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How Often To Train, Setting Small Goals For Big Changes

Sports physiology has taught me that our beautiful human machine is not build for instant quick fixes and miracle cures, it doesn't respond well to overtraining, but rather our muscles, bones, arteries, heart and lungs are best suited and amazingly able to adapt in the most incredible ways over time through consistent effort and well timed rest. Each of us is unique and will have to find our own way to train, but if you're a bit lost and looking for a structured approach that will bring you results, then scroll down to my basic guideline for weekly training that will keep you feeling great this winter.

How often per week should I train?

The science has been proven that if you want to experience any significant change in either cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, speed, power and agility then a consistent plan is necessary. You might feel a bit lost as to how often you should train, so here are a few standard guidelines for training based on sports and exercise physiology to help you set goals for your weekly training. The answer to 'how often' depends heavily on your current training status, basically, how fit you already are. If you're starting from a beginner or inconsistent level then it's not a good idea to try to train like your favourite athlete and do a million workouts in one week. Why? Because athletes and your super fit friends have already adapted to a lot more intensity. Athletes have more capillaries (yes capillaries grow as you workout more) supplying blood to their muscles, they have better cardiovascular adaptations and muscular adaptations that they have built over time allowing them to train more frequently and for longer. Soon, if you train well, you will adapt like them too!

A good rule of thumb is to train a minimum of 3 x per week, but ideally aim for 5 moderate intensity workouts of at least 30-45mins. Workout on alternating days or train different systems on alternating days to allow for rest. By "training", I mean a combination of strength and conditioning (including Pilates or Yoga or weight training in a gym) and cardiovascular training such as HIIT workouts, dancing, walking, jogging, skateboarding, rollerblading and anything else that may bring you joy. Ideally, we should also all be walking out 10k steps a day, when life permits.

New research has shown that HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts are incredibly effective in improving cardiovascular endurance in less trained individuals and non-elite athletes, so if you're on the fence about Pilates HIIT workouts, or Barre sculpt, then don't be, it's incredible for your health!

Your Basic Winter Warmer Guideline For Weekly Training

​Type of training

Number of workouts per week

aim for 3 - 5 in total and 1 recovery

Find it on the Video Catalogue

​Strength & Conditioning with weights or bodyweight.

2-4 workouts per week

Cardiovascular fitness & HIIT

1-3 workouts per week


1-2 per week on rest days

How long should I try to commit to this for?

With any adaptations in the body, it will take a minimum of 6-8 weeks of consistent effort (not too much not too little, with good nutrition, sleep and recovery) to notice measurable changes in your body. Often the initial changes we perceive are actually neurological changes and not strength gains. Consistency is key, but as we are not linear beings and especially us women, more cyclical, if more rest is needed, take it, just don't fall off of the gain train cuz we all know how hard it is to get back on.


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