Everyone is stressed these days. One of the most common mistakes I see people making when it comes to fitness is training too frequently. Worse still is most of those who are training too frequently have just started a new regime and aren’t even conditioned to intensive training yet.
I often have this conversation….
-Client: I’ve booked into 4 HIIT sessions today
-Client: I’m going on holiday next week so I need to get as many as I can in
This drives me CRAZY!!! Fitness and adaptive gains simply do not work like that. You can’t just cram as many sessions in as you can to make up for the week off you’re about to have. By doing that you’ll only detriment your adaptions by placing mass stress on your body and make yourself far more susceptible to injury.
You’re body NEEEEEDS recovery!
Then I hear people talking about Sally next door who went to the gym 7 times a week for a month and lost 30lbs as part of a fitness regime she bought on www.fitnessmug.com for £500. What Sally didn’t tell you is that she also has to restrict her calories to 1000 a day, lost a shit load of muscle mass, injured her shoulder and knee, screwed up her menstrual cycle, got dumped by her boyfriend for being so intolerable and has since packed all the weight back on and some!!!
I’m not just picking on girls! Jonny’s story is similar! Hit the gym 7 days a week, lifted weights that were far too heavy with shit form and now he’s laid up in chiropractors office having acupuncture at £60 quid a session. Jonny is single so didn’t get dumped. Maybe Sally and him will meet on a www.fitnessmug.com community page!!!
OK so these are harsh examples. Poor Sally and Jonny simply didn’t know better. But the reality is..they should have! If you’re embarking on a significant dietary change up or extensive fitness regime you should speak to pro’s first.
After you’ve spoken to one….try taking that advice on board!
There are of course many other factors that play a part in all of this.
Types of training being one of them. And a big one that!
So doing resistance training 7 days a week is just plain stupid. Bro splits are one way around this but they’re called bro splits for a reason. Training specific muscle groups across the week can segment the muscles that are being worked and therefore you could effectively weight train everyday. It’s just a sub-optimal way of doing it. Solution: Do a full body workout 3 times a week. Less time spent at the gym, all muscles groups being hit more frequently, optimal gains.
Should you be doing HIIT training every day? If you’re doing TRUE HIIT training then no. You’d need days out to allow recovery. HIIT has become one of the most popular forms of exercise in recent years and with it’s huge rise in popularity the true meaning and nature of HIIT has been diluted. I was asked to contribute a piece on HIIT recently for a magazine targeting older women. After sending it over with some examples I had the editor on the phone explaining that their readership wouldn’t be able to do the suggested workouts. It turned into a conversation of me trying to explain to her what HIIT ACTUALLY is. She couldn’t understand why when walking your dog, walking quicker for 2 minutes then a bit slower and repeating wasn’t a HIIT workout! I mean technically is it interval training….just not the type of interval training that will yield any adaptions in regards to fitness. HIIT promises weight loss, muscle preservation and gains, improved cardiac output, a high calorie burn both during and after the workout, improved stamina, better endurance and so on and so fourth. However, you have to actually do it properly! That means train with intensity. And I mean intensity. Results from HIIT correlate to the intensity you achieve during the workout. I hear people saying they do HIIT for 1.5 hours! No they don’t. No one can do HIIT for that long. Proper HIIT that is! Walking a little more briskly when between your door step and the end of the drive way just won’t cut it!
Can you supplement 3 days of resistance training with cardio on the other days. Hmmmm yes you probably can get away with this. I certainly wouldn’t suggest doing 3 days resistance and 4 days cardio in between but light steady state cardio is probably OK.
I’ve had clients come to sessions and proclaim they only had 4 hours sleep the night before and a 12 hour day at work.
My response: What the fuck are you doing here?
Be sensible people. If you’re tackling a massive project at work, aren’t sleeping well, have a niggling injury then CUT DOWN YOUR SESSIONS. Go get some FRIKKIN sleep instead. It’ll do you way more good that slogging it out at the gym fueled by 10 cups of coffee.
Turned into a bit of a rant that!!!