Jason finishing one of many marathons
Hi everyone, I'd like to introduce our newest Exercise Rubberlutionary, Jason. He was an intern last year and has continued to do random projects for us since. His exercise of choice is distance running and is about to run marathon number 11 this weekend in Cincinnati while training for an Ultra-marathon this summer.
Today I want to talk about workout frequency. "How often should I work out?" is a pretty common question amongst newbie exercisers. While training for different events I've worked out 3 and 5 days a week, dabbled with 7 days, and also gotten lazy and maybe not worked out or only done one workout that week. Currently, I've settled on 3 days per week as the best balance for me.
Before I continue though, I should say that this is a very personal thing. You have to weigh your goals against your every day commitments. Work out too little, and you won't see any results; workout too much and you end up either too tired, bored, or hurt. All of those lead to a premature end to your fitness goals.
The big trick to answering the "how much" question is how variable your workouts are. You really shouldn't focus on the same muscle group more than once per week. That is how you can hurt yourself. A routine I currently follow is:
This has fit my work and life schedule pretty well. Since I started using my Rubberbanditz last summer, I've found that working out is much easier to fit in when you don't have to drive to a gym. And I'm definitely not saying that you need to spend hours at the gym either. My focused muscle workouts typically take about 30 minutes to an hour. When I had more time I also added a full body workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays, such as the Beginner or Intermediate Workout. Since these don't focus on specific muscles you are safe to do them to maintain a healthy level of fitness.
Variety: The spice of life, and your workout
Also, don't take the workouts we have here as gospel. I like to vary up the exercises in my workouts too, just to give my muscles a surprise! If your muscles get used to a set workout routine, your body adjusts and you stop improving. Instead of doing squats, for example, break out your thinner bands and try some vertical jump band training instead. If your pull ups are getting you down, try some lat pull downs to work similar muscles. Also make sure to vary your routines. We made sure to give you plenty of options in the Exercise Library (full disclosure: I spent a lot of time working on the library over the winter, so I really hope you like it!)
What do you think? We have a lot of fitness gurus that regularly follow the site, maybe some of you will chime in with your workout schedule. I'd love to hear your comments!