Sabertooth Fitness / Trainer At Your Door...I Make Housecalls...Enthusiastically Serving the West Side of Los Angeles...1 on 1, Couples, Small Group Instruction, and Boot Camps

How often should you train.....

I get this question a lot..."how often should I train?"

The short answer is OFTEN. You probably shouldn't plow into 10 sessions/week during your first week, but you are built (we are all built) for volume and frequency.

To paraphrase the philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, "Life is short, nasty, and brutish." While this is not a pleasant or uplifting thing to consider, Hobbes pretty much nailed what happens in nature every day. If you take a moment to think about it, everything that is alive is frantically trying to stay that way while competing for a finite pool of resources. If a creature is not at the top of the food chain, then it is probably spending a fair amount of time fleeing. If a creature is at the top, then it's doing a lot of chasing...oh, and defending its spot in its social group. Teeth, claws, hooves, spines, armor, horns, detachable tails, spurs, venom, poisons, electrical shocks, sonar pulses, active camouflage, passive camouflage, mimicry, vomiting out internal organs, squirting blood from the eyes, blinding speed in the water, air, and on land...even swords and spears for noses come into play in this daily battle to eat or be eaten. All that, and not a word yet about parasitism...still, I think you take my point.

This snake was taking a day off
It was that crucible of limited resources, fearsome weaponry, and intense competition that also gave rise to modern humans about 200,000 years ago. That's not long in terms of evolution, especially when one considers how long it takes us to reach reproductive age to try the luck of our progeny in the lottery of recombinant DNA and natural selection. We did pretty well considering that we are made of meat... squishy on the outside...and crunchy on the inside. The genes that you are carting around, courtesy of your parents, were passed way down the line from some really, really tough, adaptive, and probably pretty scary people. Our fore-bearers arrived in a world (the late Pleistocene) where the apex predators were saber-toothed cats, American lions, and dire wolves. What did your ancestors hunt? Giant freaking elephants....mammoths and mastodons. These people were not tougher than you because of their biology, they were tougher because of their environment and how hard they had to work to survive to pass their genes far enough forward in time to end up in you. Volume and intensity.

Creatures in the wild do not train on a schedule. Your ancestors did not chase prey or flee predators according to a schedule. In the wild, you run when there is an opportunity to catch food, or because you would prefer to not be digested by something swift and toothy. If that happens 6 days in a row or 3 times in one day, then so it goes. Nature built you, and everything else, to perform with high frequency and at high volume. Getting tuckered out or being slow is a death sentence. Since, your genes got this far, it's pretty safe to assume that you were not built to be slow or to tire easily.

This frog needed to catch its breath
This does not mean that you should do a ton of super heavy squats every day. But, super heavy squats aren't what you were built to do anyway. What you can do is a lot of light resistance and body weight movements. You can do 200 push ups every day. You can run everyday. You can do HIIT/SMIT every day. You can do Burpees every day. Any SABERtooth Fitness routine can be safely repeated on a daily basis once you build up to it.

If you ramp up your training volume/frequency to about 45 minutes of activity 4-5 times/week with 1-2 30-minute sessions of aerobic activity, you will reap the following benefits:
  • You will maintain a higher metabolic rate--burn more fat.
  • Your body will toughen up and be generally more resilient--get hurt less.
  • Improved endurance--go farther faster.
  • Shorter recovery times--more volume
  • Achieve your ideal body more quickly--look like what you are built to look athlete. 
I perform 7-10 SABERtooth sessions/week with 2 aerobic sessions. This has been my standard for over two over-training effects injuries...just steady improvement in stamina and strength. You may not have that sort of time on your hands, but if you can get to 5 sessions of supramaximal intensity and some light cardio, you will see faster and more pronounced results.

Sweat and discomfort are the currency of fitness....and you have an unlimited budget. You were built to perform...get out there and get it done!

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