Many of my patients are very busy and have trouble getting to the gym 5-6 days a week. I have many of them simply walking for 30 minutes a day in the morning and then adding just 3 days a week to the gym (or home if they have equipment there). I like most of them to do at least 2-3 days of weight training and 2 days of HIIT per week. If they have time I add a yoga session as well.
Strength training is crucial for overall health, brain health, bone strength, muscle growth, and prevention of muscle/strength loss as we age. More is not always better. It’s often thought that to make gains you have to work out 5-6 days a week. Often times less is more.
Remember, muscle growth is a 2-step process.
- The stimulation i.e. the workout itself.
- The recovery period (rest) where repair and growth can occur.
Only when both are optimal can growth and progress occur. The workout needs to be of a sufficient intensity, and the rest period needs to be sufficiently long enough to produce those gains you’ve stimulated.
The actual workout does not create growth, it merely stimulates it. The rest period then PRODUCES the growth.
The more work/volume/sets you do, the greater the stimulation for sure. However, the more you do, the longer is the recovery period required to recover and produce the growth. Doing too much work and/or not allowing a long enough time to elapse between hitting the same body part results in ZERO progress. Your body is not getting a chance to produce the gains you want so bad.
Recovery is KEY.
So instead of doing split training and hitting multiple body parts per week (ie a 5 day split program), a 3 day a week plan would simply have you doing 2 sets to near-failure for each body part and train the whole body 3 times a week.
Remember, recovery is key. Work out hard, then rest. Rinse and repeat. Simple. Effective. Efficient.