I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: More isn’t always better. The solution to your fat loss problems isn’t to work out harder, or more often.
However, sometimes more IS better.
What’s important is to know what’s right for you.
For Your Consideration
I know you’re no dummy, but, just for fun, let’s look at a couple examples of how more can be both better and worse.
Having a 3 day weekend from work: good. Taking a two week vacation from work: better. Not having a job at all, and consequently becoming homeless and hungry: Not so good.
Eating one piece of your favorite candy: good. Eating two pieces of your favorite candy: better. Eating so much of your favorite candy that your stomach explodes: Kind of a bummer.
Exercise is the same way.
At the base, any kind of activity is better than none (that’s the “good”).
But that won’t necessarily help you reach the quality of life you’re hoping for. You need a certain amount of strength and endurance to see changes to both your body composition and how you feel from day to day.
You can achieve that with just a little more time (the “better”) committed to exercise (even with 10-20 minute workouts like in our Home Workout for Beginners).
If you wanted to, you could stop there.
On the other hand, if you look at professional athletes, you’ll have a hard time finding one who doesn’t spend significantly more time than that either exercising in the gym, or practicing their sport.
You’re not a professional athlete, but if more works for them, why wouldn’t it work for you?
The highest level athletes don’t simply work out more. They have their nutrition dialed in, they get adequate sleep (sometimes needing 10+ hours a night), and the workouts they do aren’t about doing “more,” they’re designed to achieve a specific purpose.
If you try to take on too much exercise without those other things in mind, you won’t end up in better shape. You’ll end up hurt, malnourished, and/or quitting.
If you aren’t ready to start sleeping more every night, and you aren’t at a place where know exactly how to eat to keep your body composition where you want it, then don’t take on an exercise program that leaves you feeling wrecked (and certainly not multiple times a week).
You, quite literally, won’t recover.
If you average 4-5 hours of sleep a night, exercise probably isn’t even the best place to start. You’ll get more health benefits from working toward getting a few more hours of sleep than from any exercise.
Or, if you aren’t eating adequately to help restore the muscle that gets broken down through exercise, you might want to handle that first.
It’s Not Hopeless
I know it’s not always possible to get more sleep (I do have kids), or you might not feel ready to tackle nutrition.
I’m not saying if you can’t work on those things that you shouldn’t exercise either.
What’s important is to understand that if you know either one of those factors is a weakness for you, it’s even more important for you to be cautious about overdoing it with exercise. Remember:
A couple workouts a week might be enough.
There’s no need for them to last forever.
Leave the gym feeling better than when you got there.
And if you already have a decent workout program, but aren’t getting results, just doing more exercise isn’t the solution. Ask yourself if you’re getting the recovery you need, and look to your sleep and diet for answers.