Five Things to Know If You’re Training Every Day
Signed up to a month-long training challenge? On a big fitness kick or training for a race or competition? Although training back to back without a day off isn’t always advisable, there is a way to make it work. Fit Squad DXB personal trainer Devinder Bains explains how to get it done…
1. Change up your muscle groups
There’s a long slog ahead so for the sake of staying motivated and injury-free, make sure to mix up your exercise. Sticking to one workout can mean over-training the same muscle group and also getting bored pretty quickly. So, If you’re doing long runs every day or maybe back to back spin classes because that’s what you enjoy, you’re not giving the muscles used (in this case the quads, hamstrings, glutes and other legs muscles) any time to recover. You’ll eventually fatigue them, making you susceptible to injury as you continue to train on tired muscles. It can also mean seeing little progression. Firstly, because tired muscles can’t perform at their best, and secondly, because your muscles will adapt to the repeated activity, to the point where it stops being as effective. So, alternate your running and spin with some resistance training, especially upper body weights sessions to give the legs a rest. If you’re doing predominantly upper body workouts then add in some legs sessions.
2. Make sure to stretch
Prepare for cardio and resistance training with a warm up and some dynamic stretches. These are movement stretches that mirror the exercise you’re about to do, they will activate the muscles and prepare the joints for movement. So if you’re about to do a legs-based CrossFit session, your warm up could be a slow five-minute jog followed by some bodyweight squats or some hip-opening leg swings. Save the static stretches for after your workout and perform them without bouncing but by holding still in each stretch for around 30-seconds. Although there is no solid evidence that stretching post workout can help you avoid muscle soreness, it’s great for relaxing and for increasing flexibility – both important factors when you’re training every day.
3. Alternate your Intensity
It’s important that you don’t go super hard 30 days in a row to avoid fatigue and soreness, so make sure to mix up the intensity of your workouts. If you’ve done two High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions, two days in a row, follow this up with some low intensity exercise like yoga, pilates or steady state cardio like a gentle swim or add in some resistance training sessions. After a HIIT session, your body needs to work hard to regenerate vital energy molecules within the muscles, it needs to bring down your body temperature, your heart and breathing rate as well as stress hormone levels. You also need to breathe harder to make up the oxygen deficit you’ve incurred during the exercise. This whole process can take hours after you’ve finished the session, so you can see why it’s not ideal to put your body through this every day. Mix up the type of HIIT you’re doing too – to avoid overworking the same muscles.
4. Stay Hydrated
If you’re upping your exercise, especially if you’re training outside, you need to up your water intake accordingly. Even if you feel ok during the session you could become dehydrated later in the day or the next morning. We should all be drinking around eight glasses of water a day, if you add outdoor exercise to this, you need to be adding another two to four glasses. Still feeling dehydrated? Add electrolytes (hydration salts) to your water during the day to give yourself a boost. Try something like nuun tablets which are free of gluten, dairy and soy, and are made from plant-based ingredients. Alternatively, move your exercise indoors.
5. Take active rest days to recover
This might sound like a strange thing to suggest when you’re supposed to be training every day, but rest days don’t mean you can’t be active. Even athletes take a rest or ‘recovery session’ at least once a week: this can be a slower run, a walk, yoga or a stretch session. If you’ve been mostly biking or running, add in some pilates, if you’re all about HIIT training or weight training then your recovery session could be a nice 30-minute walk on the beach one evening. You can still tick off your workout, but do it by giving the muscles (and your heart) a little breather.
Want more advice on how to train hard but stay injury free? Book a free consultation with one our Fit Squad DXB trainers today by calling or WhatsApping us on +971 55 542 7231 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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