I was first
introduced to the Minimum Effective Dose (MED) by Tim Ferris in his book The
Four Hour Body. He got the idea from
another very clever guy named Arthur Jones.
The minimum effective dose simply
refers to “the smallest dose that will
produce the desired outcome” and “anything beyond . . . is wasteful.”
you don’t have to exercise nearly as much (not even close) as you think in
order to have awesome results.
One of the hugest barriers I always had to having a regular exercise routine was that I felt that if I did not go to the gym for an hour, or do cardio plus weight training, or I did not do a huge work out routine, that I might as well not do anything. Of course this was ridiculously discouraging. Even when I did make it to the gym from time to time, I felt guilty because I was always just at the start of my new workout lifestyle and knew in the back of my mind I would not follow through.
very fondly my university student days where I seemed to have way more time
(and no car). What, with a full-time
job, a family, and other responsibilities (not to mention the time it took to
feed my various addictions), the last thing I wanted to do at the beginning or
end of each day was hit the gym. The
last thing on earth I wanted was yet another task/job/thing to feel guilty
about not doing etc.
The biggest perceived and I mean perceived problem about not exercising has been the lack of time. Well, here it is, who doesn’t lead a busy life with oodles of obligations. There is so much to do out there that is urgent. The problem is that if you ignore your health, you eventually have to make the time to be sick, really sick.
I would tell
myself that I did not have the time right now to start an exercise program . .
Here is the beautiful thing. We don’t need to exercise nearly as much as we thought we did in order to have awesome health, fitness and results. We do have the time. Introducing the minimum effective dose.
So, what is the least amount of exercise we need to do to live a healthy, active lifestyle? Way way less than you think.
You do not
need to do one hour for 5 days per week to have awesome results.
different, but you would be surprised the results you will achieve if you
adhere to only 3x 20 minutes of exercise each week!
important to note is your intensity during each session must be high, if you
are going to implement the MED concept. You simply cannot go through the
motions for 20 minutes and expect to see results.
says not to confuse physical recreation with exercise. He says recreation is for fun and exercise is
for producing changes. He says do not
confuse the two.
Recreation includes hiking, baseball, swimming, and
other fun stuff. The MED is intense and
simple, but not easy.
means performing precise movements that will produce a target change.
In essence, it has to be intense, not fun, and precise. Tim Ferris puts his prescription in his book The Four Hour Body. I put it to work with an intense Body Pump exercise class once per week and kettle bell swings as described by Ferris.
Written by Val Hemminger, the nonconforming professional