How to find the ideal training regimen

The appropriate amount of time that you should spend at the gym depends on several factors, not just the amount of free time that you have throughout the day. You see, taking too long rests or trying to squeeze in an extra exercise or two may cause you to overtrain yourself, thus hurting your gains in the long run. Then again, rushing to finish exercises may cause you to skip sets, ignore breaks or rush while you’re doing your reps. These can also hurt your gains or even cause a real injury. All in all, in order to get yourself into a top physical shape, you need to have a proper training regimen, which also includes knowing how much time you should spend at the gym.

1.      How often do you train?

The first question is harder to give an answer to than it may seem at first. It’s a general rule that you should make about 48 hours of break between exercising the same muscle group. For instance, if you’re doing bench press on a Monday, it would be a good idea to skip chest exercises on Tuesday and return to them on Wednesday (at the earliest). If, on the other hand, you plan to squeeze in two training sessions on the same day (cardio and weights), it is mandatory that you have at least 8 hours of rest in-between.

2.      Your training regimen

The ideal regimen is to train between 3 and 5 days per week with one day of active rest (evening stroll, a bit of swimming, or slow-paced cycling) and one day of complete rest. Now, keep in mind that you have your regular daily regiment to fit this into. This means that you should, ideally, organize your training to fit. Some general rules are that weight training exercises should take somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes of active work. Now, add to this the fact that you have to commute to the gym, change clothes, perhaps even take a shower and there you have it.

3.      Home vs. gym workout

Let’s say you’ve decided to take a different route and work out at home. What you would need here is some basic equipment like a sturdy power rack, a barbell, and some weights to add to it. This way, you will be able to eliminate the commute in its entirety and won’t have to worry about spending too much time at the gym. Russian fitness instructor Pavel Tsatsouline claims that for proper strength training you should make 10- to 15-minute-long breaks. This way, you could use the fact that you work from home to your advantage. You go and do one set and then return to your work; then, in 10-15 minutes, you repeat the process.

4.      Every training is different

Even within the same program, you may have different daily programs. For instance, if a program suggests that you need to do exercises with 70%-80% of the total weight you can lift, you can’t just jump right into it. What if you haven’t exercised for a while now? What if you haven’t worked with weights at all? You need to start forming basic groups of muscles by working with minimal weights or even an empty barbell. The sets should be something like 3×10. These training sessions will have more repetitions but also shorter breaks.

After a couple of training sessions (2-3 weeks), you should test yourself on every exercise. You see, how can you know what 70% or 80% of your total lifting capacity is if you don’t know what 100% is? So, you need to work a test exercise with sets of 1 and push yourself to your limits. Needless to say, you need to have some assistance in case of a failure. These training sessions may seem as if they should be shorter (because these are the sets of 1) but the number of sets will be longer and the break between these sets will be longer, as well. Comparing the duration of this training to the duration of your regular training is a bit unrealistic.

5.      What about cardio or HIIT?

When talking about HIIT or cardio, it’s a lot easier to predict the duration of the training session. You see, anything below 8 minutes per kilometer is jogging, while anything below 6 minutes per kilometer is running. Seeing as how you’re not supposed to make breaks mid-session and how you can set up a pace on a treadmill in a gym, you’ll get an exact duration of the training straight off the bat. In order to burn fat, you should try 30 minutes of low-intensity running. However, running is not your only option. HIIT is even more effective for burning fats. Still, burpees are also not that hard to put into a predictable time-frame.

6.      Burning fat by lifting weights

One of the things that the majority of people get confused by, when it comes to the time needed to burn fat by lifting weights, are unaware of the nature of this fat burning. Moreover, weightlifting is an anaerobic exercise, which means that it draws energy mostly from your fat reserves. The biggest difference between weightlifting and cardio is the fact that cardio burns calories while you’re doing it. With weightlifting, the calories are getting burned for hours (some say up to 72 hours) after the session. It is during the recovery period that your body is getting reshaped, which is why this caloric consumption remains high.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, the time you spend at the gym depends on your own fitness intentions, daily routine, and workout conditions. The key thing is that you manage to customize the program to your own needs. Sure, ideally you would want to hit the peak of performance and maximize the effects but getting close to this goal is just as good. By understanding your own training regimen, you will be able to make this kind of decision quite effectively.

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Article Author Details

Allan Wickerson

Allan Wickerson is a passionate blog writer who is extremely keen on writing about health, lifestyle, home improvement, and technology. His exclusive hobby is surfing the net to find amazing articles that can inspire him with some fresh ideas for article writing. He loathes being a common person who wastes his time.