Home Fitness guide How to structure your training program, from a trainer

How to structure your training program, from a trainer

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LWe’re letting the “no rest days” mentality be a thing of the past, okay? This fitness trend isn’t just over; it is also quite harmful. “Taking days off to allow full muscle recovery is just as important as the workout itself,” says trainer Ella Magers. “People bragging, ‘No days off!’ may sound hardcore, but in reality, [they’re epousing] a recipe for injury, a weakened immune system and less effective workouts.” Overtraining, she says, is counterproductive.

Fortunately, many trainers recommend an alternative: the 5:2 rule. That means five days on, two days off. Here’s why taking two full days of rest and recovery improves your overall fitness. “Our muscles need time to rebuild from the micro tears that occur during workouts, so this is actually the recovery period when lean muscle mass is created,” says Magers. . “Many trainers say that two rest and recovery days a week will help you maximize your results, both short and long term.”

Onyx personal trainer Cameron Countryman adds that taking days off makes it easier to maintain a regular workout schedule. “The most important meaning behind the 5:2 rule is that we get up and add movement to our daily routines,” he says. “Many fitness and health professionals recommend the 5:2 rule because it allows us to reach the goal of 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week; five days of about 30 minutes of exercise.

He notes that you can change the intensity and type of workout, depending on your experience and comfort level. “For example, those participating in exercises with intermediate to advanced experience should focus on two to three days of strength training, two to three days of cardio, and two days of rest or active recovery,” he says. .

But if you’re a beginner, he explains, your schedule doesn’t have to include hour-long HIIT classes or extremely difficult strength training. In fact, you can cut back on strength and cardio training a bit. “For example, cardio might be a 20-minute walk one day, while a strength day might be 20 minutes of bodyweight exercise or 10 minutes of core work,” he says. Focus on the right intensity for your level and adjust accordingly, says Countryman. The key? Get moving and remember to rest, rest, rest.

Make the most of your rest days by incorporating this meditative yoga session into the mix.

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