What is the best form of exercise?

I get asked this question a lot. Generally, people want to get bang for their buck and do not want to waste their time on exerise that is ineffective, boring or in some cases too hard. But what is the best kind of exercise? What will offer you great results the in the shortest amount of time?

Well, like many answers, it hugely depends. There are two main factors that will determine what exercise is best, and they both dictated by the individual. The first factor is the need of the individual. The exercise/programme needs to reflect what the individual needs to work on in their training. This will differ from person to person depending on their goals, sport, injury status & health status. For example, arguably long distance running would not be an appropiate form of exercise for an Olympic Weightlifter. Similarly, doing a load of rowing on a rowing machine will not hugely benefit a swimmer. When embarking on a fitness programme, first ask yourself what you want to achieve. Then, assess where you are compared to where you want/need to be. Then, embark on a programme that will bridge the gap between where you are now, and where you want to be (needs analysis, assessment, gap analysis).

But what if you're not someone who takes part in a specific sport? What if your goal is that of an aesthetic one, i.e. body transformations (weightloss and/or muscle gain). For muscle gain, there are many needs that an individual has to consider if they are to be successful in increasing lean body mass (muscle mass). Optimising muscular load, tension and volume, making sure there is an effective periodisation model in the individuals programming that drives adaptation, optimising sleep and ensuring their nutrition is on point (nutrition for muscle gain deserves its own blog).

However, for simply weight loss (which is probably the most popular goal in the health and fitness industry) what is the best form of exercise? Enjoyment. You need to enjoy what you do, and stick to it! When it comes to purely weight loss, ensuring you are in a true calorie deficit is going to be the most fundamental factor, you don't even need to exercise to lose weight. Exercise brings about many health benefits such as increased strength, muscle mass, cardiovascular fitness, hormonal balance, improved metabolic rate, joint integrity, bone health (the list goes on). The other thing it does is increase your energy output, that will hugely help you achieve the all important caloric deficit. So if the exercise is safe and you enjoy it, you'll be likely to achieve your weight loss goal (as long as you maintain a calorie deficit).

Remember adherance is key, so if you enjoy your exercise (and your diet) you are far more likely to stick with it and benefit from it.

If you have any questions regarding this topic then please feel free to message me!