Fitness trends will come and go but training principles are the foundation for experiencing long term results. One rule in the fitness industry that has stood the test of time is the FITT principle:
"Frequency" or better yet consistency is how to sustain your transformation. A simple yet effective way to make gains is 2-3 days of strength training followed by 1-2 days of recovery. Maintain frequency for 30-90 days then reassess your progress. If you feel weak, restless or experiencing pain, recover for a week and then move forward. Key note - rest or recovery doesn't mean "do nothing" it's synonymous with stretching, foam rolling and meditation.
"Intensity" is the spark required to transform. Whether you add more weight, take a shorter rest break, do a superset, or train within your target heart rate, you have to approach each set as if it has the potential to change you - because it does. For instance, train to max capacity on the last set of each exercise. It's those final 1-2 reps with good form that build results. The key is to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable - by doing so you'll look and feel better physically while mentally feeling unstoppable.
"Time" refers to the duration of a single workout. Variables come into play such as individual experience, goals and schedule but at the end of the day we want to avoid "wasting energy". Unless you're a competitive athlete training for an event stick to a 60 minute max workout time. For instance 30 min strength training followed by 30 min aerobic endurance, or vice versa depending on personal goals. Recent studies have shown that even 15 minutes a day can also be beneficial. Ultimately it comes down to setting non-negotiable time to train so you can achieve long term results.
The "Type" of fitness you choose is the art of the transformation. The great thing about training is that when it comes to getting better, stronger, faster we're only limited to our imagination. Whether you prefer free weights instead of machines or you enjoy bodybuilding over powerlifting, a general rule to remember, especially for beginners, is to focus on ONE training method at a time. Learn it, master it, then decide if you want to try something new. Also be sure to alternate intense training sessions with "active recovery" workouts that focus on flexibility, mobility and balance. That way you remain strong, durable and prepared.
Movement is medicine so keep training stronger & smarter. And remember - train consistently first then focus on training consistently intense.
Rod Redondo - Transform180 Personal Trainer