You may be wondering…My training sessions are only 3-4 days a week, so what should I be doing the rest of the week?
Well here’s a guide to lead you right through your off days so you can get the QUICKEST results without over-training or injuring yourself!
A) Your true fitness level. Starting off 3-4 times a week is a GREAT starting point if you’re new to fitness. Trying to start working out 6 days a week when you haven’t worked out in a couple years set you up for injury, over-training, and burnout..
B) Your time. Trying to take on too much too soon simply sets you up for failure. Going from 0 to 60 overnight is overwhelming and becomes a challenge to stick to. Baby steps are ok!! You want to find something you will stick to in the long run and sometimes that means starting off slower and adding more in as you get used to exercising.
So below I will guide you through what you should be doing on your off days to get the most out of the program. This is based on your fitness level and where you are. Overtime, you’ll want to graduate to the next level to keep challenging your body so you can get the results you desire.
So here we go!
LEVEL 1: The Beginner (Month 1)
You haven’t been working out or it’s been very sporadic. You’re very out of shape.
If this is you, then you’re goal for the first month is to simply focus on getting more steps in your day each and every day. You can easily track this by using a pedometer or FitBit type tracker. Your ultimate goal would be around 8000-10,000 steps each day, but start slowly and work up to that over a few weeks!
You really can’t overdo walking. Walking is great for the body, but just like any type of activity it’s best to ease into it so you’re not over-training and overdoing it. Your body needs time to adjust!
If you don’t have one, no worries, make an effort to get up and move around often throughout the day. Find ways to get more steps in by going for short walks, taking desk breaks throughout your workday, or simply finding things that require walking like parking in the back of the parking lot.
You’ll be amazed at how these steps can really add up! You’ll burn more calories throughout the day and your body will feel more energized from the regular movement. Additionally, sitting for long periods of time has been shown to increase mortality risk! So get up and move around often!
Level 2: I’m Gettin’ There! (Month 2)
Keep working on getting lots of steps in daily and being active throughout your day. Start adding in some cardio on your off days about two times each week for 20-30 minutes each time.
Now cardio can be ANYTHING that gets your heart rate up. So running, biking, using an elliptical or other machine, paddleboarding, kayaking, kickboxing, jump roping, playing a fun game with the kids, or doing a bazillion burpees are all considered cardio. Think outside the box and have fun with it!
My suggestion…find something you ENJOY and love to do rather than something you feel like you have to do.
And 20-30 minutes is plenty. If you’re going over then you’re likely just pacing yourself so PICK UP THE PACE and just get it done! It’s not doing you any good to drag it out. Now if you’re doing something fun and you WANT to do it longer than go for it, but don’t feel like you have to go hop on the treadmill for an hour to get results, because you don’t.
Overdoing cardio can actually have the opposite effect you desire…it leaves you feeling hungry, burns muscle so your metabolism slows down, and can leave you feeling tired and drained.
Level 3: Rockstar! (Month 3 and beyond)
You’ve been working out consistently for at least 2 months. That means cardio and strength training 3-5 days per week regularly. You feel stronger and you’re noticeably moving toward your goals! You’re ready for a new challenge.
Keep working on those steps and daily activity. Keep showing up to class consistently, but instead of cardio you are going to replace one or both days of cardio with interval training each week (however keep doing those fun activities…never give those up)!
Interval training is awesome because it boosts your metabolism after your workout so you BURN more calories! It’s also boosts fat burning hormones and doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day. It’s intense so it’s not meant for beginners, thus the reason I’ve waited so long to bring it up.
And interval training is short and sweet. If you’re doing it right your workout will be about 20-25 minutes…and trust me…that’s all you’ll want to do!
Interval training is like sprint training. So essentially you are going to give it absolutely ALL you’ve got for a short interval then follow it with a recovery interval. Now be sure to start with a proper warm-up for 5-8 minutes at a moderate pace, then try one of these workouts:
1) Track Sprints: Sprint the straight-aways and walk the turns. Repeat 8-10 times for a total of 4-5 laps.
2) Tabata Jump Rope: Using a tabata interval timer, jump for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest. Try different types of jumping moves and complete 2-3 total tabatas. You could also do this with Burpees…HEHEHE!
3) :30/1:00: Using your favorite form of cardio (running, biking, elliptical…), “sprint” for 30 seconds giving it all you got. Follow with a 1:00 recovery period where you go at a slow pace (think walking pace). Repeat 8-12 times.
So that is your guide for working out on “The Other Days”.
4) Oh And One More Thing!
Additionally, doing stretching, yoga, and foam rolling a few times a week, even if for just 5-10 minutes a day will be hugely beneficial!
And, since we have foam rollers at the studio you are welcome to arrive early and use one anytime! It’s a great way to get warmed up and reduce stiffness before your workout. Get my foam rolling guide here.
Keep working hard! The effort will be worth it 😉 You’re not just changing your body, but changing your life!