Guidelines for exercise everyone else

The 2 Week Diet

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So what about everybody else, those that aren't already involved in a regular exercise program (shame on you)? Frankly, I'm torn. I don't know that an extreme diet such as this one is really the best time to start an exercise program. Fatigue can be high and energy levels can be low (note that some people just feel great) which doesn't bode very well for exercise. At the same time, folks just starting to exercise should be starting at a very low intensity to begin with, the types of training they should be doing are probably sustainable on this diet.

As I stated above, I think the best choice of exercise during the crash diet is weight training, more so than cardio. The deficit is already huge to the point that cardio (unless it improves diet adherence) won't have a big impact and weight training works better for sparing LBM.

A beginning weight trainer should be performing the most basic of routines. At most one exercise per bodypart should be done and the whole body should be worked at each workout with fairly high reps (12-15) and light weights. This could be done on machines (at a gym or at home) or with dumbbells. This workout would be performed 2 times per week (three would be the absolute maximum). In some ways, this is actually helpful on a crash diet such as this one, by depleting muscle glycogen (by using higher repetitions), the body will increase its use of fat for fuel. Unfortunately there's no way for me to cover all of the details necessary to set up a beginner's exercise routine (it's one of my forthcoming book projects). There are about a billion and one exercise books out there, get a weight training for dummies or something if you want to get started.

And cardio? Again, as above, the addition of too much cardio to a crash diet can cause more problems than it solves, causing a greater reduction in metabolic rate (without increasing weight loss) than would otherwise occur. Even so, a small amount of aerobic/cardiovascular type of exercise can be performed. Beginners should start with a minimum of 20 minutes three times per week at a fairly easy intensity. Walking works just fine although other types of activity can also be done. This can be increased gradually to a maximum (for this diet) of 40 minutes 3-5 times per week (again, daily activity seems to help some people keep their food intake under control).

Intervals? Beginning exercisers shouldn't do intervals until they've got a solid 8-12 weeks of basic beginner training under their belt in the first place, much less on a diet such as this one.

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