How often should you go to the gym per week

Only the break brings success

10.01.2011, 12:46 | lvb

When training for running, the right breaks are important (Image: Imago).

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Proper training is the be-all and end-all of fitness – and that absolutely includes taking breaks. Because muscles build up during the recovery phases. Sports scientist Professor Ingo Frobose of the German Sport University Cologne gives tips on how to avoid training mistakes.

More about fitness training

Do not exercise every day

Do you think your training is only worth it if you do it every day? Do not. "The break makes the success", explains Ingo Frobose. Sport puts a strain on the body, which needs time afterwards to regain its balance and prepare for the next load. As a rule of thumb: after endurance training such as jogging or cycling, you need 36 hours of rest before the next training session. After a strength training session you should allow yourself at least two days of rest – going to the gym two or three times a week is therefore sufficient. If you learn completely new movements, for example if you start golfing, you need even three days of rest until the next training session. You can only exercise every day if you do light sports – for example, if you walk or jog for an hour in the evening without getting out of breath.

It is better to walk slowly than to stand still

If you want to lose weight through running and other endurance sports, you should delay the break as long as possible during a training session. This means: If you have a side stitch, continue slowly instead of stopping. Frobose advises beginners to do interval training, such as jogging for 15 minutes, then walking slowly for five minutes, then jogging again for a quarter of an hour, and so on. These changes serve to prepare the body for longer distances. With time you should then manage to jog at least 45 minutes at a time. Interval training, on the other hand, in which you always take a break between shorter distances, makes sense if you want to become faster.

Shifting down a gear at the end

At the end of the workout, one should refrain from a final spurt. Because if you demand too much of yourself, you risk the success of your workout: overtaxing the body leads to the formation of uric acid, which can interfere with muscle development. Frobose’s tip: Instead of stressing yourself out, it’s better to come down and let the workout wind down slowly in the last two to three minutes.

Shortening instead of stopping

It is completely wrong to pause for weeks or months because you can no longer manage your previous training workload. So by no means stop training, but make less. And the best way to do this is to exercise just as often as before, but shorten the individual training sessions. For example, jogging for 30 instead of 60 minutes, but as usual three times a week. Because until you have found back to your old fitness form, it usually takes twice as long as the break lasted.

Endurance through training

Frobose advises women who want to train their muscles with equipment training: Do not leave yourself too long between the individual repetitions. It is better to do one set quickly and then take a break for one or two minutes before starting the next set.

Important notice: The information in no way replaces professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start treatments.

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