By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
What if I told you that you would most likely progress faster and see better results if you didn’t do as many workouts per week? And you could do it for the rest of your life?
It’s about incorporating a sustainable program for your life and your schedule, even if it doesn’t seem like you are doing “enough.” After all, a program that isn’t realistic could end up causing discouragement and a total rebound in the opposite direction.
What I’m talking about here is going from 4-5 strength training workouts per week for a few weeks, then not working out for 3-4 weeks (or longer) because that schedule was simply too much for you. You’ve just lost the gains you made. But by reducing your strength training workouts to 2-3 times per week (or something else that’s manageable), you can keep it up for the rest of your life and see long-term results.
ALL OR NOTHING = NOTHING AT ALL
The former scenario is what many people refer to as “all or nothing.” If you don’t work out at least 4-5 times per week, you might as well not work out at all. I totally understand that line of thinking, but it also makes absolutely no sense at all. I know plenty of people who see incredible success lifting 2-3 times per week with the following workout combinations:
Two Day Split:
– full body/full body
– entire frontside muscles/entire backside muscles
– chest, back, shoulders/arms, abs, legs
– back, shoulders, quads, abs/chest, arms, glutes, hamstrings, abs
Three Day Split:
– full body/full body/full body
– chest, back/legs/shoulders, arms, abs
– chest, arms/legs, abs/back, shoulders
– chest, back/legs, shoulders/arms, abs
COMPATIBLE IS SUSTAINABLE
I also know plenty of people who overtrain, or who think they need to weight lift 5-6 days per week to see results. Of course, all of this depends on many factors, and you need to find the right amount of sessions per week for your goals, your lifestyle, priorities, responsibilities, etc.
But the truth is that if you are able to fit in 2-3 weight training sessions per week, but not 5-6, then 2-3 sessions per week is what is realistic and sustainable for YOU and YOUR life, which means you will most likely be able to keep doing that for the rest of your life. You and your fitness program need to be compatible in order for it to be sustainable, just like any other relationship.
START SMALL AND KEEP GOING
Here are a few things to consider when determining how many workouts you can fit into your life on a weekly basis for the long-term:
1. Start Small Start with the least number of workouts you know for certain you can do per week and go from there. For example, if you know for sure you can do 3 workouts per week, then schedule those 3. If you happen to have extra time and can squeeze in a 4th workout, that’s just a bonus! And if you can only find time for 1 workout, then do 1 total body workout per week. If you are able to work in a 2nd workout, then that’s a bonus!
2. Stop Going Big Or Going Home You should never feel like you’re not doing enough if you are at least doing something. The all or nothing mentality, or “go big or go home” saying should not discourage you from doing what you can with the little time you have. Be proud of yourself for fitting in a workout or two a week if that’s what you can do.
3. Keep It Up Consistency over time is what will get you closer to your goals, so if you keep fitting those workouts in here and there, it will add up! Don’t stop just because you can’t do as many workouts as you think you should be doing, or because you read that you need to do a certain number of workouts per week in order to see results. Keep going!
Doing a little bit of something over a long period of time will help you progress towards your goals much better than doing a lot for a very short period of time that you can’t sustain for the long haul.
Tip Me Tuesday: Resistance Is Key
Tip Me Tuesday: Reaching Out, Reflecting In
Tip Me Tuesday: Tear It Down, Rebuild It Stronger
Tip Me Tuesday: Weight Fluctuations
Tip Me Tuesday: Action vs. Reaction
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.