isn't individually customized to you – there's no reason why you can't successfully transform yourself by following it.
You'll get out what you put in.
Unlike conventional programs, SFP doesn’t claim to be the change you seek. That’s all you. But it does claim to be the catalyst in being able to empower, enlighten and inspire – by providing honest, practical and effective options.
The initiative though, MUST be yours.
To effect any type of lasting change in your life, you have to own it and drive it.
So, what's needed from you is solid effort and consistency over a period of time (ideally 2-3 months) with a goal date. You'll then be in the perfect situation to further adapt the program – and continue making gains.
Ready to take a closer look?
Goal of the Sensible Fitness Program
Giving you optimal wellness results from targeted efforts. In this way you get to enjoy a socially-connected, rewarding and prosperous lifestyle.
In short: functional fitness, but not at the cost of the other important parts of your life.
How did I come up with the program design?
By having observed (over several years) the typical shortcomings – the 'needs' and 'wants' – the predicament if you like – faced by people I've chosen to call Al.
As you might have read on the ‘about me’ page, I’ve always felt powerfully-drawn to remedy these avoidable pitfalls.
SFP addresses these, by offering the most efficient and practical solutions.
Highly-efficient. The perfect sustainability-solution for people like Al.
Brief but effective. 5-6 exercise sessions a week totalling less than 2 hours.
Enjoyable nutrition based on real food. No ‘dieting’. No ‘required’ supplements.
Given the holistic approach of SFP, its training protocols provide:
Improved functional and health-related fitness – to be physically empowered; to do average everyday activities with ease, without risking injury, and
Improved physical condition – thereby boosting self-confidence and sense of self-worth.
With the above, the route to all-round wellness is all but guaranteed – and life only gets better.
If you follow my work, you might know that I train the same way most of the time – and it's dead simple.
With the exception of the occasional specialization phase (1-2 times a year), this is what my training looks like:
A weekly 3-day resistance (weight) training split, covering the entire body (including abs and core) using varied workout intensities and rep-ranges.
I also do cardio 2-3 times a week.
My average resistance workouts last a mere 7-15 minutes. My high-intensity cardio sessions are done in under 20 minutes.
Too short? No. Correctly-executed, higher-intensity exercise delivers optimally.
Shorter training-times fit best with that all-too-common busy lifestyle – to provide efficacy and efficiency. We're talking 'sensible' at its best.
VOLUME AND INTENSITY
Safety is a key consideration in any wellness regimen.
It’s therefore natural that at the outset, newbies will need to train carefully, and with more volume and less intensity. But going forward, as you adapt, these training characteristics can gradually be inverted to shorten training time.
To ensure optimal stimulus and adaptation for strength and hypertrophy (building muscle for tone/size) gains – as well as broader cardiovascular conditioning, I vary volume and intensity during alternate weeks.
WEIGHT TRAINING WORKOUTS
The protocols typically look like this:
Upper body (push/pull)
Cardio (low or medium-intensity)
Legs / lower back
Cardio (high-intensity) (optional)
Upper body (push/pull)
Rest (optional core-specific work)
Cardio (low and medium-intensity)
FIRSTLY, DO I REALLY NEED TO DO CARDIO?
That depends on you, your goals and your individual constitution. Your somatotype and current body fat levels will also dictate your needs to a fair degree.
Some people have a fast metabolism and can get away with less cardio than others. Then there are those who are lucky enough to not have to perform any at all for weight-maintenance!
You won't really know if you're new to fitness. However, within a month of consistent training, you will understand more about yourself than you ever did before. At that stage, you'll be able to make an educated decision on your future needs.
I personally don't do as much cardio as I used to, although I have never eliminated it from my program altogether because of its health benefits. I have continued to refine my workouts over the years to include the required levels of cardio training – and no more – unless we’re talking about sport or skill-specific requirements (I do run the occasional half-marathon with my wife).
If you pay proper attention to your progress and physiological adaptation, you will find what works best for you.
That said, I highly recommend starting out with 3 sessions a week, which will work just fine in most cases – and provide an excellent platform from which to progress.
DIFFERENT CARDIO INTENSITY LEVELS
I alternate between low, moderate and high-intensity interval cardio training.
My low/moderate steady-state sessions usually last for 25-30 minutes, while my high-intensity interval workout is just 17 minutes long.
Different cardio intensities all have their places in a good program, which is why I have them here. By varying cardio, you get: fat-burning, heart-lung conditioning, removal of lactic waste/toxins and enhanced metabolic endurance. (Here’s more on the overall benefits of exercise.)
You can approach the training part of SFP with as much rigor and passion as humanly possible – but you will not realize appreciable results without an effective and supportive eating plan.
Of course my definition of good nutrition may differ from the next person's, who could be on a keto, vegan or vegetarian plan. The important thing is to realize that 'what' you eat, and 'how' much – dictates your physical condition more than your workout program does.
Whatever your eating style, be responsible with your choices, as well as your macro and micronutrient-intake.
And remember, MyFitnessRoad.com, the Sensible Fitness Program and the Sensible Way are all synonymous with the consumption of 'real' food – all of the time. I don't 'exclude' any food types, nor do I consume or any 'special' meals. The focus is on following an eating plan with a ratio of whole unprocessed foods to processed/rich foods of around 80-20 – in line with your own particular calorie and macronutrient requirements. These are derived from your individual total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).
Below is an example of what I eat on a typical day. It represents a macronutrient ratio of around 40-25-35 (Carb–Protein–Fat).
My sample daily meal plan
Coffee with whole milk
Bowl of cooked oatmeal with whole milk and almonds
Grilled chicken breast with cottage cheese and mixed veg
Toast with peanut butter, square of dark chocolate and coffee with whole milk
Piece of fruit and cup of yoghurt
Egg omelet, sweet potato, garden salad with olive oil dressing
Cup of dairy ice-cream with optional topping
Bowl of cereal and optional protein supplement
Although nutrition plans will vary from individual-to-individual (depending on preferences and macronutrient tolerances), the list of meals above shows the type of 'normality' which underlines the program.
In short, real food.
If you're consistent and attentive about your eating, you will become accustomed to your body's nutritional needs over time. SFP advocates a nutrition plan which not only supports your goals, but is also enjoyable.
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR CHANGE?
I trust this overview demonstrates just how simple (yet effective) SFP is.
So, are you ready to finally claim (or reclaim) your health, improve your physical state, and have a balanced lifestyle?
If yes, then your journey starts here and now.
SFP will enable you to finally say goodbye to the endless frustration of wanting to be in shape – but never getting there.
Grab this opportunity to achieve and sustain optimal wellness with ‘real’ practical solutions.