How Often Should I Train?
Training frequency and the question of how often I should train are hotly debated topics. I am going to surprise you with my answer. How do I know I will surprise you? Well, I don't think you've heard the answer I am going to give from anyone else because I've only seen it in one place.
The Experiment of One
My good friend and mentor, Carlos DeJesus, coined the phrase “The Experiment of One” and it really applies to every situation you find yourself in. It comes from a statement made by Franco Columbo, “Every man is a rule unto himself.” So many of us are looking towards other people to tell us how to train. We are the very same people who understand that we can pick a suit off the rack but will need it tailored to fit our body. Why are we willing to accept cookie cutter workouts but not cookie cutter clothing?
Carlos wrote this, and it sums up the Experiment of One in a nice way.
“Who are you physically? Where are you physically? What works for you? What do you respond to (at this point in your life?) How often should you exercise?”
That right there is the entire message of the Experiment of One. We have to answer those questions for ourselves because we are trying to work on ourselves. The answers for your best friend are likely not the same for you. This leads us to traning frequency.
Training Frequency – How Often?
The answer to this lies in the answers to the Experiment of One questions. Let's examine it and see how it fits for me. Again, you should be answering these questions for yourself. Mine are just an example for you to follow.
Who are you physically?
I am an intermediate bodybuilder. I have been lifting for 8 years, but consistently for 2 years.
Where are you physically?
Physically I am in growth mode. I am packing on muscle.
What works for you?
Mixing things up often is what works for me. Intensity works for me.
What do you respond to (at this point in your life)?
My body responds differently depending upon things going on at the time and I just have to listen to it for clues as to what I need to be doing.
How often should you exercise?
For me the answer is daily and sometimes 2 times in a day. At the same time I watch my recovery and see how my body feels. I train most body parts 2 times a week.
Getting the Right Answers
The right answers are going to depend upon you and your body. My body recovers quickly even though I am older. You may be different. When I was doing High Intensity Training I would train three days a week. At one point I wasn't recovering so I switched to two days a week and my results skyrocketed. What's right for you is going to change based on where you are in life. Focus on the right answers for you and the rest will come.
Have you had any experiences like I describe above? Share them with me in the comments below.