IS FREQUENT FITNESS MORE EFFECTIVE?
I saw a recent blog post from a company that specialises in logging workouts online for CrossFitters.
They have data from hundreds of thousands of workouts, and from this they often put out some interesting graphs and hypotheses.
They found that working out 5 days per week resulted in a 27% faster improvement in fitness versus 3 days per week.
Even 4 days per week was still 10% faster at improving fitness than 3.
So it seems pretty clear right? You just gots to train more days per week.......!
Of course not.
Not everyone has time to get to the gym daily. But not being able to do that, doesn't mean you just quit working out altogether! Whatever you can fit into your week is better than nothing.
Training is supposed to be a means to living an active, healthy, fun life.
Three times a week will be plenty to achieve that, as long as you make it the best sessions you possibly can. Arrive on time, warm up properly, ensure you get all your strength training done in the allotted window, and optimise the conditioning work so as to receive the correct stimulus.
Sure, if you can get into the gym a little more, then go for it. But make sure you can be just as productive - it could be another workout per week, but only if you can handle the increased volume.... otherwise, it could easily be a mobility class, a workshop or a private training session. If you want to compete in CrossFit, you don't necessarily need to jump straight into training twice per day, six times a week. How about starting with just coming in 30mins early and staying 30mins after class? You'd make fantastic strides with something as simple as that.
So do what you can, as often as you can, in the gym, within the scope of whatever else you have going on, your goals, and your current level of fitness. Outside of the gym, there is still plenty of scope for walking the dog, hiking, swimming, cycling, surfing, paddling etc.
If you're doing more things right, than you are doing wrong, you're on the road to awesome. Talk to a coach about your training, and figure out together what is the best approach for you as we head into a new year.