I’m sorry! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written. I wish I had a creative excuse, but alas I don’t. I’ve just been very busy with all sorts of things. In any case, I’m back! I put out a call to my Facebook friends this morning to see what people might want to hear about and Zelinda answered that she wants to know more about ideal workout frequency. Let’s get to it.
Mainly this depends on three different factors:
1. Your goals
2. Your schedule
3. Your condition
Let’s talk about them one by one.
Goals determine everything. (In a perfect world, at least.) If your goal is to win gold at the Olympics then your optimum workout frequency is going to be a little different then if you’re trying to lose a few pounds and stay active in life.
If general fitness (losing a few pounds or something like that) is your goal, in a perfect world my recommendation for weekly workout frequency would be something like this:
Resistance training – 2 or 3 days
Interval Training – 1 or 2 days
Duration Training – 1 day
What this means is I’m looking for 4-5 days of exercise each week. The problem with this is that it’s based on a “perfect world” scenario. Most of us don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world that is mainly governed by…
Your schedule. Listen, all of the perfect world scenarios are useless if you work 50 hours a week and have two kids and an aging mother who needs you to take her shopping twice a week. When planning out your exercise time be honest with yourself about what you can 100% commit to each and every week. If it’s twice a week then great! Absolutely kill it twice a week. I’ve had numerous clients get fantastic results training hard twice a week. The problems occur when someone isn’t honest with themselves about what they can do. Here’s a scenario:
Madeline wants to lose a few pounds. She also has a job and kids so all her time isn’t really hers. She knows that she can absolutely exercise twice a week but she’d like to do three times a week so she tells her trainer, “I’m in for three times a week! Let’s do it!” She’s excited. The first week goes great but the second week her daughter has soccer practice during her scheduled time so she has to cancel once. This happens the next week, too. She makes it three times during her fourth week.
What happens here? In four weeks she made it to 10 sessions. We can look at that two ways. If she committed 100% to twice a week she’d be thrilled! After all she was able to make all her sessions plus two! Unfortunately she committed to three times. So what happens to her mindset here? In both scenarios she made 10 sessions. In one of those she’s thrilled, in the other she feels like a failure. Mindset is crucial in this game so make sure that what you commit to you can do 100% and if you can do more from time to time, that’s great!
That leads us finally to your condition. Basically it comes down to this, if you’re a reasonable healthy person you’ll be able to train more times during the week and get something from it. If you’re not in great shape you should probably start on the lower end of the spectrum and build up from there. This will allow you to progress in a safe and effective manner.
This is a pretty quick rundown but I hope I was able to answer any questions you may have. Please let me know if you have any others. Have a great day!
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach, FMS
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
I Help People Discover Their Strength!