Using the “Rule of 3s” for Fitness Success

A client recently asked me for advice about starting a new exercise program. And right away, I turned to the Rule of Threes to help her  avoid doing too much too soon, which can have the adverse effect of faltering efforts and goals.

So the first “3” that she’s shooting for is three workouts that are moderate, enjoyable, and leave her feeling good. The key is to not go for broke in those first couple of rounds. Once you can get through that for three weeks, exercise starts to become a regular part of your world and your schedule. It’s a behavioral shift. Still, you want to be at moderate levels – you can’t get fit in one workout, but you can burn yourself out pretty quickly if you’re going too hard too early.

The second “3” is to try to get through that three week rhythm over a course of three months – so you now have a full season of the year to start to inlay that habit and that lifestyle. And then the final “3” would be to complete this for three seasons (i.e. nine months). Getting through these “3”s at a moderate level, gradually being able to elevate your tolerance and exertional capacities, is a real recipe for success. To try to avoid the major pitfalls that really undermine most exercise programs, stick with the Rule of Threes.