Planning How to Sweat Every Day

Two weeks ago a wrote a well-received post called Four “S”s for Every Day.  If you haven’t read it, the four “S”s were simple: Stretch, Sweat, eat a Salad, and Smile every day.  Those are a very vague but realistic 4 goals for you to seek out, but it’s not as simple as, “Do these things every day and you will have the worlds most magical results.”  It’s a little more complex; you need some variety.

One of the issues that people tend to have is a desire to do only one type of exercise, day in and day out, for as long as they can.  While there are several exceptions to this, for the most part it has limits.  I’ll give you options for how you want to read this:

  • The politically correct answer is, “That’s not the most effective way to exercise, and you should include…”
  • The non-PC answer is “That shit is stupid.  Cut it out.  Now.”

Exercise is AWESOME. Doing the same thing day in and day out is NOT.  You run the risk of overuse injury both physically and mentally; if you’re repeating the same ol’ workout, you’re much more likely to burn out, become frustrated, and return to watching reruns of Friends, eating froyo, and thinking about Jennifer Anniston’s better days.

There are nearly infinite ways to set up a training split to allow someone to attain incredible goals.  Today I’d like to share a few options with you, progressing from ‘typical’ to a little bit more adventurous.  Here’s one I’m sure you’ve all seen before:

  • Sunday – Full Body Strength Training
  • Monday – Aerobic Exercise (30-60 min.)
  • Tuesday – Full Body Strength Training
  • Wednesday – Aerobic Exercise (30-60 min.)
  • Thursday – Full Body Strength Training
  • Friday – Aerobic Exercise (30-60 min.)
  • Saturday – Off/Walk

You’ve probably heard it before, either because it’s on the wall of your gym, your 55 year old neighbor told you it’s changing their life, or because your exercise-fanatic friend searched for the ACSM guidelines.  Following any split, including this one, is far better than sitting on the couch, but for most people, it’s not the most applicable.  Either they can’t or won’t commit to heading to the gym that often.  How about this one then:

  • Sunday – Walk the dog, bowling league, running the grill during football season.
  • Monday – Full Body Strength Training
  • Tuesday – HIIT Intervals, (~15 minutes)
  • Wednesday – Off/Walk
  • Thursday – Full Body Strength Training
  • Friday – HIIT Intervals, (~15 minutes)
  • Saturday – Off/Walk/Flag Football/ Take your kids to soccer practice.

That ‘split’ definitely cuts the time commitment in the gym down a good deal, which makes it more appropriate for those with busy schedules.  It’s focusing on modalities that are more effective, to offer the best bang for the buck.  However, what if someone has way more time, and they aren’t as concerned with the effectiveness of their workout.  Maybe they have a predisposition towards resistance training or conditioning:

  • Sunday – Off/Walk
  • Monday – Lower Body Strength Training
  • Tuesday – Upper Body Strength Training + HIIT
  • Wednesday – Off/Walk
  • Thursday – Lower Body Strength Training + Sprints
  • Friday – Upper Body Strength Training
  • Saturday – HIIT / Sprints

This person gets two off/recovery days each week, they get to hit lower and upper body lifts twice a week, and they have 3 different conditioning sessions to enable them to address energy systems work.  (If you’re wondering, this is currently the closest to what I’ll be using in the next few months.)  What if somebody doesn’t exactly love lifting, but knows they should include it.  Maybe they’re less motivated by the ‘intense’ workouts, and prefer longer duration workouts.  Maybe they try something like this:

  • Sunday – Yoga Class
  • Monday – Full Body Strength Training
  • Tuesday – Zumba Class
  • Wednesday – Long Jog
  • Thursday – Full Body Strength Training
  • Friday – Spin Class
  • Saturday – Hard Run

This person is including a greater quantity of longer duration, lower intensity activities, such as yoga, zumba, and jogging.  These are balanced out with higher intensity activities like strength training and Spinning.

Each and every exercise modality offers benefits when part of a well rounded program, but when a specific modality becomes the entire program itself, that can be where devotees run into programs every day.  It’s not the best idea to lift, or do yoga, or sprint, or anything in between, every day.  However, sweating is good.  How do we find the blend?  How about this simple checklist:

  • Strength Training, at least twice per week for each movement pattern or body part.
  • High Intensity Interval Training, at least twice per week.
  • Low Intensity Aerobic Exercise – 1-2 times per week
  • Dedicated Mobility Work / Yoga – 1-2 times per week

This is a checklist/chart that I find works well for most people.  It enables you to include more of what you love to do, and an appropriate amount of what you’re not the biggest fan of, but what’s good for you.  Using this option system, you can make yourself a plan where you’re lifting and doing HIIT 5 days a week, and minimize the accessory work, or you might lift and do HIIT twice per week, filling the other 5 days with yoga or aerobic work.  The choice is up to you, or me, or whoever is doing your programming for you.

When it comes to programming, the most scientifically designed program is useless if you’re not going to use it.  Frequently, it’s important to make some concessions in terms of efficiency to ensure that a program is effectively used.  It’s not about getting the best program in the world, it’s about getting the most out of the program that is best for you.

Putting personal preference aside, you should be starting your programing with strength training, followed by high intensity interval training.  Once those are addressed, begin to include lower intensity activities, as well as dedicated movement work such as yoga.
Questions or comments?  I’d love to see them below!

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3 thoughts on “Planning How to Sweat Every Day

  1. exercises can actually help a person loose weight. Aerobic exercises also improves blood circulation inside our body. There are also evidence that shows that aerobic exercises also uplifts the emotional status and mental state of a person.

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