There is no need for long training sessions in the gym, as long as you set your priorities right. As I have written in the earlier post “No Need for Hours in the Gym“, it can be quite counter-productive when spending hours in the gym. Most of our lives are fully of stress already, so adding to that with a new stressor of long training sessions is not going to help you much.
Exercise versus recovery
It is good to re-emphasize that your exercise is putting a load on your body and the time after the session is necessary to let your body adapt to the load you have put on it. So the real gains are being made with your recovery. So when you put yourself through a routine that is very hard, but you have not enough time or rest to recover from it, it will turn in a downward spiral without you improving anything. That is also why it is important to Enjoy and Relax.
No long training sessions? But what then?
As mentioned, it can be counter-productive to go for long sessions when you have quite the stress in your life already. But what should you do then? First of all, it is important to see what other responsibilities you have in certain periods. It is not handy to schedule intensive sessions in a week that you have a busy schedule at work or home. Also make sure not to schedule a session for every day, best is to keep it to 2-3 sessions per week. Sessions of 20 to 30 minutes can actually be enough for you to get results. Especially if you get a program that also is based on auto-regulation.
What is auto-regulation and what makes it a good fit in a busy schedule? The term refers to a session where there is a certain exercise prescribed with a certain amount of repetitions and a duration of the session. It means that you do a set of the repetitions at the start of the exercise and the next set when you are feeling ready for it. At the end of the session you have managed to do a certain number of sets, the next time you will try to do this a little bit better. This way, you do what you can do without overreaching it. It proves to be an excellent way to have your body indicate what it can do, while on the other hand you are challenging it. So, you will get a load that does not push you over the edge and you can recover relatively easily. With the right exercises and equipment (Advantages of Kettlebells) you can also do this at home, without the need of a gym.
What could you do next?
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