Sunday, November 20, 2016
Gym Myth-Buster More Gym Time is Better
For newcomers to the gym one of the questions they often have is how long should I workout? The answer isn't the same for everyone. For some, 30 minutes 3 days a week might be a good place to start. For others, 10 minutes for 3 days may be all they can handle. Whether it’s 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour. Over time you will generally increase in either time per visit or frequency. Often what ends up happening is you will see and or feel some results in the first few weeks or months.
After the initial period of success there will often be a plateau or period of time where you stop seeing results. At this point something must change. Many people then increase their workout time, and or frequency, and the cycle of plateaus and doing more continue. This is fine, however, if by this cycle you become someone who is working out for 90 minutes a day 6 or 7 days a week, not seeing results, and feeling defeated because your lifestyle simply doesn't allow you to dedicate any more time to the gym. You need to know it is not that you aren’t working out hard enough or long enough.
What may be happening is you may not be giving your body enough rest. This can be especially true if you are strength training. Strength training causes micro-damage to the muscle tissue. This damage needs to be healed so the body can prepare for future workouts. If you do not give your body enough time to recover your muscles can actually decrease in size and strength, and all of your work can actually be counterproductive.2
You also may not be eating enough calories. I know, some people think I’m crazy when I say this, but everything we do daily requires energy, and that energy comes from the food that we eat. When you undereat your body is lacking the energy to function properly. This means you’ll experience things such as strength loss, muscle loss, and fat gain.1
So what should you do? Start by listening to your body. If your body aches, or you feel fatigued on a daily basis these could be signs of overtraining. Next, reconsider your nutritional game plan. As you workout more you will need to eat more. You might like to start with a simple calorie counter app on your phone or device to help point you in the right direction. This will help you make sure you’re hitting your daily calorie requirement.
With adequate rest, activity, and nutrition, you can achieve great results, and you do not have to dedicate your life to the gym to achieve those results.
1Haley, A. (2015, November 9). 5 Things That Happen When You Work Out For Too Long. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.stack.com/
2Mokros, M. (n.d.). ShapeFit.com. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from http://www.shapefit.com/
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spacious_Gym_Floor.JPG