Okay, real talk. How many days do you work out each week? According to a recent survey taken by The List19.37% of people exercise five times or more every week; 22.51% of people exercise three days each week; 20% of them work out two days per week; 11.17% get in a sweat session one time each week, and 15% of individuals don’t bother exercising at all. For those diehard workout enthusiasts within the 19.37% “five times or more every week” category, do you ever wonder what happens to your body when you work out seven days a week? is it too much of a workout?
We chatted with Dr Mike Bohl, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and a certified personal trainer, and what he has to say may surprise you. Keep reading to learn more.
Dr. Bohl tells us, “Working out seven days a week isn’t necessarily a bad thing—in fact, it can be a great way to stay active and healthy. The important thing to avoid, though, is overtraining and working out the same muscle groups too close together.” He adds, “The general rule of thumb is that you should wait at least 48 hours before training the same muscle groups. This gives the muscles time to recover and repair themselves.” So, continue doing whatever it is you’re doing—just be sure you are doing it right!
Improved endurance is a beneficial side effect if you work out seven days a week. An example of improving your endurance is jogging at a moderate pace for a certain amount of time each day. It will begin to get easier, enabling you to run faster and/or for a longer distance. Note, though, that if you are hurting after one day of cardio, it makes sense to take a day off.
Dr. Bohl points out, “One of the great things about working out every day is that it gives you lots of opportunities to add variety to your workout routine. Working out isn’t just about lifting weights or running—there are lots of other types of physical activity, like flexibility training, balance training, plyometrics, and speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ) training, to name a few.”
The bottom line? If you enjoy working out often, you can set up your week to focus on something fresh every day. “If you prefer to stick to one type of working out, like lifting weights, one tip is to do split training,” Dr. Bohl suggests, adding, “Split training is when you work out different muscle groups on different days, rather than working out every muscle group every day.For example, with split training, one day may be dedicated to the chest and shoulders, one day may be dedicated to the back and biceps, and one day may be dedicated to the legs and core. training allows you to lift weights every day while still giving each muscle group adequate time to recover.”
Now you knew this was coming, but you have to learn the good along with the bad. Overtraining is the biggest negative effect of working out every single day. By working out too intensely and too often, you’re not allowing your muscles proper time to recover and heal. This can result in fatigue, muscle injury, and ultimately decreased performance. One of the caveats to working out seven days each week? It’s possible to completely tire yourself and burn out.
Regardless of how many days you choose to work out each week, Dr. Bohl stresses the importance of a good warm-up period, a time when it’s crucial to get your heart rate up and prep your muscles. Dr. Bohl recommends, “To get your heart rate up, do five to 10 minutes of cardio. And to prepare your muscles, do dynamic stretches. Unlike static stretching, which involves holding stretches for a period of time, dynamic stretching involves movement and prepare the muscles for activation.” Another great addition to your warm-up regimen is adding foam rolling exercises.
The time after you complete your workout is known as the cool-down period. This, too, is something you should factor into your exercise time—no matter how many days each week you decide to get your sweat on. This is a time to lower your heart rate and help your muscles return to their typical resting states. Dr. Bohl points out, “If you’re doing cardio, like running, gradually decrease the speed until you’ve returned to a comfortable state (like walking). Ending a workout with static stretching and foam rolling exercises is also recommended to decrease soreness and enhance recovery.”
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more