Exercise! - 1 hour 2x a week or 30 min 5x a week?

Less of Lena
03-13-2006, 01:03 PM
I saw the last part of a piece this morning on The Today Show where they were talking about the benefits of weight training. Especially weight training for "middle-aged" women ((sigh, I think that's me!)). They espoused doing weight training, full body, twice a week for one hour per session.

They didn't mention cardio, but I'm assuming they want cardio on the off-weights days.

I'm currently doing body-bits (chest/arms one day, legs/butt one day, that kind of thing), 30 minutes per session, 5 days a week. All the parts get worked out over the week. Most muscle groups get 2 sessions a week (sorry, shoulders and back, you get only Wednesdays). Abs get 3 days (lucky abs!). I've also been doing at least 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week (lately, it's been 40-45, I'm proud to say!).

My question for you fitness gurus is... is my way ok? Is either way "better" than the other or are they just "different and both beneficial"?

03-13-2006, 03:16 PM
Lena, I'm not a "fitness guru" but I think what you do is fine. I know the trainers here have talked about doing split workouts over several days rather than whole body 2x a week. I think it has more to do with when you have the time! I would rather do several days of 1/2 hour than 2 days of an hour or more. Keep up the good work! :)

03-13-2006, 03:23 PM
Not a guru either, sorry. For me it's all psychological. I need to do something everyday. One day off turns into three and a week and months.

03-13-2006, 04:51 PM
Whether you split your routine or do total body depends mainly on the time you have. Bodybuilders split the routine because they work each muscle group to full intensity. For us non-body builders, it depends on your goals. If you are looking to build a lot of mass, hit each area 1-2 times a week. If you are looking for strength, hit each area once a week.

At any rate, you should not spend more than 75 minutes tops, including warmup and stretching. After 60 minutes, you start losing the benefits of the workout.

So split your routine any way you want. Just remember to rest the muscle group for 48 hours before exercising it again. The other thing is to do legs and lower back on separate days. The lower back is used a lot in leg exercises like squats etc, so it should be exercised on a different day.

I like to split my routine into 4-6 exercises (generally a 3 day split) when I can get to the gym regularly. I can really concentrate on the exercises and it takes 60-75 minutes depending on how long I rest in between sets. Currently, I am doing full body, compound moves, alternating with cardio, because I can't get there every day; this schedule is temporary for about another month.

Hope this helps....

Less of Lena
03-13-2006, 08:01 PM
Thanks for your answers and suggestions!

I sort of like the way I'm doing it, and so far, it seems to be working. When I'm done, I know I've worked the muscles, but I'm not ow ow ow super-sore the next day. I do make absolutely sure to not work the same groups two days in a row. And (tough for this die-hard former-non-mover to admit) I'm actually sort of enjoying it! Shhhh don't let that get out!

I don't think I could actually do a good 60 minutes at a stretch. I think by 45 minutes, my attention would start to wane and the last few sets wouldn't have very good form as I tried to just rush through. Better to do 30 good minutes with good form than 60 sloppy minutes, I think.

Thanks again, all!