Does training daily mean you are “over training” – and thus making your workouts counter-productive to what they should be? This is an oft-asked question, and an even more misunderstood topic, so I’ll provide my views on this today.
There’s two ways to answer this one – a long way – and a short way. In short, the answer is NO. And as for the long version of it. . .
First of all, training daily is not a bad thing and in itself certainly doesn’t equate to overtraining. You don’t HAVE to exercise every day, but on the other hand, you don’t want to go days without getting a single workout in either. I personally believe that doing something daily is of immense use and way better than not getting in any sort of physical activity at all (and no, typing on the keyboard doesn’t count!) – even five minutes of exercise is better than none at all as far as I’m concerned.
Second, it’s important to note that this overtraining concept has been blown way out of proportion. YES – it IS possible to over-train, but the majority of people out there don’t even come close to it – more like “under-training”. And most folks that perform physical activity as part of their daily job do so for eight hours or more daily. Athletes, laborers, those in the Army, etc etc . . .when was the last time you heard an Army recruit complain of being over trained with daily running/callisthenic sessions?
Now, it’s important to note that erring on the side of caution is good – but only if one does so in a sensible manner. Doing 50 pushups daily is NOT overtraining. On the other hand, if your doing marathon three to four running sessions at the gym daily, well, then you might need to ease back a little – and your body will likely be telling you that too.
Third, it’s not that easy to over train with natural movements a.k.a bodyweight exercises such as the ones I teach. These are all natural movements – remember – it’s NOT weight training, and provided you don’t work yourself to silly extremes, your far better off doing them daily than doing them only once in a while or not at all. Take walking for instance – a much overlooked, yet beneficial exercises. Human beings used to walk for miles daily before we invented transport. They were, on average, FAR fitter than most folks today are – did they “over train”? Does an ape (that is far stronger than a human could ever hope to be) in the wild complain about having to pull his weight up a tree daily? Sure, I’m not saying we have to become a Neanderthal, or an ape – but the point stands regardless.
This doesn’t mean it’s IMPOSSIBLE to over-train with bodyweight exercises . Many new trainees jump enthusiastically into their programs, attempt to do too much too often, and often end up right back where they started or worse. That’s not what I recommend. Moderation is key – but abstinence probably isn’t in this case. Note the difference.
Personally, I train daily - but I don’t go all out in each session. I also don’t make each workout ultra long and super tough; I’ll usually work on a few exercises hard for the day, and then call it quits. I also try changing things up every so often; I either add in new exercises, or change the order up on my existing exercises – it all depends.
As for when I take off, I let my body talk to me. These are days when I’m just too tired to train – can’t explain HOW my body lets me know that I’m on the other side of that very fine line, but let me know it does, and I usually heed it’s advice. And for those of you that train regularly, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
I also know that I feel way better and have a LOT more energy throughout the day when I train, as opposed to if I don’t – even if I’m feeling a bit exhausted BEFORE I start, and not really in the mood to train. In fact, some of my BEST training sessions have taken place when I was not in the mood to train in the first place – try that one on for size!
Anyway, that’s the long answer to the question. There’s a couple of other valuable tips thrown in there as well; see if you can find ‘em!
PS: You'll never worry about over-training once you get started on some of the routines I teach you in Fast and Furious Fitness. . .