Talking exercise with my friends is always a fun subject.
Even before I became a trainer, my circle gave me shit for my training schedule.
Knowing that I train almost every day, sometimes twice, it’s hard to ask me “How many days per week do I need to work out?”
I’d never been called a fanatic before my current group of friends.
And while it’s all light-hearted banter, they do have a point.
My training regime has always seemed excessive.
I’ve just gotten better at managing it over the years.
There’s been plenty of times in the past I’ve let myself get into pretty bad shape physically.
But that was always from a poor diet, even at my heaviest I was still pretty fit.
I can’t say if it’s genetics or what, but fitness has always been something I’ve been pretty good at.
Having always been one of the fittest on the team, the basic skills of most sports always let me down though…
I have hands like feet.
Whenever the topic of exercise and training workloads comes up with our friends I always get a boo and a hiss when I talk about my training for the week.
That being said they listen when I talk about what should be a standard training load per week.
They know that exercise is my thing, and while they don’t want to train as often as I do, they do want to train as often as they should.
So, How many days per week do I need to work out?
Firstly, it’s going to depend on your current level.
Someone who is brand new to it should aim to start with 3 sessions a week, but after about 3 weeks you should be looking at 4-5 times per week.
In an ideal world, you’d be training 5 times a week, 3 strength days, and 2 cardio days.
That gives you 2 days of rest, remember that our rest days are just as important as our training days.
I also like to train when and where I want, you can do this too.
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Look, the main thing to keep in mind is that you are giving your body enough time to recover.
I train twice a day 4 days a week, but I never train the same way twice a day.
It might be a heavy strength session in the morning with light cardio in the afternoon.
Or maybe I swap it around and do a light weights session with more intense cardio later on.
It’s not a good idea to go and do weights morning and afternoon.
Or even a heavy leg session followed by a big run.
You’re not going to let your body recover and risk injury.
As well as that you don’t want to be doing too many high-intensity workouts in a week.
I will do 3 strength sessions and a CrossFit class each week.
As well as 3-4 Jiu-Jitsu sessions and possibly a run.
I also add in a deload week every 3-4 weeks.
So I’ll do my 3-4 weeks pretty hard, and then during my deload week, I’ll drop 3 or 4 sessions and decrease the intensity.
I’m still training but letting my body take it easier for a week.
I find adding in a week every month where the intensity drop helps me maintain such a high workload with my training.
This is where I mentioned early I’ve learned to manage my training a lot better.
When your body is resting and recovering is when you get the results you want. If your muscles don’t recover they don’t grow.
Whether you want size or strength or just to improve your overall fitness, your body needs rest.
Getting a good night’s sleep is really important when it comes to recovery.
I live in quite a humid climate, especially in the summer months.
So being able to keep my body at a good temperature for recovery is golden.
You need to rest at least 1 day per week. I usually take the weekend off, maybe the week before my deload week I’ll throw a Saturday in as well.
But it really depends on how I’m feeling.
Always listen to your body.
I get shit for how often I say that.
But it’s important if you’re feeling more sore than usual, or extra fatigued, to take a day off.
And never try to make up a session, if you need to rest then rest.
Your body needs to rest more than it needs that extra session you missed.
But don’t use it as an excuse to be lazy.
You could even look at doing something like, 2 days on 1 day off 3 days on 1 day off.
Play around with it and see what works for you and your schedule.
I tend to have a busy morning on Saturday and refuse to work on Sundays unless absolutely necessary.
This is why I typically train Monday to Friday, if I get time I might get an extra BJJ session on Saturday morning, or maybe a run.
Recover first and foremost.
Let your body get over what you just put in through.
Active recovery is very common, you could do something like go for a walk or something very low intensity just to keep moving.
One thing I do suggest you do on your rest days is stick to your diet.
It’s not a good idea to have a rest day and a cheat day on the same day.
Eat your treats on one of your harder training days.
Don’t fill your body with garbage on the days it’s trying to recover.
Get clean fuel in, get a lot of protein in on these days.
Give your body what it needs.
Don’t undo all your hard work by smashing back burgers and fries.
Another thing you can do while you rest is check out more workout videos on youtube.
To get yourself mentally prepared for tomorrow…
Like this one here.