“I’m doing X program three days a week. Is it ok to do Y
program on my “off” days?”
This was a recent forum question about one of my programs.
The questioner wanted to combine it with someone else’s
Before I answer the question specifically – I want to pose
a question back to you – if you find yourself struggling
with this question.
What makes you think you NEED to do something on your
Are you training for an athletic competition?
Chances are better than good that you’re not so there is no
need to work out every day.
Especially not on most traditional programs – or most of
my programs –
They’re designed to have you work hard on your training
And have you rest just as hard (and live your life) on non-
Most training programs that are over 15 to 20 minutes in
length are done 3 days a week.
This is a time-tested template – at least from the glory days
of York Barbell when the US team ruled the world in
This begs another question:
What makes you think it won’t work for you?
And… Here’s another:
What EXACTLY is it you hope to gain by doing “extra work”
on your off days?
I’ve noticed over the last – ohhhh – 9 or 10 years that many in
the kettlebell community, that people would rather just workout
than take care of other more important business, like monitoring
what they eat.
If you have extra energy on your off days – that’s excellent.
So here’s what you should do on your “off” days:
Instead of putting that energy toward “extra workouts” – which
are unnecessary for 99% of the people – put your energy into
managing your nutrition program.
That’s where most people still fall down.
They still believe that nutrition doesn’t matter and the kettlebell
will magically offset poor food choices.
At least not in 95% of the time.
Get your nutrition spot on and then if you have energy left over,
do something that is the OPPOSITE of your KB training.
(Remember the Yin-Yang symbol? Make your workouts look
like that. Hard = kettlebell. Easy = ?)
Examples might be – relaxing stretching (no reverse clasp knife
or the such), yoga, or a long nature walk, getting some much
needed Vitamin D.
First, however, I strongly advise you get extra rest.
And by “extra” I mean the minimum 7 hours, preferably 8 or 9.
Remember, it’s not how much work you can perform – but how
much you can recover from.
Read that again.
It’s not how much work you can perform – but how much you
can recover from.
Remember, a great program is one you can repeatedly show up
for, recover from, and see results with minimum time investment.
We’re not professional athletes.
No need to try to train like them.
Finally, if you feel the need to train more than 3 days a week,
I suggest you only add 1 day and train 4 days.
Use the tried and true template of 2 strength days and 2
I’d use the “STRONG!” program on Mondays and Thursdays,
and the “One” program on Tuesdays and Friday.
Those are going to be the biggest-bang for your training buck.
(They use a pair of kettlebells.)