I have always been of the mindset that, if I am going to the gym, I might as well make the most of it as the hard part is getting out the door. That is still the case for me but not in the sense you might think.
The past week I have gone 11 days out of 14. This does not mean that I give it my all every single time. It is about being smart when going to the gym. I do the full workout 3-4 times a week and the rest I do a simple walk or elliptical for 30-45 minutes. Those minutes are to help my joints not get completely stiff after a tough workout and it really helps. There is nothing worse than the day after a tough day at the gym and it hurts when you are trying to sit down. The walk the next morning, is the solution but never forget to stretch after a workout.
I was doing a bit of research online to find out how I could make the most of my workouts and most research agreed with what I am already doing. Whew! What a relief, cause I like my routine.
If you are looking to learn how to run longer or faster, most suggest 3 days of actual running and 3 days of some other exercise with 1 day of rest. Military.com, Runnersworld.com and Active.com vary slightly so all in all it depends on your motivational level. Military.com is what you would suspect. Hardcore with no resting days until you get to a pretty high level but they are starting you off slow to avoid injuries. Runnersworld.com has you set at 5 days of training and 2 resting days while Active.com has you average out at also 5 times per week but you can get away with 4 times per week but they do not specify if you need rest in between.
I know these are simple articles and perhaps not as trusted as medical advice or university research but when I do a simple google search for university level research, the results are not too dissimilar. John MacKenzie at Delaware University, also, suggests 5-6 days of training with 1-2 days of rest in alternating weeks. Although, his take, is slightly different from the articles I first found. He has you running all of the days but in different speeds, styles and levels. The Mayo clinic is similar to John MacKenzie’s style with 5-6 days of training but they are adding in more walking in between. This has been my primary style, when I have been training for a run.
I had never really done proper research on how I should be running or training for a run but it looks like, I was not too far off. Although, I am not training for a run (although I have one coming up next week), I am using the same principles for my workouts. And why will come in my next article about training, which will be about the balance between cardio and weight training.
I would not suggest that you start off with a 5-6 day training routine per week as for any starter that will be too much and you will lose your motivation. If you are a newly starter or you have a hectic schedule, go for a more manageable training schedule of 3 days per week but if you have a sedentary job, think about taking a couple of smaller walks during the day. Personally, I try to get to roughly 10,000 steps per day as that will add roughly 500 calorie burn per day. That is 1 pound per week, in weight loss or more of the delicious food that you like to eat. Mind you, this is for me and my current size, the smaller you get (are) the farther you need to walk to burn the same amount of calories.
I am no doctor or training expert but I have done my fair share of research and I have tested it all out on my own body. With minimal injuries, I would say, my recommendations are not too off. However, it is always important to listen to your body and seek medical advice if you are unsure or over the age of 40.
Let me know if you want to work out with me. I couple of you have already signed up to be a support 😀 Love it!