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Coach D here again!

The number one question I am asked when approached by a new client is how many times a week do I need to train? Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits all answer. Honestly, it depends. It is hard to give an exact answer because several factors play a role: How intense is each workout? Are you warming up correctly? Are you following a nutrition plan? The thing we need to watch out for is over-training. While over-training can occur in a variety of different ways, it typically results from a combination of hormonal, neuroendocrine, and nutritional imbalances, secondary to heavy training & poor recovery.

The Signs of Over-training

Although it can produce positive outcomes, intense training completed too frequently without sufficient rest, can compromise a client’s muscular, endocrine, and immune systems, as well as psychological state. Signs and symptoms of over-training can be:

1. Underperformance
2. Extreme muscle soreness or stiffness during and in-between training sessions
3. Unintentional weight loss
4. Chronic fatigue
5. Swollen lymph nodes
6. Depression and/or anxiety
7. Sleep disturbances

When a client’s Over-trained

If over-training is suspected, a few simple changes can help promote recovery while minimizing stress. To assist in the recovery from over-training, we may suggest dietary modifications, as well as support the need for rest and off days during training.

1.  Dietary Modifications: Consuming a clean, well-balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3s, and antioxidants can help support recovery. We encourage our clients to add more fruits, vegetables, & some whole grains, to help manage inflammation

2. Rest: Five weeks of rest, which should include off and light training days, supports sustainable recovery. I don’t mean take 5 weeks off but drop the intensity, decrease the load your lifting or increasing rest times in between sets is something to note. Although clients will recover at their own rate depending on the severity at which they’ve over trained, steady and constant recovery should not be rushed.
I understand that we all have goals, and we are often willing to do most anything to reach those goals, but when we do not listen to our bodies that is when we can do real damage, Training 6 or 7 days in a row, has been shown to do more harm than good especially if it goes on for several weeks at a time.

I train for size and strength ( yes I know isn’t it too hard on your body to pound heavy weights for years?) Yes, but I do perform self Myofacial release exercises with Foam rollers, lacrosse balls and Thera massage guns. But you will start to break down muscle, and with no recovery days, you will never give your body a chance to build and repair. Maintaining a proper exercise schedule along with a good diet, will keep you on a path to your goals.

My suggestion for different types of goals and body types.

Ectomorph: Trying to gain size: 3-4 days per week max training and it should be 1-2 days on with 1 day off then repeating
Mesomorph: Trying to lose weight and tone: 4-5x week is sufficient and due to the fact that your not lifting with such high weight as a weight gainer you can do 2-4 days straight then add a rest day.
Endomorph: Trying to lose 20+ lbs & Improve Body Composition: I would suggest you move your body at min 5-6x week. The best combo is to do 3x week on then take one day off and repeat.

Remember we tell our kids that they need min 30-45min of exercise daily…what about us?

Contact us today by clicking HERE if you’d like to learn more about achieving your fitness and nutrition goals or if you feel you need any help setting up an In-Home Workout program or online assistance.

Dimitri Giankoulas

About Dimitri Giankoulas

Fascinated since an early age by the potential of the human body, I have devoted my career and much of my private life to pushing beyond my own limits – and to lead others to personal health achievements greater than they thought possible. My level of commitment to each and every client is unparalleled in the industry. I try to bring energy, optimism, and pure motivational power to every one of his workout sessions. I have been in the fitness industry since 1997, working as a personal trainer, nutrition consultant, and ultimately Personal Training Director at various well-known gyms across the GTA. Combined I have over 11,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience.