August 09, 2016

THE Absolute Best Type of Exercise Revealed

What style of exercise is ‘best’? 

This question, or variations of it, has come up many times in my career.

What style of exercise is best for weight loss? What style of exercise is best for building muscle? What style of exercise is best for _______?

Earlier in my career I saw this question as a battle to be picked. If you did Yoga in an attempt to change your body composition you didn’t understand physiology. If you jogged to try and lose weight you were setting yourself up for failure and chronic pain. If you did Zumba to try and increase your overall health, you were really out to lunch…

It’s true, I used to believe that if you weren’t the type of person who was looking to optimize your time in the gym (a person like me), you didn’t ‘get it’.

Maybe I was just young, or insecure, or believed in what I was doing so much that I thought it was what EVERYBODY should be doing.

Or maybe I just saw these moments as a chance to promote my own self importance which I believe stems from a combination of my previously mentioned flaws.

I’ve come to realise that only about 0.5% of the population is ‘like me’, meaning completely and utterly obsessed with health and fitness.

Most people just want to lose some weight, feel better, and take care of themselves—without it consuming their entire life.

Well, after 20 years of strength training and almost 15 years of helping people get fitter in some capacity (man, I’m old), I believe I finally have the answer to this common question of what the best type of exercise is.

(That is, until I turn 40 and realize how much there is that I am still yet to understand for the 10th time in my life…)

So what IS the best style of exercise? 

Answer: the exercise that you are going to do
most often!

  • If you are going to do Yoga 6 days per week, or CrossFit 3 days per week, Yoga is better.
  • If you are going to jog 5 days per week, or strength train 2 days per week, jogging is better.
  • If you are going to do Olympic lifting 3 days per week, or swimming 2 days per week, Olympic lifting is better.

If you want to know what the best style of exercise is for you, here are my suggestions:

  • Do what you will do the most of because the best exercise is the exercise you will do every day.
  • Do the types of exercise that bring you the most joy because the only way you’ll make that commitment to staying fit for the rest of your life is if you love what you’re doing.

Where does this leave us?

To figure out if what you’re doing right now is the best exercise for your health, you simply need to ask yourself if you love it and if you’re doing it almost every day.

If the answer is no, try something else. If the answer is yes, you have also found the answer to the commonly asked question of what type of exercise is best.

What do you like to do to stay fit and healthy? Tell us below.