The downside I guess to occasionally sending out a cool
free workout is that it may be taken the wrong way.
The complex workout I sent out the other day had that
Diane wrote, “LOVED THIS WORKOUT!! ESPECIALLY AFTER
FINISHING UP THE KB EXTREME PROGRAM. COULD I DO THIS
WORKOUT 4-5 DAYS A WEEK FOR A COUPLE WEEKS?. IT WAS
REALLY HARD AND IT FELT GREAT.. MAYBE 3-4 TIMES WKLY
LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS..”
I think Diane brings up a really great point –
Namely, what kind of workouts should you do every day?
Dan Gable, Olympic Gold Medalist Wrestler, and Wrestling
Coach Extraordinaire, once said, “If it’s important, do
it every day.”
There’s definitely some wisdom to that.
But let me ask you this – is doing really hard workouts
every day really THAT important?
Should it be?
And what toll would those hard workouts ever day take on
your body? And would they help you in the long run?
Unfortunately, some of us equate “hard” with “results.”
The harder the workout, the better and faster the results
Yes and no.
While it’s true that the body must experience some form
of “overload” to see progress, you can also balance that
idea with the concept of “synaptic facilitation” – or
“Grease the Groove” – skill practice for measurable results.
The two seem diametrically opposed to each other but they
are not. Both approaches yield measurable results.
For example, my book “Kettlebell Muscle” relies heavily on
hard workouts that rely on overload. Their “intensity” is
matched by their brevity.
From the feedback I’ve gotten, the average trainee gains
approximately 1 pound [of muscle] per week, over the 12
Pretty good results for working out less than an hour per
week. (The first workout is 7 minutes long.)
On the other hand, you have Pavel’s “Naked Warrior” or his
and Dan John’s “Even Easier Strength” programs which are
based on “Grease the Groove” workouts – practicing your
strength as a skill.
And people get amazing results from both – busting thru
strength plateaus when traditional programs have failed.
Obviously then, both approaches work.
So what did I tell Diane?
I told her that “doing a workout that hard every day would
be a BIG MISTAKE.
Loads need to be cycled for best results. Just remember,
just because something is hard doesn’t mean that making
everything hard all the time will be profitable. Wavy loads
– light-medium-heavy are best.”
The time tested principle of “wavy loads” is best for most
people both physically and psychologically.
There’s enough “overload” to disrupt homeostasis and the
loads are light enough to feel like you’re “greasing the
Plus the light and medium days provide a nice psychological
relief to balance the stresses of daily life.
Finally, there’s an inverse proportion between frequency of
training and the effort of your training. The harder the
effort, the lower the frequency and vice versa.
I recently heard a retired powerlifter say that most people
don’t see the results they want because they “only” train
3 days a week.
Unfortunately, plenty of his results, like mine, are injuries.
However, plenty of champs have used a three day a week
system, including the legendary 3 time Olympian, Tommy Kono,
one of the greatest weightlifters of all time.
Bottom line here is this – you can train every day IF
1. Have the time to do so without neglecting the other
priorities in your life (we’re not in college any more)
2. Doing so doesn’t stress you out, overwhelm you, or turn
into some form of negative psychological stressor
3. You are honest with yourself and can actually recover
from (or partially recover from) your previous workouts
But just remember, RECOVERY is the key word in training
every day. You have to be able to get enough in to not
completely overwhelm your body.
Most of us with the hustle and bustle of daily life just can’t
So, we’re “left” with 3 days a week – which has worked
stupendously well for thousands, if not millions of strength
training enthusiasts over the last 100+ years.
So you’re in good company.
Finally (really, I mean it this time), most of us will do
better and see faster results by keeping our workouts
shorter rather than longer.
It’s the best way to balance life stress with recovery.
You can write your own workouts and try to get the “wavy
load” thing just right or you can take the pressure off and
get a bunch of done-for-you programs – mostly 3 day a week-ers
done in between 60-90 minutes per week, by grabbing your copy
of “Kettlebell Express” at the link below.
P.S. Remember, you CAN train every day, but it doesn’t mean
you SHOULD. Anything that causes extra stress in your life
and relationships will interfere with the results you want.
Therefore, follow the “KISS” principle – “Keep It Simple Simon”
and go with a template that has proven it’s worth over time –
3 days per week, abbreviated workouts.
They keep you fresh, hungry, and best of all – making progress
and seeing measurable results.
Here’s where you make all that happen –