How Many Times a Week Should You Train?

It’s easy for me to sometimes forget that not everyone works at a gym and can’t necessarily make it in to train Monday through Friday. Life happens, and sometimes the easiest thing to give up for the day is training. It’s the reality for many with busy lives, busy jobs, and busy kids.

If you’ve been training with us for some time, you know that nearly all of our cycles have five training sessions per week.

If the emphasis of the training program is, for example, a work capacity cycle, that will normally mean we have a multiple effort, short duration - high intensity conditioning day paired with a trunk strength circuit on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.

The Tuesday and Thursday training will be a strength training day, focused on the current progression from your assessment numbers.

Since the cycle emphasis work capacity, that is our main focus. The secondary focus is on strength maintenance - we’ll see strength increases from the start of the cycle to the end, but it’s not the main priority. This of course rotates during a strength focused cycle, but all of our programs have a strength component to them.

Why? Because strength is the foundation for everything that we do in the gym. Not only does it make us stronger, but it allows our musculature to become more resilient and perform longer when required.

So, let’s say you can only make it in a few days a week. Below is a list of how to most effectively use our training schedule (or, if you are following our online programming, how to schedule your own week).

We’ll use the week’s training from a past cycle as an example:

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Training 4x/Week: Pick two Work Capacity Days, and the two Strength training days. This allows for a nicely balanced cycle if you’re able to stay consistent - you may not see as much progression on your Work Capacity assessment, but you will still certainly see improvements. Your strength work will stay nice and consistent here as you follow along on the progressions.

Training 3x/Week: Pick two Work Capacity days, and one Strength training day. With this combination, we’re still meeting the intent of emphasizing the Work Capacity efforts while maintaining strength. Be careful to not skip progressions on the strength work. The coach’s keep track of where you are in the progression, but make sure you’re not skipping ahead. We don’t want you going from a 75% of your 3-rep max to 90% - follow the progression and always ask us if you don’t remember.

Training 2x/week: Pick one Work Capacity and one Strength training day. This isn’t ideal, but you’re still working along the progression ladder. If you’re new to training, you will still see improvements. If you’ve been training for years, you probably will stay at the same level from which you started. It’s better than nothing.

Training 1x/week: Pick one Work Capacity session and get after it. At this point, you are working out, not training. Training means we have a purpose and method to get you where you want to be. Working out means you’re just exercising and sweating. Again, it’s better than nothing, but you likely won’t see much improvement unless you’re very new to the world of fitness/exercising.

Not all of our cycles have the same construct, but most will. This should give you a decent idea of how to pick your days. We don’t program training for Saturdays, and our Coached Open Gym weekend hours are for athletes to catch up on a day.

We’ve allowed athletes in the gym to catch up on a day. So we might have one athlete doing Tuesday’s training session, while everyone else is doing Wednesday’s. It’s not ideal, but we believe strongly in the structure of the programming - it’s built with a purpose and we want to enable you to follow it as best as possible.

Everyone has different circumstances and demands on their time - make the commitment to coming in on certain days, and we will get you where you want to be!

Questions, comments? Email coach@lodathlete.com