Is it Good to Workout Every Day?
by: Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Well, it depends. What do you classify as working out and how are your workouts structured?
To give you some more clarity on the question of workout frequency, let me break it down for you.
Walk Every Day!
First, you need to walk every single day. Our bodies were meant to move, not sit. The bare minimum amount of activity needs to be daily walking for at least 30-45 minutes. And it shouldn't be a lazy stroll. You should be walking at a moderate to fast pace so that you can slightly hear your breathing. Walking is so important to our health and our ability to lose weight. It's no wonder that Europeans are more slim than North Americans - they walk more than we do!
Full Body Strength Training Workouts
I'm not a big fan of bodybuilding workout routines that break up workouts into body parts, like doing chest and back. It's not functional and doesn't serve much purpose besides gaining size. If that's your goal then terrific. If not, then you need to be doing full body strength training workouts at least every other day. That means you should be working out 3-4 times a week.
Now, when I say working out, I don't mean going to the gym and sitting on machines and perfoming countless reps with low weights. Not at all. Nor do I mean doing 4 exercises of chest or back or any other muscle group.
What you need to be doing, especially if you want to lose weight and get in terrific shape, is increase the intensity of your workouts and train movements - not muscles. The easiest way to do that is use heavier weights and challenge yourself with only 6-10 reps using full body exercises like squats, lunge walks, deadlifts, pull-ups, turkish get-ups, and step-ups - just to name a few. The difference will be night and day.
The beauty of training using full body workouts is that you target all your muscles - not just 1 or 2. As a result, you strengthen your body as a whole and burn more calories in the process. Burn more calories? Yup! Because you involve more muscle mass, you inherently burn more calories because your body will require more oxygen to fuel the given movements.
And since you're not breaking up your workouts into "split routines" that target specific muscle groups you won't have to hit the gym 6 or 7 times a week. Instead, because full body workouts train all your muscles, your body will need 24-48 hours rest between workouts. Therefore, working out every day wouldn't make sense, and would actually be detrimental. Rest and recovery are key components to getting stronger and achieving your fitness goals. So those 2-3 days of rest are important especially if you're sweating up a storm and challenging your muscles each time you hit the gym.
What About Cardio?
I wouldn't too much about doing hours and hours of cardio. What you'll realize is that these full body workouts will actually give you an incredible cardio workout.
If anything, you should be interval training for your cardio workouts. You can do as little as 10 minutes after your workouts or dedicate 1 to 2 days a week to cranking 20-25 minutes of intense interval training. And, believe me, that's all you'll be able to do.
Try This Workout 3-4 Times Per Week
Repeat this workout for 3 sets. For each superset, take 30-60 seconds rest only once you've completed a set of each exercise (therefore no rest in between).
Squat Presses x 8 reps
Pull-ups x maximum reps
Step-ups x 8 reps (each leg)
Bench Press x reps
DB Swings x 8 reps
Stability Ball Roll-outs x 8 reps
Remember to give yourself at least 1 day rest in between each workout. Repeat this workout 3-4 times per week and experience the difference!
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