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How much should I be exercising?

Hi all!

This may sound a really silly question, but seriously what is the ideal amount to exercise? :confused:

I am soo unfit and not used to exercising I get puffed out really easy! I've joined the gym and want to go as much as possible until I begin to feel more fitter. How many times a week should I go?

4-5 times a week I've started off doing 20mins on the bike and 5mins cool down, then I do 20mins on cross trainer and then 20mins walk on tread mill (as I cant run lol). After I do 3 sets of 20 sit ups for my stomach.

Am I doing the right thing? Is there anything else I could be doing? etc.
I would really appreciate all comments :D:D

Thank you! :p
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Silver Member
basic government advice, is 30 mins 5 times a week, and that this can be broken up into sets of 10mins 3times a day.

sounds like your on the right track.
Hi and thank you so much for your reply!:)

I think that there are so many people telling me different things to do with exercise regimes etc I wondered what my fellow dieters ideas on the subject were.

This sounds really positive though!
Thanks v much!:)

Kirsty xx


Mad old Bat with Attitude
Are you a member of the gym? If so then you should have an assessment by an assistant there (or whatever they are called!)Even if it's a local authority gym, you should have an assessment by the "person" to make sure you are exercising at the correct level, and they should review you at least every 6 weeks to change your schedule to make sure you progress.


Silver Member
I read in my thyroid diet book, I've an underactive thyroid, so need to exercise to feel more alert.
But to stay healthy the government recommend 30 mins of exercise 5 times a week. However if you want to lose weight, you need to be doing more. The book recommended 1 hour 5 times a week.
I swim 5-7 times a week for 60-90 minutes each time :)

I go to the local council leisure centre and they have a gym which I've just signed up for - hopefully gonna go 2-3 times a week for an hour or so.

When I went before I moved I did...

15minutes bike
10minutes cross-trainer
8000m on the rowing machine

And then two circuits of the resistance machines.. (those thigh press, arm press, everything else press thingies)

Not sure what's at the new gym yet, but should stay pretty much the same :D
There is no real answer to how much YOU should be exercising as everyone is different and has different goals. The government's recommendation is merely the amount you should do to gain some slight improvements in cardiovascualr health. When it comes to exercising for fat loss or strength, or even OPTIMAL fitness, this government recommendation doesn't mean much at all.

I get asked this question by every new member who walks through the doors of my gym, and my answer is often the same:

Do what you feel comfortable with initially, then increase volume and intensity at a rate you feel comfortable with. Try your best to get a solid program (you can ask or PM me for this if you would like) as something structured with a definitave progression plan will help you by leaps and bounds, especially when starting out.
So as long as you are *comfortably* pushing yourself, you're going in the right direction?
lol makes sense really :) Can I be cheeky and ask your opinion on what is the best plan for gym sessions? The guy there has yet to make up my program so as of yet I'm just pottering around (energetically of course :p) I know it depends on the person and the desired outcome, but is there a general rule to go by?

You can feel a bit purposeless when you don't really know what you should be doing lol :p
Thanks for your help Justin!

I took your advice and have got a plan made up for me...

10mins on bike
10mins on rowing machine
20mins walking on treadmill
10mins on cross trainer

This is an 8 week plan she has gave me. After four weeks I will get reviewed to add weights or power plate and sit ups. But at the mo I am already doing 3 sets of 20 sit-ups (this includes each side) totalling to 180 sit ups which I do every second day. Do you suggest I carry on with these?

Also is it recommended that you do the resistance training as well as the cardio or can I just do the cardio and get the same effect? I just feel over an hour is really long to spend in the gym and also I do feel quite intimidated in the weights room, but that's just me...

If I could direct you to the post I wrote called TBT Training, you should find a lot of info that will help you put your own program together in ten mins. Let me know if you'd like any extra help.

There's no need to wait to start using the weights. For some reason gym instructors have a tradition of giving long cardio programs to beginners, and telling them that they can start using the weights / resistance machines after a couple of months. Also, the program you have had written is a very bog-standard template, given to most beginners (usually regardless of fitness levels or goals). It happens in most commercial gyms, either becuase the trainers know no better, or just cant be bothered.

This is not the way I do things because it makes no physiological sense, and just goes to show the ineptitude of most trainers (I hope thats a proper word btw!)

Basically, cardio exercise won't do anything to 'prepare' your body for free weights, so building a base of aerobic fitness with cardio is pointless. Start using both forms of exercise straight away for the best results.

If your main goal is fat loss, ditch the sit ups and read my post called the Core Conundrum.

Im happy to give any more advice should you need it.
Thanks Justin :D

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