…SO How Much Training Is Enough?
As a beginner just getting into exercise or someone who exercised in the past and is meaning to get back to it, the question arises: how often do I have to train and how long should I be training for to see real results?
Most magazines and the media would have you believe you need to be working out for 2-3 hours a day 5-7days a week. But the truth is you don’t! Who has the time to spend 15-20 hours a week in the gym? I know I don’t. Unless you have some sort of unnatural help, all that amount of training will do for you is put you into a state of over-training and you will not get the results you are looking for. Time is our most precious commodity so the last thing you want to do is waste hours in the gym achieving nothing.
The total amount of time you really need to spend is about 45mins-1 hour 3 times per week; that is it! That’s a total of about 2-3 hours per week; much more reasonable!
So why only 45 minutes, and why only 3 times per week? The answer is the body needs REST. Muscle is not built while you are working out, it is built as the muscles repair and are filled with nutrients as you rest and recover.
Training for more than one hour will put your body into a catabolic state (muscle-breakdown) meaning pushing yourself through that 2 hour workout is really forcing your body to spend an hour eating away muscle for energy to fuel the rest of that unnecessarily long workout.
Keeping your workouts to 3 days per week, gives you a lot of flexibility with your training schedule, doesn’t take up all your time and allows for optimal rest periods between workouts. An ideal training schedule would be for example Monday, Wednesday, Friday, this gives the body one day between each workout to recover the muscles before it is taxed again and has to work to repair another group of muscles.
Also training Monday, Wednesday, Friday allows you to have the full two days of the weekend to recover your muscles completely from the entire week’s workouts. This provides you ample time to fully recover and you will find yourself feeling refreshed and ready for your Monday workout the next week. You may also find you feel much stronger and are able to lift more in these 3 workouts each week simply because your body is getting the rest it needs.
Thus you are able to push yourself harder during these shorter, less-frequent workouts and can train at intensities much greater than you would be able to training 2 hours per day every day of the week. The result is increased strength, increased muscle, and increased speed of recovery.
Stop wasting hours following a workout routine from some muscle-head magazine when your body is screaming at you to stop. Instead train properly, train hard, really hard, but train with the proper frequency.
The biggest challenge with exercise is creating a routine with it and making it habit. Who is ever going to want to make a habit of something that kills them 20 hours per week? No one.
So start out with workouts 30-45mins long, 3 times per week and gradually increase your workout time to 45-60minutes and that’s it. From then on, just push the intensity every time you step back in the gym for those 45-60 minutes.
That’s everything folks! Train HARD, Train SMART, F the fads and pop-magazine routines and build that Alpha Physique!