Shape Magazine tells you to tone your abs in 10 minutes a day. News headlines read “Workout Only 30 Minutes 3 Days Per Week.” Your trainer says it’s gotta be five. Your best results were from six once upon a time long ago. Someone else tells you four.
How about this: WHATEVER YOU WILL DO.
I’ve had clients who gain strength with an average practice of once weekly. I’ve built pretty darn good pull-ups with only 9 minutes of exercise 3 days per week. I know coaches who will only have a client attempt a personal record lift every 3-6 months.
I like Cal Dietz’ recommendation: waking heart rate dictates exercise intensity and frequency. That is, 29-39 beats per minute, you can go hard twice a day every day. 39-49, intense six days per week. 49-59, moderate to high five days. And so on.
I’d argue you’re better off to plan it based on heart rate variability than rate.
Either way, it’s all wrong and moot points versus the pragmatic question, “what will you do?”
Start there. Actualize. Then we can get into theoretical best practices.
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