You’ve probably been told before that you need to workout 3-4 days a week for AT LEAST 30 minutes to get the best results possible.
But first let me be clear about something…
3-4 days a week of exercise is a SOLID amount of exercise that anyone can benefit greatly from.
But in working with hundreds of people trying to make exercise a part of their lifestyle, this recommendation has had some flaws to it.
In my experience, I’ve noticed that when exercise is prescribed in terms of exercise DAYS, it tends to inadvertently promote the All or Nothing Mentality.
What’s the All or Nothing Mentality? I’m sure you’ve had some experience with it, but let me explain…
If you’re told that you MUST workout at least 3 times a week, at first it may sound realistic and doable…
Until you come across a super busy week, like many in our Fresno Fit Tribe, where you have endless errands to run around town, kids to chauffeur to every possible sporting event, work meetings, and you can’t forget date night with your spouse (if you want to stay married)…
Then, all of a sudden, 3 days isn’t so doable.
This is where the All or Nothing Mentality kicks in. It may go a little something like this:
“Well if I can’t exercise 3 days this week, what’s the point of doing it ONLY 2 days? Oh I’ll just start back up next week when I know for sure I can get in 3 days”.
And as you’ve probably experienced…next week turns into two weeks…two weeks turns into a month…and then it’s “I gotta get back on track!”
THAT’S the All or Nothing Mentality and I see this ALL. THE. TIME….
If you’re chuckling to yourself right about now because you know this is true, then you’ll also agree that “getting back on track” after a couple weeks off, isn’t so easy.
This is the primary reason I’ve gotten away from recommending exercise days
WHAT I RECOMMEND
I recommend you shoot for 2.5-3 hours of exercise per week, half of which should be high intensity, like we do here in Fresno Fit. The other half would be adding some variety from walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or playing a sport.
Now, 2.5-3 hours is what I recommend but you set the time based on what’s realistic for you.
You only have 2 hours to workout this week? Great!…then 2 hours it is!
You have 15 minutes today, one hour available tomorrow, and 30 minutes the day after?…Great!…that’s an hour and forty-five minutes of exercise time…
I shouldn’t have to tell you that an hour and forty five minutes is better for you than ZERO minutes.
Forget about the science. Forget about what’s the BEST amount of time.
IT’S COMMON SENSE…
You want to feel better, have more energy, get stronger and improve your endurance?…Then you just have to get moving consistently.
If you can be consistent with the available time you have each week then you can begin to build a foundation that you can build on moving forward.
That’s how you form the habit of exercise.
WHY THIS WORKS BETTER
I’ve found that working with YOUR schedule and combining gym workouts with other activities is a better approach for several reasons.
1) It’s based on your realistic schedule.
If YOU say that realistically you have 2 hours a week to exercise…then that’s what I hold you accountable to.
Hey it’s what YOU said…not me.
2) You don’t devalue exercise.
If you only have 10 or 15 minutes to do a quick HIIT workout at home…then do it. That 15 minutes will go towards your total exercise time.
You have an hour the next day…then take the full hour and exercise.
Do a bootcamp session with us here and then go out for a jog…Why not?
3) The variety helps with recovery and keeps you from getting bored.
The low intensity cardio sessions you do will help you recover from the HIIT workouts.
I’ve also found that adding variety of exercise will keep you from getting bored and give you a more well rounded improved fitness level.
4) The more activity you do outside of just going to the gym, the higher chances of you sticking with exercise.
When you rely on the gym as your only form of exercise it’s easy to skip exercising when something gets in the way of you making into the gym.
On the other hand, if you build the habit of adding other forms of exercise into your days, then you don’t have an excuse not to do something even on the days you can’t get into the gym.
LETS SUM THIS UP
If you’ve been struggling to keep up with a 3-4 day workout routine because that’s what you were told was the BEST amount of time to exercise…you can stop doing that now.
Set your total exercise time based on your realistic schedule. I recommend you shoot for 2.5-3 hours at the start and work your way up to 5 hours…but if you only have 2 hours, then that’s where you start.
Add a variety of exercise. HIIT, walking, jogging, biking, swimming. The point is stay as active as possible.
Remember, we are working towards a healthy ACTIVE lifestyle, not just a gym going lifestyle. The more physical activity you do in your life, the higher chances of you sticking to it without relying on just the gym.
Now get up off your chair, put your phone down, and get out and do something!
Live your lifestyle….