Some of you may feel like the only way you can get in shape is by exercising every single day of the week. Everyone wants rock-hard abs by tomorrow, but slow and steady progress is the name of the game when it comes to healthy fat loss or muscle gain. It makes sense to think that daily strenuous exercise is the best way to get in shape fast, but working out every day can actually be bad. Here’s why:
Your Body Needs Time to Recover
Believe it or not, you can actually physically burn yourself out by exercising daily. When you lift weights, your muscles get stronger and grow in response. This change happens gradually while you’re resting later on, not while you’re in the gym pumping iron.
Weight training also puts stress on your central nervous system. Even if you have a split routine where you do chest one day, back another day, legs another day, and so on, lifting every day doesn’t give your central nervous system time to recuperate. For you daily cardio nuts, this applies to you as well.
Back when I first started P90X, I ignored the schedule and just did one P90X workout DVD of my choosing every single day for two months. Even though I lost about 15 lbs during that time, I felt like a zombie for the last few weeks and I finally came down with a serious cold at the end. I was out of commission and unable to work out for two whole weeks after that. It wasn’t pretty, and it could’ve easily been avoided if I took a one or two rest days per week instead of going all-out every single day.
You Get Bored Doing the Same Thing
Variety is the spice of life, and the flip-side of course is that lack of variety is boring. Doing the same thing every day can lead to feelings of monotony and even despair, and working out is no different.
I’m willing to bet that many daily activities you do are things that you feel you have to do, not things that you want to do (if I’m wrong and you absolutely love brushing your teeth, please explain in a comment below ). Exercising is usually one of those things that people want to do, but it can very easily become something that people feel that they have to do if they do it on a daily basis.
Toward the end of my stint doing P90X every single day for two months, I didn’t look forward to doing it. It felt like an obligation more than a fun way to improve my fitness level and lose fat, which was how I looked at it when I first started. I got bored with the program and started to think of alternatives.
It turns out that taking two weeks off was exactly what I needed to change my mindset and lose that feeling of monotony. At the end of the two weeks, I couldn’t wait to fire up the Chest & Back DVD and start doing diamond push-ups again. It was weird, but it was awesome.