When drafting your gym routine, one major component to plan for is your exercise frequency. In other words, you should decide on how many times and how often should you get your workout in a week. Terms such as ‘workout frequency’ and ‘exercise frequency’ have diverse meanings to every gym goer or fitness enthusiast. Regardless of your definition of these terms, always ensure that you don’t overtrain.
Which Exercise Frequencies Should You Care About the Most?
The three exercise frequencies you need to pay attention to include overall exercise frequency, weight training frequency and muscle group or body part frequency. Your overall exercise frequency should focus on how many times you’ll be indulging in any type of exercise. For weight training frequency, consider the number of times and frequency of weight training per week. Lastly, muscle group frequency focuses on how many times and how often you’ll be training each body part or muscle group.
Your workout routine and fitness goals will determine how frequent you’ll be working out. You may want to achieve a fit physique or lose weight when training. Either way, the general rule is that you should spare two days off every week from all kinds of exercise. Also known as rest days, the two days will allow your body to heal/recover adequately before your next workout session.
Is Working out Six Times Per Week Too Much?
The answer to this question is yes. You’ll be overtraining if your gym/workout schedule takes six days every week. While it’s easy to find yourself excessively training, it does pay to work out less. The message here is not to quit going to the gym or exercising but to have spare rest days (or weeks) in your schedule.
What are the Dangers of Overtraining?
Vigorous weightlifting may create tiny muscle tears, whose only remedy is rest. Avoiding rest will make it difficult for your muscles to repair and become stronger. You’re right to think that working your muscles hard will help you add more muscles. However, failing to give your body enough rest time will result in sore muscles and fatigue.
You’re at risk of losing lots of weight when you work out too intensely or too often. Depending on your diet, you may even gain weight that doesn’t qualify as muscle mass. Women may experience changes in their menstrual cycle, a drop in estrogen and premature bone loss. All these negative side effects can make the female body more prone to injury and weaker.
Mood and sleeping problems can be attributed to overtraining too. You’ll need adequate sleep to keep your body refreshed and energized for workout sessions. Despite losing sleep, you risk suffering from depression and anxiety. Though exercise helps curb these mental conditions, too much of it will have an opposite effect on you.
Remedies for Overtraining
The best remedy for overtraining is a workout routine that has rest days (or even weeks). If you’re engaging in weight training. two to three days per week will be enough. Consequently, two to three days per week are enough for body part or muscle group training. You may include rest days between or at the end of your weight training and muscle group/body part training sessions.
Your goal is to focus on strength and cardiovascular fitness five days every week. If you’re looking to add muscle mass, cut one cardio day off your routine. Skipping a strength training day or switching up the sessions each week will help you improve your endurance. It pays being disciplined throughout the workout sessions and being realistic about your routine.
Having good exercise and fitness habits will help you achieve your desired goals without exposing yourself to injuries and fatigue. The only way you can get results as a fitness enthusiast is when you consistently follow your workout routine. Know what works for you since everyone’s fitness goals are different.