This is a question I get asked a lot. As a specialist in getting people back to fitness, I am very familiar with people not training enough, or training too much when they first start out. So, how often should you train at the start of your transformation journey?
It’s important to remember what you are trying to achieve. In the early stages of our recovery programme, the goal is for my clients to establish exercise as an enjoyable and habitual part of everyday life. This should absolutely be your goal for now. Have an idea of the longer-term goals for sure but stay grounded and focus on that change in the first instance. Right now it is important to remember that this is new and you want to make sure that you do enough to progress and leave enough time to recover.
You must recognise that you can do too much and your body will need time to recover after each workout, more initially than it will later down the line. Training too often can also reduce your body’s immune system, increasing the chances of the ‘new you’ being de-railed by bugs and colds. I’ve seen this so often and it is easy to do (endorphins run, exercise becomes addictive and you train every day from a cold start, you destroy your immune, get injured and ill and give up – Sound familiar?).
At the other extreme I have seen many people train too little (1-2 times a week), see no difference, get frustrated and give up before they have even started.
So what is the happy medium? I always recommend that you adopt a 3 day per week training pattern, ensuring that you rest at least one day between exercise. The perfect pattern would be something like this:
Monday – Train
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Train
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Train
Saturday and Sunday – rest
Of course, the days can be moved to fit with your schedule but as a start, train the entire body 3 times a week and make sure you get the rest and you will progress, recover and enjoy. How to train and what to train is another topic of conversation and maybe a blog for the future. If you don’t know where to start and think you can benefit from structure, encouragement and accountability, get in touch to book on to our recovery programme.