How Often do You Really Need to Workout?
Does more equal better?
We’ve all seen it before, right?
Students are quickly drafted from graduation into a “cutting edge”, “growing” company”. The lucky ones get in with a “tech” company.
We’re told “It’s an entrepreneurial role” with “a ton of earnings potential”. Or, “a ton of growth opportunities” and “upward mobility”. The hiring manager may even tease the “six figure” word.
You accept, and complete your training. Before you know it, you’re working 10-12 hours a day in sales, with dreams of financial grandeur.
Too Much of a Good Thing: Work or Workout?
6 months in, it hits: “I hate my job” and “I’m incredibly burnt out.”
Sales can be a bit like fitness. More work doesn’t always equate to better results.
Executives often warn sales managers about “burning out” their team. Morale is a factor, as well as the physiological effects of being overworked.
Sales jobs often burn new hires out within a year. Think about that: still 40+ years left in their career, and in the first year, they want to quit.
Your new found love for fitness
In the same way we’re eager to become a successful, it’s tempting to workout every single day. This is particularly common in the early stages of our fitness journey - especially when we’re shredding LB’s at a noticeable clip.
But the results can wane if you simply proceed with brute force on your fitness journey, a.k.a. - working out every single day, as hard as you can.
Fat loss isn’t necessarily improved by “more” working out.
Muscle gain isn’t necessarily achieved by “more” working out.
So we went to the expert to unpack this a bit.
Kara Griffin is Feelin’ This
To dive deeper into the Why or why not, we brought in SELF Magazine’s recent feature. Fitness thought-leader, innovator, and all around badass wellness blogger, Kara Griffin.
We grilled her on exactly what a healthy workout schedule should look like:
Lucy at Vea: Does working out more have the potential to be counterproductive?
KG: Working out too much can absolutely be counterproductive.
Often, people put the pedal to the metal… Not only do they get burnt out easily, but it can lead to injury.
Focusing on proper form while exercising and recovery post-workout is the best way to simultaneously find results and rehab your muscles to endure more work.
KG: Taking your workout frequency to the extreme can result in adrenal fatigue, a condition where the adrenal glands don’t function at their normal level because of frequent, high (in this case physical) stress.
I myself suffered from adrenal fatigue about three years ago when I was training too much. And, it was only then, I appreciated the value of recovery.
Lucy at Vea: What is your recommendation for workout patterns?
KG: Because our wellness is so personal, and specific to us as individuals, I steer away from giving blanket advice on how many times per week to workout for a general goal and a general group of people.
If possible, consult a personal trainer about your specific goals and conditions and even better, work with a holistic nutritionist who can help you define your constitution and eat foods that benefit your body to its fullest potential.
Most importantly, your body has the answers since it’s all a cause-and-effect relationship.
For example, say you run three times a week, but you absolutely hate it and you have to force yourself to do this “torture” every couple of days. You may find that you’re not attaining the results that you want because your resistance and rejection of the workout is just as physical as it is mental.
Healthy Habits Lead to a Happy Life
KG: The key is you have to be willing to try a million things, be mindful of how you react to it - body and mind, and then use that information to move forward and only chase the positive.
Thank you so much Kara for the awesome, informative answers! The Vea Team encourages you and reminds you that health is a series of small, meaningful habits - not a single, intense workout or a super-healthy meal, or even a rigorous diet for that matter. - LC