How to find the best 12-week program


Think you’ve found your dream 12-week program? Look past the big claims and see whether it ticks these long-term boxes.


“I used to personal train clients, spending 30 to 60 minutes with them in a session, purely working out, but the truth is that nutrition accounts for 70 to 90 per cent of their results,” says exercise physiologist Nalisha Patel. Look for input from a qualified professional such an accredited practising dietitian or nutritionist.


Patel, who has a degree in psychology, says an effective transformation program should approach the physical and mental in tandem. “I use specific cognitive techniques in the program to help people stick at their new habits, so it helps boost all the practical stuff taught on the program.” PT Joshua Zampech agrees. “The biggest reason people fail is a lack of motivation. Their reason ‘why’ isn’t big enough to self-motivate.”


Tailoring a program to weight loss without regard for what you enjoy is false economy according to Sydney psychologist Louise Adams. Your chosen activity should be both pleasant and foster a sense of achievement.


No matter how urgent your desire to drop fat and sculpt muscle, don’t be tempted to imagine that more is better. It is similarly important to log adequate sleep to expedite recovery and ultimately expedite progress.

Time commitment

Be honest about what’s realistic against your commitments at the outset. PT James Mani says it takes as little as 20 minutes a day twice a week to help tone the entire body. “Get into a habit of creating the change you want to see and it will happen, but always start small,” he says.


To prevent ruts and plateaus, you need to mix up your exercise routines to keep your body guessing.