Fitness trend: The 5:2 diet for your workout

Taryn Davies
Published: September 26, 2015

The 5:2 diet has certainly taken over, the diet has become a firm favourite and it has even influenced our skincare routine, now it’s moving into our workouts and becoming the latest fitness trend to try.

The 5:2 diet is considered a fasting diet where people eat just 500 calories on two non-consecutive days, and eat whatever they like for the remaining five, within reason of course.

But how can you apply this to your workout routine and see results?

The 5:2 exercise plan

So the 5:2 exercise plan works in the same way, you work out for two days and rest for five days. But a 20-minute workout on two days isn't going to cut it see real results.

The NHS recommends that adults should be doing aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes a week, as well as strength workouts on at least two days a week. So you need to take this into consideration when you're doing the 5:2 workout regime.

Is there any benefit to this workout regime?

The best thing about following this time of routine is that it's convenient. You might find it difficult to be active every day, but for two days you can focus on yourself and your health and get your body sweaty.

DW Fitness Clubs have found that this type of schedule is preferred by those who have to travel for work and night shift workers too.

Will you apply the 5:2 principles to your workout routine?

Is the exercise routine bad for your health?

It's not detrimental to your health, but it's important that you're careful. Of course, spending two days exercising is better than doing nothing at all. But this type of 'binge exercising' can be harmful to your body in some instances.

To ensure you're getting the recommended amount of physical activity from the NHS you'd need to exercise for 75 minutes on each of the two days, as well as strength training on top. Whilst it might be doable for some, it's much more preferable to spread out aerobic activity to more manageable chunks, which could be 22 minutes every day.

You need to consider the strain you're going to be putting on your body, what that can cause in terms of exhaustion as well as muscle strain.

If you are considering a 5:2 exercise plan you need to plan your workouts to ensure your body doesn't suffer strain.

How to do it safely

If you want to try this type of workout routine, it's important that you're prepared. If your planning really long workouts you need to ensure that you fuel your body correctly and that most means fuelling your body with carbohydrates to ensure you can get through a super long workout.

Carrying out intensive workouts like these without having eaten first is a really bad idea, and you'll find yourself flagging after a short while.

It's important to mix up the workouts too, spending hours on the treadmill isn't going to work unless of course, you're training for a half or full marathon. It's important you mix it up with cardio and strength and maybe mix in a short swim for a chance of impact on your body.

Of course, another vital thing you need to do, warm up and cool down. Don't jump straight into intensive work without having warmed up your muscles, and ensure that you take the time afterwards to relax and stretch your muscles, otherwise you could end up with severe muscle strains or pulls.