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Six days a week at the gym, permanently?
Old 09-05-2014, 06:26 PM   #1
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Six days a week at the gym, permanently?

In addition to my regular workout at the gym which is a mixture of cardio and weights I am also in a Cardiac Rehab program three days a week at the same place, although in an adjacent part of the building. This as a result of having two overlapping stents put in a heart artery last July. (I didn't actually have a heart attack so no damage and full recovery.) So for a couple of weeks now I've been hitting the gym six days a week.

The Cardiac Rehab program is of course pure cardio exercises and they are working me pretty hard now. By the end today I was dripping in sweat. I don't normally do that in the regular workout. I'm sweating some of course, but not dripping like today. But the thing is, wow, I'm feeling great! The guy I'm working with says he'll probably kick me out in about three weeks (it normally runs 18 to 36 weeks) because I wouldn't get any more benefit out of it. Also maybe I need to bump up the regular workout as well but I'm maxed out on the weights as is.

I'll of course ask my doctor about this but I'm wondering if the reason I'm feeling so much better is having the clogged heart artery cleared or is it the exercise, or both? If there is that much difference between three days a week and six days a week at the gym I'm going to ask them to set up an additional workout for alternate days and keep going six days when the rehab program is over.

I read Younger Next Year last year and they are a strong proponent of six days a week. Maybe I'm running into that effect.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:44 PM   #2
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You are probably feeling better due to both the improved blood flow to your heart and the daily exercise.

My philosophy is that you should try to exercise most days of the week. That way, on those weeks that life intervenes, you still get a decent amount of exercise. If, OTOH, you plan to exercise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and two of those days blow up, you've pretty much blown the entire week.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:44 PM   #3
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I read Younger Next Year also, and I agree, it is very persuasive. Of course the professionals have the key to what is reasonable for you, so I am glad you are consulting your doctor.

If you decide to continue working out six days a week, I'd suggest paying close attention to how you feel as time goes on. If you start to feel overwhelmed or fatigued, then you could cut back temporarily until you perk up again.

I worked out almost every day, maybe six days a week, for a couple of months when I first retired and Frank was still working. It was great. But I wonder if after a few months, perhaps it might have worn me out.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:48 PM   #4
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I have done 5 days a week for the last 8 weeks, in fact today is 80% of the way through a 10 week internal promise I made myself. Two more weeks of it!

After I do this regiment, I think I will do 2 weeks of 3 days a week, the alternate with 4 weeks of 5 days a week so I don't burn out.

But I do feel better and I am losing weight so all is good. Good luck with whatever routine you end up doing.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:58 PM   #5
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Honestly, I've never tried it.
But I've done my exercise at least 3, and usually 4 or 5 days a week for over 40 years.

The one sure thing I've found is that once I got into my 60s, I definitely need more rest days. So what used to be a regular 5 days a week gradually became a regular 4 days with occasional 5 days.

I suspect that once I'm in my 70s, that will change to a regular 3 with occasional 4, but I want to put that off as long as I can.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:15 PM   #6
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After one of the trainers at our gym suggested we include a day of "rest", we have been on a two day in gym with different routines but always cardio with the intervening day "workout" a 3 +/-mile walk.
The trainer is a Kinesiology major and said the muscles need some recuperation time to actually incorporate the weight routines.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:32 PM   #7
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The body needs recovery time, so while you may feel great now you may not as time goes on.

When I was in my mid 30s I was working out 2x/day 5 days a week... I was obsessed with fitness and at one point had my body fat at about 12%. That lasted for about 6 months after which I was constantly sick, tired, blah blah.

Working out without giving your body recovery time is killer on your immune system.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:08 PM   #8
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The body needs recovery time, so while you may feel great now you may not as time goes on.



When I was in my mid 30s I was working out 2x/day 5 days a week... I was obsessed with fitness and at one point had my body fat at about 12%. That lasted for about 6 months after which I was constantly sick, tired, blah blah.



Working out without giving your body recovery time is killer on your immune system.

I have worked out and exercised most of my entire life. Even at 50 today, my muscles say "bring it on". My joints and tendons however say "you do this more than 3x a week and I am going to make you pay for it". So I accept the "a man has got to know his limitations" mantra and lift only 2-3 times a week and not with "manly" weights anymore. I walk 6-7 days a week but the knees vetoed running about 7 years ago.


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Old 09-06-2014, 05:41 AM   #9
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Light exercise you can do every day of the week. After all, just sitting in a chair might qualify as "light exercise" already

Anything vigorous: give your body time to recuperate and restore broken muscle tissue and energy reserves. That can take two days or more.

Some body builders alternate (legs on day 1, torso on day 2), that also works.

Go slow and sustain.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:03 AM   #10
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I agree with others who say don't to vigorous things every day. I recall from college the recommendation from my trainer was that if you work out every day focus on different muscle groups and/or lighter work to allow for recovery time. At 56 my current regimen is to alternate a "heavy" day (weights and intense stairclimber/bike) with a "light" day (walk/stroll, golf - walking the course, driving range, etc.). Sprinkle in a few crazy days like playing basketball with my sons friends. I also have started minimizing sitting time. With routine I rarely find myself getting sore.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:15 AM   #11
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I've been working out every day most of my life. Right now my typical routine is a 10-minute bicycle ride to the fitness center, an hour on the elliptical, then bicycle home. Sometimes I just ride for a couple of hours outdoors but it's been beastly hot here lately. I'm 61 with no health issues. YMMV.
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Six days a week at the gym, permanently?
Old 09-06-2014, 06:18 AM   #12
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Six days a week at the gym, permanently?

The good feeling you're getting is probably due to a combo of the stents and increased exercise. A few years ago, I went one year missing only 6 days of exercise. Running 6 days a week, 4 miles a day. Some weight days mixed in. It eventually wore down my knees and back to the point where I stopped exercising. Then I gained 25 pounds. After retiring in April, I amped up my hiking/biking/walking to where I lost 30 pounds. Also improved my diet. I feel better now with a better diet and less strenuous exercise than I did when I was running a lot.


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Old 09-06-2014, 07:16 AM   #13
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Very inspiring...

For me, the more visits in a week the more I enjoy it.. and conversely the fewer the number of visits the more it feels like work. ..mixing up the routine is probably more important when you're hitting it 6x per week.

I imagine you're talking to your doctor about diet? There's a recent article in the NY Times about carbs and ldl particle size I thought interesting... check it out http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/he...-fat-diet.html

Meditation is another practice to improve health.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:32 AM   #14
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If you decide to continue working out six days a week, I'd suggest paying close attention to how you feel as time goes on. If you start to feel overwhelmed or fatigued, then you could cut back temporarily until you perk up again.
This is good advice, listen to your body and adjust as needed. I've been weight lifting for 6 years and lift fairly heavy for my age, but since I started playing softball 2X a week, I am starting to feel worn down and have backed off a bit on #s lifted. Also, its not a bad idea to take a week off every three months or so to let your body recover.

That said, Walt, I'm glad to hear you are doing so well after stent and gym.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:22 AM   #15
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You can get more recovery days while maintaining the same volume of exercise by working out longer and/or harder on your exercise days. For example, one can accumulate 30 miles of running by running 5 miles per day, 6 days per week, with one rest day, or by running 10 miles twice and 5 miles twice with 3 rest days.

The bottom line, as others have noted, is "listen to your body".
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:07 AM   #16
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I put in 2.5 hours at the gym 4 days a week (on my 3 days a week at work, I use a pedometer to make sure I walk at least 7,000 steps daily). With travel time and so forth, that eats up 3.5 hours of each day off, which really cuts into what I can get done the rest of the day. In fact, although I have hereditary high cholesterol, the exercise has pushed my "good" cholesterol up to a point where my Dr. is not yet willing to put me on statins. I don't want to go on statins!

Frankly, I can't see any benefit from going every day. Plus, I find exercise extremely tedious. Like a job, in fact.

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Old 09-06-2014, 11:01 AM   #17
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I dislike exercising as I find it boring and distasteful. When I read a message from a friend saying something like "Wow! I just had a great workout at the gym." I wonder what in the world was so great about it.

But, I exercise on a regular basis because I like what it does for my endurance, personal health and overall feeling of well being. It's also a great cure for 'the blues'.

But, I still don't like it.

IMHO, let you body tell you what is working and what's not working.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:03 AM   #18
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For me, the more visits in a week the more I enjoy it.. and conversely the fewer the number of visits the more it feels like work. ..mixing up the routine is probably more important when you're hitting it 6x per week.
That's been my experience. Years back, I went three or four times a week (for an hour and a half each time). Later, I found it was easier to aim to go every day (for 45 minutes) and miss a day on occasion.

In the last few months of my pre-retirement period, I started intentionally skipping the gym on weekends so I could fully savor every single hour of nonwork days. It's something I instinctively did as part of my transition. Post-retirement, I'm back to hitting the gym every day.

My routine is two days of mostly weight training followed by two days of mostly cardio. Rinse and repeat. I find I don't need a day of rest. But everyone is different and should, of course, follow their doctor's advice rather than that of participants in a forum!
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:18 PM   #19
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I was a powerlifter/bodybuilder thru my entire 20's and into my early 30's until other things competed for those hours spent in the gym and won.

Now, at 54 and ER'd, I go five days a week but only work the same body parts no more than twice a week:

Monday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Tuesday: Back/Biceps
Wednesday: Legs/Forearms
Thursday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Friday: Back/Biceps

Workouts last an hour. After each workout I ride my bike around the neighborhood for 30-45 minutes. I've never run, I've never done strictly cardio exercises, and I can walk forever. I'm in excellent shape due largely in part to muscle memory.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:51 PM   #20
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Most trainers, if they know anything, will tell you to limit your workouts to 45 - 60 minutes. Any longer than that, its counter-productive or at best provides diminishing returns.
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