What s Your Minimum Effective Dose of Exercise


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The minimum effective dose is relative to your goal. For example, if your goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness, you might need a minimum of two 30-minutes runs per week to see an uptick in your performance. Minimum Effective Dose of Exercise. The 2008 AMA standard recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily (e.g. brisk walk) for good health. But recent studies have found that even less is beneficial.

A large study in Taiwan evaluated the amount of exercise taken by almost 200,000 men and almost 220,000 women. I mean, I’m the guy who did that study showing that you probably need 5 hours of exercise per week to be truly happy with your body. And, I’m the guy who’s written all about the benefits of increasing your energy flux, or G-Flux, when you want to improve your body composition, including both adding lean mass and removing fat mass.

The Minimum Duration for Cardio Exercise. Cardio activities, also known as aerobic exercise, typically involve moving your whole body. As a result, your heart beats faster, and you breathe more deeply and quickly. This type of exercise offers numerous health benefits if you.

The Best Minimum Effective Dose Exercises. These lifts work the most muscle, therefore are the most efficient. That goes for all categories: Strength, Muscle Building, and Fat Burning. The best exercises for minimum effective does training are: Deadlifts, Squats, Lunges, Bench Press, Dips, Pull ups, Heavy rows, Military Press. MEV = Minimum Effective Volume. This is the amount of training that actually grows your muscles: anything below this amount may only maintain them.

If, like most of us, you’re training to make gains, you had better make sure to be above your MEV: your minimum effective volume. What Is the Minimum Amount of Exercise Needed to Stay Fit? Organizations like the American Council on Exercise recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week for folks trying to lose weight.

But one relatively recent study actually compared 3 groups of individuals over a 13 week period. The latest exercise science affirms the effectiveness of the minimum effective dose paradigm, particularly when it comes to endurance training. Cardio for health? The assumed health benefits of spending inordinately long periods of time subjecting your body to. Doing pushups every day can be effective if you’re looking for a consistent exercise routine to follow.

You will likely notice gains in upper body strength if you do pushups regularly. Creatine is best known for improving athletic performance in young people; however, it may also improve the symptoms of certain medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, a muscle disease called McArdle’s disease and an eye disease called gyrate atrophy, according to MedlinePlus.

List of related literature:

Based upon the current evidence, exercise should be performed preferably in all days of the week, at moderate intensity (at 40–60% of VO2 reserve), with 30–60 minutes of continuous or accumulated exercise per day.

“Endocrinology of Physical Activity and Sport” by Anthony C. Hackney, Naama W. Constantini
from Endocrinology of Physical Activity and Sport
by Anthony C. Hackney, Naama W. Constantini
Springer International Publishing, 2020

The internationally recommended minimum amount for cardiovascular health is to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (e.g. brisk walking) on five or more days per week (Murphy et al, 2002).

“Musical Excellence: Strategies and Techniques to Enhance Performance” by Aaron Williamon, Professor of Performance Science Aaron Williamon
from Musical Excellence: Strategies and Techniques to Enhance Performance
by Aaron Williamon, Professor of Performance Science Aaron Williamon
OUP Oxford, 2004

It is often recommended that individuals strive for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (50– 70% of maximum heart rate) or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (>70% of maximum heart rate) on at least 3 days per week with no more than 2 consecutive days without exercise.

“Williams Textbook of Endocrinology E-Book” by Shlomo Melmed, Ronald Koenig, Clifford Rosen, Richard Auchus, Allison Goldfine
from Williams Textbook of Endocrinology E-Book
by Shlomo Melmed, Ronald Koenig, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

Exercise duration of 30 to 60 min working at moderate intensity or 20 to 60 min at vigorous intensity is recommended, but the key is reaching the threshold for combined duration and intensity, which can be expressed as MET-minutes.

“Physiology of Sport and Exercise” by W. Larry Kenney, Jack H. Wilmore, David L. Costill
from Physiology of Sport and Exercise
by W. Larry Kenney, Jack H. Wilmore, David L. Costill
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2019

The ACSM/AHA guidelines advocate that adults under the age of 65 years should have at least 150 minutes moderate intensity per week (30 minutes, 5 times/week) or 60 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity (20 minutes, 3 times/week).

“Human Biology: An Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective” by Sara Stinson, Barry Bogin, Dennis H. O'Rourke
from Human Biology: An Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective
by Sara Stinson, Barry Bogin, Dennis H. O’Rourke
Wiley, 2012

Generally, it is recommended that most adults accumulate 30–60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day, so that it equates to at least 150 minutes or more per week.

“The Essential Guide to Fitness” by Rosemary Marchese, Julie Taylor, Kirsten Fagan
from The Essential Guide to Fitness
by Rosemary Marchese, Julie Taylor, Kirsten Fagan
Cengage Learning Australia, 2019

Regular physical activity should be encouraged, at a level appropriate to the individual subject, aiming for a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of highintensity activity per week.

“Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics E-Book” by Cate Whittlesea, Karen Hodson
from Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics E-Book
by Cate Whittlesea, Karen Hodson
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018

To maintain health related indicators, the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines issued in 2008 recommended a moderate exercise of at least 5 days a week, 30 min each; or a 75-min of strenuous exercise.

“Frontier Computing: Theory, Technologies and Applications (FC 2018)” by Jason C. Hung, Neil Y. Yen, Lin Hui
from Frontier Computing: Theory, Technologies and Applications (FC 2018)
by Jason C. Hung, Neil Y. Yen, Lin Hui
Springer Singapore, 2019

The addition of resistance training to aerobic training (20–30 minute/session), at least two times per week, using at least two sets of 8–15 repetitions at least 60% of 1 repetition maximum, appears to result in similar benefits (Table 12.4).

“Exercise Oncology: Prescribing Physical Activity Before and After a Cancer Diagnosis” by Kathryn H. Schmitz
from Exercise Oncology: Prescribing Physical Activity Before and After a Cancer Diagnosis
by Kathryn H. Schmitz
Springer International Publishing, 2020

Generally, it is recommended that older adults begin resistance training with one set of 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise, rather than the 8 to 12 repetitions for younger adults.

“Assisted Living Nursing: A Manual for Management and Practice” by Dr. Ethel Mitty, EdD, RN, Dr. Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, Sandra Flores, RN
from Assisted Living Nursing: A Manual for Management and Practice
by Dr. Ethel Mitty, EdD, RN, Dr. Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, Sandra Flores, RN
Springer Publishing Company, 2009

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • My dude, Timmy, where can I watch you deadlifting 650 lb??? You claim it in you book about cooking. Your word is your bond. Where is that video?

  • I would really like to hear your opinion on isolation exercises. What i mean is, are they necessary and for what kind of lifter are they? I also don’t understand how some parts of our body are supposed to be trained doing squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press e.g the calves. Finally, what are the next steps someone should follow after seeing no progession doing the novice starting strength program?

  • Failure is mf unreal. This way of lifting is the hardest, most unreal I’ve ever done. 6 movements, 8 to 12 10 sec reps to complete failure. This is more than most can bare once a month yet twice a week. It’s a different failure when you’re beyond the 90 second mark. Nervous system gets really rattled.

  • Tested GOMAD (nixed my daily smoothie) and GOMAD + Machine Workout. One week so far with alternate dance and machines on an EOD cycle. So.

    Day 1
    Test: GOMAD
    Result: Tooty and Bloated Tummy (ugh. shaped like the letter ‘D’. Letter ‘B’ if you add the boobies).

    To commit to this, I replaced H20 bottle with a one gallon glass milk jug. Took it with me to work and dance class. I was fine at work. Locked myself in my office downed 2 cups before dance. Dance class; I got a lot of side-eye from the gals but hey. I was able to find my milk among the cookie-cutter containers. Halfway through the sesh my body got noisy. Step. Toot. Step, step. Toot toot. Peeps gave me more leg room to move. Yea! EOD I drank half a gallon and result is listed above.

    Lesson: No movement (krumping, twerking, shaking what your mama gave you…) no restrictive clothing (pants, skirts..) after four cups.

    Day 2
    Test: GOMAD + Machine Workout
    Result: Same as Day 1. Add sore glutes.

    Milk jug in tow, after downing 3 cups during my meeting, went to the gym to forgo my weights, bench, and bar to test the machine work out. Guys were more than willing to give up their beloved machines-it must be the milk-superpowers that be-I didn’t have to work in between sets. Yea! Leg press, chest press, row. Cables (for legs), pull up, fly. All on machines. Felt strong-ish but miss my planks and kettle bells.

    Lesson: Done with GOMAD. Milk gets warm after toting it around town in 80+ degree weather. Cold milk = palatable and un-smelly. Tootness is getting to me.

    After one week: Keeping the machine workout; going to test for a month. Got my baseline muscle mass taken a week before, so I curious how my body mass will change.
    Anyone have any great mac and cheese recipes? Best!

  • I missed you, dude. Was particularly looking for working out advice since I hadn’t heard much from you since the 4HB. Good looks, bro. And glad to hear you still agree with most the advice.

  • I love him though this is for those who just wants to stay healthy but definitely not enough for guys who prefers to look like a male model.

  • He is right; look at Body by Scinece or ECT https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZUI5ggfFaqjLTa7imGUjvQ and https://www.painscience.com/articles/strength-training-frequency.php

  • What’s next, he’s giving advice on how not to go bald? This guy has zero qualifications about exercise. Go to a gym, find someone a good body and follow their program. It will look nothing like this snake oil this fraudster is pushing

  • Great video!

    My program stops working because I can’t get get into the gym more than 2x a week. Busy w/ work lol, so I’m always going backwards it seems.

  • I’ve been doing it for years since I read the 4 Hour Body. This is the same workout he wrote in the book.
    Awesome workout for staying in great shape avoiding any injuries which is crucial while getting older.
    Little muscle growth though, but happy to say lean and toned as heck at 50 when people tell me I have a 20 year old looking body. So this practice really worked out for me.

  • Hey Tim what are your thoughts on intermittent fasting? I know you talk a lot about 30g of protein 30 min within waking up. Just interested in your thoughts

  • Why say use machines? From what I’ve read, they’re a huge reason for injury, since they prevent the muscle from moving through it’s natural path.

  • In my experience way too often it’s nothing with programming at all. Most lifters just need to sleep better, eat better and have the talk occasionally.

  • Accept from Tim’s nutritional point of view wich i dont realy agree with, i really like this workout method and it basically really makes sense! My quastion is how can this programm be combined with cardio for purposes of lowering body fat percentance? (Im not assuming cardio is necessary but i just really like doing it.)

  • I literally have eaten 5 meals a day for a month and with those meals i drank protein shakes and about 3 of those a day along with the food it was very expensive. Worked out every other day until failure every other day and i started at 130 lbs im at 124.

  • hey marc, im subscribed, thanks!
    you break up a ton of your strings of thought. that’s okay i do it too; what were you going to say about some people not knowing what being in the zone is, You said “So, if you’re zoned out and you’re going in”… right before talking about Dorian Yates? can u elaborate a bit on that zone, how to find it, what it’s like, how to work out in the zone, how it helps with training, etc..

  • I like Tim’s keeping it simple approach, but gallon of milk, beans and Mac n cheese… Really? What is this, highschool gym tips by Tim? Sounds like chronic gut inflammation and brain fog to me.

  • VOLUME has shown to be one of/THE biggest drivers of hypertrophy.
    Why go to failure 2x per week?
    Add more volume.
    A 20 min workout two days per week is NOT going to cut it if you want to add muscle.

    Leave some reps in the tank, lift frequently, eat real food.
    and get enough sleep.
    Why would i take hypertrophy advice from this guy?

  • With that advice you will be farting at antisocial levels, and keep being weak looking like Tim here. That level is for maintenance, you need at least 10 sets per week per body part to see growth. And get your numbers on one rep max, nutrition etc… Shit, hire for a couple of sessions a good PT and stop fucking around

  • Were you speaking to a Mr. Jones with that rant on grinding? lol! Thought it was funny and very true. Making videos and going to the gym is no ‘grind’.

  • Hey Tim, since you’re a fan of the Brave browser, why don’t you verify this channel with Brave Payments? I just sent your channel a $BAT micro-donation.

  • What is the minimum effective dose for milk consumption? If I can’t stomach 1 gallon a day on a weekly basis, should I move to an HLM style Milk drinking where I consume 1 gallon of whole on Monday, Half Gallon Choco on Wednesday, and say Buttermilk on Friday? Or should I switch to Soy and and arbitrarily rate my Volume of Soy Milk consumed via a number scale?

  • Doing sets to failure everytime you lift is a horrible idea. That will lead to exactly what he said you are trying to avoid, over fatigue and injury.

  • I don’t know what to believe. Some people say that “no pain no gain” which means that in order to gain muscle mass, you need to tear up and injure lots of muscle mass. That way, your body starts to repair the muscle mass and create some more. Meanwhile, this dude tells me not to injure your muscle. I’m confused TBH.:/.

  • I sense that whatever comes out your mouth people always have something bad to say. It must be hard to experiment on your own body and people taking it for granted because they learned things otherwise. Hoping you the best in life mr. ferriss! I know you don’t know me but I am glad to have you influencing my life! I went into depression last year and clearly you talking about stoicism and fear setting started me in the path to healing. I’m doing well these days and hoping you continue doing what you do! (saving lives) I appreciate you mr. ferriss! Cheers to the Good Life! ��

  • Is 5/5 cadence so important? Isn’t TimeUnderTension the KEY? I always try to hit recommended TimeUnderTension and Muscle Failure as you mentioned in book. I now do 2/2 cadence something between.

  • I have a intense training style I would go to the gym 5days a week but I go at least 3times a week I push myself every workout I do an get results but the next day I’m beat…I do train hard!! An love doin it no matter how sore I am the next day..I love it an I enjoy my supps I take to get me where I wanna be.

  • it is crazy the more i get into fitness and doing more and more fitness research. I find almost all of the really really good fitness advisers get next to nothing in views.

  • This really reminds me of the “bottom up” approach exemplified by Mike tuchscherer (I’ll never be able to write your surname properly Mike, forgive me if you ever read it). Am I wrong?

  • Some of the worst advice I’ve heard related to lifting. Don’t go to failure. Lift heavy, and use compound movements using barbells, not machines.

  • Too much Cardio and bad diet. Lotsa sleep. Supplements are also bullshit and you don’t need as much protein as once was believed.

  • Volume has been shown to be the key driver of hypertrophy. So either adding more weight to the bar, or adding extra reps/sets to increase the volume over time is key. Lifting weights heavy enough to put you 1 or 2 reps from failure in the 5-15 rep range is ideal for hypertrophy but mix up the rep ranges and get some around the 15-30 rep max mark too.

    Calorie surplus is paramount unless you’re a very beginner or coming back to the gym as a detained but experienced lifter (then body recomposition is possible). Around a 100-300 surplus is a nice start.

    A daily protein intake of 1g per lb of lean body mass (fat free mass) is optimal but some like 1g/lb of bodyweight to be safe. After working out total calories and protein calories, go for about 15-30% calories from healthy fats and the remaining as (preferably complex) carbs to fuel gym performance.

    Focus on compound lifts primarily. Ideally a horizontal pressing move, vertical pressing move, horizontal pull move, vertical pull then a hip hinge movement (deadlift example) and a squat.

    Frequency research shows that even if volume is equal, training each muscle group twice per week is more effective than once per week.

    If you’re worried about fast fat gain (a small amount is inevitable) then aiming for +1-2lb per month (based on weekly weigh in averages) is a safe bet. Adjust calorie total up or down to dial in this rate of gain.

    Most supplements are a waste of money. Multivitamin and fish oil tablets are a good way to go, protein powder isn’t magical but can make the daily intake more convenient, and creatine and caffeine are all a sure fire way to improve energy and output in the gym.

    Just trying to help people who might want to know these things.