Tuesday, July 12, 2022

SOMETHING I have briefly touched on in previous articles and something I feel I need to touch on every now and again as people frantically push themselves to get in shape for a summer holiday or other such occasions where they would like to look their best.

How hard should we train? How long? How often should we train? I hope to briefly address these answers below!

So to answer the first question, how hard should we train? Fitness nerds like myself might refer to this as our “training intensity”. This will all be relative to our training experience and our ability to recover. If we train hard we must also be able to recover hard; recovery methods to name a few might include adequate daily sleep, appropriate nutrition and at minimum, one to two rest days each week.

If recovery isn’t in a great place or we are in a calorie deficit which can limit our recovery – we can opt to reduce intensity by training with a slightly more reserved approach. This is where we train with one to three reps in reserve; as opposed to training till failure where we have completed reps until we can no longer complete one more. Reps in reserve means we essentially stop our set when we know we had one to three full reps left before we had to stop.

When looking to optimise our training intensity, our primary objective should always be progressive overload. Are we challenging ourselves a little more than our last session with the given exercise?

Have we managed to lift a little more weight each session or squeezed out an extra few reps that we didn’t know we had? Making sure we approach each session with the mindset of improving our performance when compared to our last session is a good mindset to have here.

To answer the following question; How often should we train?

It’s easy to get lost in all the numbers and opinions of the ‘gym bros’ who train arms eight days a week! So with our training volume we just need to focus on the following: aiming to hit each muscle group at least one to two times each week.

This could be programmed as several splits such as upper/lower, push/pull/legs or even three or four full body workouts.

Aiming to complete two to four sets of each exercise is usually sufficient for most to challenge their muscles to an adequate level of fatigue to promote hypertrophy which will help us build muscle and if done consistently alongside a suitable nutrition plan help us acquire that “toned look”.

Prescribing slightly higher rep ranges of 10/12/15 with lighter loads to help us learn movement patterns before we add intensity. Overall, when we prescribe training volume whether that be ourselves or a client – we want to make sure we’ve built a strong foundation to progress from.

The following factors below MUST be taken into consideration when adjusting each of these variables to one’s training plan. These to name a few, should include: Our age, training experience, previous injuries, training preference, goals and our lifestyle outside the gym.

I will finish with a quote I came across the other day that may help someone out there who is struggling to gather some momentum towards their goals.

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.” – Christine Caine

I hope someone out there found some of this information useful here, just some food for thought. For any questions in relation to this topic or training, nutrition, etc. or for coaching inquiries simply message me on my business page on instagram @coachedbycashel_ or by email – [email protected]

Comments are closed.

By Cashel Hayden
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

More Well!

More by this Journalist