TikTok's 3-2-8 workout method is ideal for balanced exercise

TikTok is quickly becoming the place to find new, catchy workout programmes, like the viral 75 Hard fitness challenge, soft hiking or the 12-3-30 treadmill workout.

Now there’s another exercise trend circulating on the app: the 3-2-8 method, and with more than 300 million views, it’s certainly the fitness programme du jour. 

What is the 3-2-8 method?

Created by PT and pilates instructor Natalie Rose, the 3-2-8 method is simple.

In one week, you do three weight training sessions, two pilates sessions and walk 8,000 steps a day, hence the name. 

‘The weighted days should be full body strength training but you could also break this down into an upper body day, lower body day and a full body day,’ explains Helen O’Leary, a physiotherapist and clinical director at Complete Pilates.

Three full body days can be a little more taxing on the nervous system, so breaking it down into upper, lower and full body might be beneficial if you’re a beginner or have a lot on your plate.

You should also aim for progressive overload over a four to six week period, which essentially means increasing the strain you place on your muscles by increasing the load, reps or sets. 

The pilates sessions act as active recovery sessions, helping your mobility, mechanics and general stability, Helen adds, while the steps keep you moving and add some cardio into your routine. 

What are the benefits of the 3-2-8 method?

The main benefits from the 3-2-8 method come from the variety it offers in your week. 

‘The Government guidelines to activity include resistance and strength training as well as cardio and mobility work,’ says Helen.

‘This means that having the variety in your programme will ensure you get the maximum health benefits. 

‘Combining all three forms of exercise means that you can target all aspects of the body and hopefully shouldn’t plateau in your movement.’

Not to mention, the combination of resistance training and pilates will make you stronger, and the fact that this is a low impact programme means that you won’t stress your joints as much. 

Weight training also helps to prevent injuries, which is particularly useful when you’re increasing your flexibility through something like pilates.

‘The combination will help with your balance, mobility, endurance and control, which will help you to stay resilient as you get older,’ says Helen.

There’s also a lot of freedom when it comes to how you work out during specific sessions, which may be useful for someone new to the gym or coming back to the gym after a break as it can allow you to ease into things – but it also means you can make sure it’s challenging enough if you’re a seasoned gym goer. 

If you prefer pilates, you can also opt for two weight sessions and three pilates sessions. 

Are there any downsides?

While 8,000 steps a day is great, Helen says that walking alone may not be enough to strengthen the heart and lungs, and the programme is lacking in other forms of cardio.

‘If you are fitter you may need to add some more intense exercises than just walking,’ she says.

‘If you do increase the cardio element instead of just walking you will hit the moderate/vigorous intensity exercise that sits within the government guidelines.’

This programme also reports improving your lymphatic drainage and menstrual cycle regulation, but Helen says she isn’t sure about the science around that, and it isn’t uncommon for social media training fads to overpromise and underdeliver – so be aware.

The same goes for weight loss, or any major changes to your appearance: ‘I think with all the fitness trends that hit social media you need to be a bit wary about what they promise,’ says Helen.

‘Weight loss will ultimately depend on a lot of other factors including diet and also how much you have to lose. 

‘The intensity and length of the workout you choose will also affect this.’

How to use the 3-2-8 method

Here are three ways you can structure your week while using the 3-2-8 method.

Option 1: Full body training

Day 1: Full body weight training, 8,000 steps

Day 2: Pilates, 8,000 steps

Day 3: Full body weight training, 8,000 steps

Day 4: 8,000 steps

Day 5: Full body weight training, 8,000 steps

Day 6: Pilates, 8,000 steps

Day 7: 8,000 steps

Option 2: Upper/lower split

Day 1: Upper body weight training, 8,000 steps

Day 2: Lower body weight training, 8,000 steps

Day 3: Pilates, 8,000 steps

Day 4: Rest,8,000 steps

Day 5: Full body weight training, 8,000 steps

Day 6: Pilates, 8,000 steps

Day 7: Rest, 8,000 steps

Option 3: Prioritising pilates

Day 1: Full body weight training, 8,000 steps

Day 2: Pilates, 8,000 steps

Day 3: Rest,8,000 steps

Day 4: Full body weight training, 8,000 steps

Day 5: Pilates 8,000 steps

Day 6: Rest,8,000 steps

Day 7: Pilates, 8,000 steps

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

Source: Read Full Article