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Beginners: Are You Working Out Too Much?

Beginners: Are You Working Out Too Much?

I was inspired to write this post when my friend Davida (from THM) said to me “I never thought people really loved working out, until I met you. You’ve sort of changed my whole perspective when it comes to fitness, because you actually ENJOY it. Also, you’re like, the coolest person ever. I’m so glad I know you.”

(I may have embellished the last bit, and was also a bit drunk by that point, so it may not be word for word).

One of the main reasons that I love working out, is because I do it on my own terms in a way that works best for ME. So it’s interesting to me the number of people who assume I workout every single day. Or if not every day, then at least 6 days a week.

It’s almost as though they think that the only way to have abs, get a lean physique, and be physically strong, is to be in the gym Monday through Sunday with no breaks.

In return, I often ask them the same question – “how often are you working out?” (You’d be amazed at how many of them have told me that they train 6 days a week).

When they tell me that, I think “Dauymmm. That is motivation right there!!” but then they continue to tell me that they’ve only been working out for the last couple of months and are starting to get bored. They don’t really like working out, and they haven’t been able to lose those few extra pounds, but they keep going 6 days a week anyway.

Now let me just preface this by saying: I don’t think working out 6 days a week is a bad thing (obviously dependant upon your goals/routines/physical fitness, etc).

I think working out 6 days a week, not seeing any progress and saying that you’re ‘bored’ is bad. I think that sounds real bad.

I am a big believer in doing things that you enjoy, and not doing the things that you don’t. That sounds really simple, but once you’ve made up your mind that something has to be done a certain way to achieve a certain goal (i.e. working out 6 days a week to get in shape), it’s hard to snap out of that mindset.

I’ve seen and heard many stories of beginners starting out on their fitness journey, going from 0 to 100. People who decide to run a half marathon go from sitting on the couch, to running 10 km, 5 days a week. If it doesn’t end in injury, it ends in boredom, discontent, and a huge lack of motivation.

Here’s the thing: If you want to get fit, strong, and be happy with your physique, you DO NOT need to be working out 6 days a week. Especially if you’re just starting out. My 12 Week HIIT Program has you training 4 days a week, which is the perfect amount for those just starting out.

Beginning a workout routine is the start of a new and FUN adventure, but not one where you jump straight into the deep end. A good example is someone becoming a vegetarian – they don’t suddenly cut meat and fish out of their diet the next day – it’s a slow de-integration, removing one food from their diet a time.

Going from a minimal workout regime to one that has you at the gym every single day will be a massive shock to your body – And I don’t just mean physically (although the muscle soreness, fatigue, and general feelings of pain might be a deterrent at first!). Another big change will be in your daily routine. Until you get into the mindset of making working out a priority, going to the gym will cut into a big chunk of your free time.

What do you think is more appealing – slowly working your way into a gym routine, or immediately eliminating 6-8 hours of personal downtime in a week?

The two messages that i’m trying to drive home here are this:

1. Start at a pace that suits your routine, your goals, and your schedule. Don’t think that because you’ve picked up a new interest in working out that is has to become your entire LIFE. It does not. Integrate working out on your own terms, otherwise you will soon find that you’ve lost control over something that is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT, in your own control.

2. You do NOT need to be at the gym every day to get the physique and the physical strength that you want. That also requires changes to your eating habits, alcohol intake, supplements, sleep, hydration, etc, etc ETC. As I mentioned earlier, The Sweat Series is a great place to start. My program has you working out 4 days a week, while hitting upper body, lower body, full body, and cardio/core.

….anddd das it!

What About You?!

  • How often do you workout?
  • Has your routine changed from when you first started, to now?

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