In western society, it’s all about the results; in fact, it’s all about fast results. Above all, the results have to be tangible, visible, and noteworthy of people’s praise. In the west, it’s all about going all out, being alpha, and always getting to your goals, and then setting the goals higher and higher. Where does it end? How high can you possibly go? Is there an end? Or will you crash and burn? Is there a sweet spot where you feel you are good enough? Or do you feel being a better version of yourself is always necessary?
What am I talking about?
Picture this; you just joined your local gym. You mustered up the courage to get there for a consistent three times a week. You say to yourself, “I can do this. Three times a week is very doable for me.” You’ve been doing your thing at the gym on off –peak hours, so you won’t feel intimidated by the more advanced exercisers. You’re starting to “feel yourself” and are starting to like your little fitness routine; people are complimenting you, you have energy for day; and overall, you’re in a good place mentally. One day, you decide to visit the gym during peak hours; something kept you at work, and you couldn’t get out of it, and you decided to tough it out, and get to the gym later, as opposed to skipping it altogether.
When you get there, your jaw drops, and you get a little panicky. You’ve been in your own little world, training with the “regulars” at your gym, at the same hours, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; you believed you were great.
“Great” is relative.
Seeing all the super-exercisers with the great bodies has now entered your conscious, and you are starting to second guess yourself. You ask yourself, “Should I up the ante to 5 days a week? 6? 7? Maybe I should do two workouts a day?
Maybe I should start “taking something?”
Is working out 3 days a week enough to see good results?
The answer is...OF COURSE!
Now, let’s break this down, and put it into some perspective
WHY MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
The frequency, at which you can train and get good results, is basically, your ability to recover from the last workout session. If you workout somewhat intensely, you may need extra days to recover, if you don`t, you may be able to get away with more frequency. Trying to work out intensely every day will eventually set yourself up for failure, as your muscle strength will start to decline, your immune system with be too taxed. This is how people get sick, anywhere from colds, to more serious illness; so please pay attention to your recovery.
SPLITTING YOUR PROGRAM OVER THREE DAYS...YAY OR NAY?
Again, it comes down to frequency. Let me explain:
If you decide to split your program, where you perform chest on one day, then shoulders and triceps on another; inadvertently, on the chest day (ie: assuming you are performing types of barbell chest presses or dumbbell presses or dips) , you are stimulating the shoulders and triceps along with the chest muscles. That means, if you have a shoulder day later during the week, you are working the shoulders and triceps (assuming you are performing barbell shoulder presses or dumbbell presses). Ultimately, you are training the shoulders and triceps twice a week, due to the indirect stimulation of those muscles from the chest presses and shoulder presses. So, if you're split routine is set up with the right exercises where you get indirect stimulation of muscles several times a week, then..YES, you can split your program and get good results.
If you need help on structuring your program for this purpose, please contact me at email@example.com.
HOW MUCH TIME IS NEEDED FOR EACH WORKOUT SESSION?
The amount of time you need for a workout session depends on your fitness level, but there are techniques to condense a longer workout into a much shorter one. For instance, performing supersets (pairing of two exercises, performed one after another, with no rest in between) allows the rest time in between sets to be filled up and maximized. A good way to set up a superset can be biceps and triceps, or chest and back. Even better, if you pair a taxing exercise like a squat, with a less taking exercise, like a bicep curl, performing the biceps curls will still allow you to recover from the set of squats, and thus shorten your time in the gym, as you are not being idle in the gym.
Another time saving workout can be HIIT, or High Intensity Interval training. The shorter, more intense version of cardio training is a great way to reduce time in the gym, but it’s not an easy task. HIIT should not be performed every day, as it requires much more recovery time than regular, steady state cardio training.
So, to answer the question, you needn’t spend more than an hour in the gym, and get a great workout!
HOW DO YOU CONSTRUCT A THREE DAY A WEEK PROGRAM?
Generally, if you are working out three times per week, with a day rest in between each workout, you can basically do a whole body workout. This way, you will be stimulating your whole body three times a week, which is a good frequency, and thus will produce great gains. You can vary the exercise so that each day is a different workout, but you are still working the whole body; this will prevent overuse injuries due to constantly doing the same movement over and over again.
That being said, if you are training the whole body three days a week, it’s not necessary to do more than one or two exercises, in order to get the muscle stimulation and allow for sufficient recovery of the muscles and nervous system by the next workout, two days later.
If you need help constructing your program, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW BIG A ROLE DOES NUTRITION PLAY?
Nutrition plays a huge role in the “results” you are seeking, provided your training is adequate. They say that abs are made in the kitchen, so if you are eating haphazardly, your body will show it. If you are trying to gain weight, then calories have to be increased accordingly. In my opinion, the most important meal of the day is the post workout meal, where your cells are most receptive to nutrients and calories for optimal workout recovery!
Have questions you would like me to answer?
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