Sydney-based personal trainer Rachael Attard says the optimum amount of exercise is different for every person, and overdoing it in the gym could actually be causing you more harm than good.
The women's fitness expert revealed how much you should be exercising to lose weight and shared an inside look at the best workout for each body type.
HOW MUCH EXERCISE IS NEEDED FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND TONING?
As a rule, Attard said consistent weight loss requires five days a week commitment.
"If you really want to see results and continue to make progress, I would recommend that you work out around five days a week with one or two rest days," she said.
To shed those last stubborn pounds and tone up all over, Rachael recommended a combination of cardio and resistance training, some low-intensity and some high-intensity exercises.
Low-intensity workouts like swimming, jogging, power walking and cycling burn fat and help you stay lean. High-intensity workouts like weight training, interval training, sprinting and long-distance running build muscle and tone the core, arms and legs.
"One without the other leaves a huge gap in your fitness routine," Attard explained.
THE BEST WORKOUTS FOR EACH BODY TYPE
Ectomorph: Ectomorphs are naturally slim with little body fat, which means they don't need much cardio to stay lean. However, because cardio is good for overall body function and cardiovascular health, Attard advised fitting in two to three low-intensity cardio sessions a week alongside three to five resistance workouts. Ectomorphs should focus on body weight exercises and HIIT sessions with at least one recovery day a week.
Mesomorph: Mesomorphs can lose and gain weight relatively easily, which means their bodies respond quickly to diet and exercise. Attard recommended regular low-impact cardio for mesomorphs to keep them lean, as well as three resistance training sessions a week to help shed fat fast. Mesomorphs should have one recovery day per week.
Endomorph: Endomorphs naturally have a higher fat and muscle content than their ecto and meso counterparts. Endomorphs build muscle easily, but also find fat difficult to lose which means a large dose of low-impact cardio like walking is important to keep weight off. Attard said endomorphs should avoid running or other high-intensity cardio exercises, as this can build unwanted bulk in the legs. She advised combining this with three sessions of resistance training per week, using light weights with high reps. Endomorphs should avoid heavy exercises like squats, lunges, dead lifts and burpees. One active recovery day is recommended.
RULES FOR FIRST TIME FITNESS ENTHUSIASTS
While it might be tempting to dive head first into six days a week of rigorous training, Attard said it's best to ease into a new fitness routine. To start, she recommended three to four days a week of solid exercise taking one or two days rest in between.
"This lets your muscles recover and gives you a chance to start making strides without pushing yourself to the point of injury," she said.
For first time fitness enthusiasts, Attard suggested trying yoga or mid-intensity hiking as an efficient method of burning calories without straining the body.
EXERCISING TWICE A DAY - YAY OR NAY?
According to Attard, upping your exercise game with two workouts a day is all fine, depending on your fitness levels.
She said while twice daily sessions might be too much for beginners, adding a second workout could help more seasoned gym bunnies overcome a frustrating weight loss plateau.
For those injecting a second workout into their day, Attard recommended a low to moderate intensity cardio session in the morning followed by an evening of resistance training.