Disperse the Stress and Train Everyday
You brush your teeth daily I’ll bet.
You shower most days of the week too probably.
You probably even go to your J.O.B. 5+ days/week.
So why don’t you workout most, if not all, days of the week? Is it because you heard that you shouldn’t strength train back to back days? Is it because someone told you that you need to “rest” a certain amount of days per week?
Whatever the case, I’m going to boldly proclaim that you can train hard, nearly every. single. day. You and I both know that you’re going to take days off here and there because that’s just how life is, but if you can set your mind upon training daily, your frequency will rise from a measly 2-3 times per week, to likely 5+ days per week. Do you know what kind of impact this will have on your health, stress levels, body composition, and pure domination of life in general?
The answer: A tremendous impact.
I did a quick search on google scholar to affirm what I already knew was true. Here’s what I found in the first two studies I looked at when searching for “exercise frequency” and “resistance training frequency:”
In the study Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A systemic Review and Meta-Analysis, by Dr. Brad Schoenfeld and crew, they concluded:
“When comparing studies that investigated training muscle groups between 1 to 3 days per week on a volume-equated basis, the current body of evidence indicates that frequencies of training twice a week promote superior hypertrophic outcomes to once a week. It can therefore be inferred that the major muscle groups should be trained at least twice a week to maximize muscle growth; whether training a muscle group three times per week is superior to a twice-per-week protocol remains to be determined.”
If I were a betting man, I’d be betting 3 times is better than 2, and 4 is better than 3, and 5 is better than 4, and 6 is better than 5, so long as it’s intelligently done.
What’s my reasoning? Mo’ betta.
In another study, The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed, by Dr. Lynette Craft, they concluded:
“The mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effects of exercise remain in debate; however, the efficacy of exercise in decreasing symptoms of depression has been well established. Data regarding the positive mood effects of exercise involvement, independent of fitness gains, suggest that the focus should be on frequency of exercise rather than duration or intensity until the behavior has been well established. The addition of self-monitoring techniques may increase awareness of the proximal benefits of exercise involvement, which is generally reinforcing to the patient.”
Hopefully we can all just nod our heads in agreement that when it comes to exercise frequency, that mo’ is betta.
But then, all the nerds come out of the woodwork and begin asking questions about loading variations, intensity, exercise selections…. Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!?
Look, we all know that stuff matters, but what if it’s simpler than that. What if we could just make programs that people can do, well, almost every day of the week? What if we just, as I like to say, “disperse the stress” so we can get people training daily? I’ve found personally, that this works best for me, and I’ve found much more success in helping others change their body composition, their stress levels, and their overall consistency with a healthy lifestyle begins to soar.
So, here’s a basic game plan on how I like to “disperse the stress” for my clients, as well as myself:
Day 1: Strength emphasis (hinge, horizontal press, vertical pull, sagittal plane trunk)
Day 2: Conditioning emphasis (TGUs, KB Swings, jump rope)
Day 3: Strength emphasis (squat, horizontal row, vertical press, frontal plane trunk)
Day 4: Conditioning emphasis (TGUs, KB Snatches, Sprints)
Day 5: Strength emphasis (hinge, squat, horizontal press, horizontal row, vertical press, vertical row, and transverse plane trunk)*
Day 6: I like to challenge my people to be active, make their own program and not depend on mine. I think this is vital to empowering others towards self-reliance, and not just enabling them to rely on me.
Day 7: Same as day 6, but also suggested to be an active rest day and to simply “listen to their body.”
*Day 5 I’ll cram more into a session for my clients because I know there’s a high likelihood that they won’t train on the weekend, so I like to hit ’em with a bit more challenge on Friday.
So perhaps the lesson is to train more often, and not get caught up in the minutia of volume, intensity, conjugated or consummated, and let’s just get people moving often, including ourselves.