One of the questions I get the most is “How often should I work out?” What a wonderful question to ask, so let’s dive right into it. When we first start our training, we usually approach with one of two mindsets; “Wait, you want me to do what?” or “Hold my water bottle and watch this.” Both Athletes bring interesting dynamics to the training.
The first Athlete, “Wait you want me to do what?”, tend to be very passive and seem to doubt their own abilities. After every movement, they tend to shake their heads because of the belief that there’s no way they just did the movement correctly. These Athletes maybe come once or twice a week and look at the daily workout and decide which days they attend based on what they see (“Snatch Progression? Sounds gross, I’m going to skip today”).
The second, “Hold my water bottle and watch this” (or HMWBAWT for the chronologically impaired) are the ones who walk in and tell me they need to Bench Press 300 pounds by next week. When I ask what they Bench now, they say something like 125. I’ll follow that with something like, “Well, that probably not going to happen.” “I’ll show you I can do it!” Next thing you know this Athlete is doing two-a-days 5 days a week, plus the Saturday trainings. This eventually leads to injury, but we’ll talk about that in a later article.
Now in both cases, we need to address the frequency of classes attended. All things outside of the gym aside (work, relationships, life, etc.) this is what I advise our Athletes. There are MANY schedules out there (3 on-1 off, 5 on-2 off, 2 on 1 off- 2 on 2 off) Some may work for some Athletes, but not so well for others. The most important thing to do is learn how your body reacts and learn how to listen to it.
Let’s take the basic 3 on 1 off schedule. Let’s say it’s day 4 (rest day) and we are at home. We feel amazing, and are loaded with energy, it’s a beautiful day outside, perfect for hiking. Coach said I need to rest today, so I guess I have to stay inside. Now we just missed a wonderful opportunity to train.
On the other side of the spectrum, let’s say it’s day 2 (middle training day). I’m still banged up from that workout yesterday. My hips are sore, and my shoulders are tired, but Coach said I have to work out today. Now we are at risk of an injury. Are you tired and sore? Take an extra day off, come in and do some Stretching and Mobility. Feel awesome? Come in and let it fly. Learn to listen to your body, it will tell you when and how often to train, but just make sure you’re being honest with yourself. Slight hangnail? Guess I won’t be working on Squats today. NO! Get in there and squat the hell out of the hangnail! Fractured C4 Vertebrae? I can still work on some behind the neck press. NO! Don’t come to the gym, get your ass to an emergency room!
Ok, so having said that here’s a very basic format to start with. If you’re new to this style of training, start with a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. See how your body reacts and adapts to the style of training, then make your own schedule. If you need any further help, feel free to contact us and we can talk about it in greater depth.