How often should I workout?
I am asked this question numerous times a week and I answer it the same way each time, “How well are you recovering?”
For the average high school athlete who is in-season, 2 days a week are spent resistance training and 6 days a week are spent playing their sport, plus any extra activities done during PE or recreationally.
Adult athletes at TCBOOST train 3-4 days with a combination of weights, body weight exercises, and metabolic conditioning, plus any recreational activities (jogging, tennis, golf, basketball, etc).
High school athletes average 8+ workouts a week and Adults 5+. The Bulgarian Method for Olympic Lifters allows athletes to build up to training multiple times per day, 6 days a week, and with heavy weight. The body can handle high workloads, but as the Bulgarian trainers understood recovery was crucial. A majority of the high school and adult athletes have a hard time recovering between workouts and therefore constantly struggle in a negative energy balance. Here are 3 simple tips to help with recovery.
It’s recommended for males 14-18 years old to drink 14 cups/day, females ages 14-18 is 10 cups/day, and adults should get 11-16 cups/day of water. Dehydration can lead to dramatic decrease in physical work capacity by up to 48%. Activities in the heat can increase the level of dehydration.
-Before exercise drink 17 – 20 fl oz two to three hours before exercise
-Drink 7 -10 fl oz every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise
-Drink 8 fl oz 30 minutes after exercise
-For every pound of body weight lost during exercise consume 1 pint of water.
-For activities less than 60 minutes water should be main hydrating source after that a sports drink has been shown to be beneficial.
General recommendation for athletes is 7-9 hours of sleep with 80-90% of that at night. Adolescent athletes and elite athletes who train 4 -6 hours a day may need 10 -12 hours of sleep. A study on the Stanford Men’s Basketball team had 11 players try to achieve 10 hours of sleep each night for a 5 – 7 week period. Players not only noted feeling more alert, but also decreased sprint time, increased free throw shooting by 9%, and increased 3pt shooting by 9.2%. Your body needs sleep to repair from workouts!
|General sleep hygiene strategies|
|Maintain a regular schedule of going to bed and waking up|
|If you cannot sleep within 15 min, get out of bed and try performing a mundane task|
|Eliminate the bedroom clock|
|Avoid coffee, alcohol, and nicotine in the hours before bed|
|Avoid watching television, eating, working, or reading in bed|
|Be conscious of food and fluid intake before bedtime|
|Nap appropriately (30 min and not late in the afternoon)|
|Maintain a room temperature comfortable for sleeping (~64F)|
Table from Bird: Sleep, Recovery, and Athletic Performance: A Brief Review and Recommendations
This is a huge topic and recommendations are very different person to person. If you are working out regularly, you need to consume food. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats! Keep in mind that vegetables and fruit fall under the carb category, not only grains.
Male athletes between 14 – 19 years old need 3000-6000 cal/day and female athletes 14 – 19 years old need 2200-4000 cal/day.
Carbohydrates should consume 55 – 60 % of daily calories, with endurance athletes completing over 90 min of training consuming 6-10 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight. Ex. a 200 lb athlete is 90.9 kg. 90.9 x 6=545 and 90.9 x 10 = 909. A 200 lb endurance athlete should consume 545-909 grams of carbs per day.
Protein recommendation is between 1-2 g/kg of body weight/day. More protein is needed for athlete’s that complete more resistance training.
Fat is used as an energy source and is essential for bodily functions. 20-25% of total calories should come from fats and of that consuming no more than 10% saturated, 10% polyunsaturated or 10% monounsaturated, and total no more than 30% of calories.
Calories can be scaled down based on age and overall activity level for adults. The first step is realizing what your current nutrition is like. One way to accomplish that is by using Myfitnesspal, an app that serves as a food diary to show the breakdown of Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat, as well as provide recommendations for total calories based on your goals.
Bird, Stephen P. “Sleep, Recovery, and Athletic Performance: A Brief Review and Recommendations.” Strength and Conditioning Journal 35.5 (2013): 43-47. Web.
Casa, Douglas J., Lawrence E. Armstrong, Scott J. Montain, Brent Rich, and Jennifer A. Stone. “NationalAthleticTrainers’Association PositionStatement: Fluid Replacement for Athletes.” Journal of Athletic Training 35.2 (2000): 212-24. Web.
Cummiskey, Joseph, Konstantinos Natsis, Efthymia Papathanasiou, and Fabio Pigozzi. “Sleep and Athletic Peformance.” European Journal of Sports Medicine 1.1 (2013): 13-22. Web.
“How Hydration Affects Performance.” ACE Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5397/how-hydration-affects-performance/>.
Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/workout>.
“Olympic Weightlifting Resource – Bulgarian Training Methodology.” Olympic Weightlifting Resource – Bulgarian Training Methodology. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.owresource.com/training/bulgarian.php>.
Wein, Debra. “Nutritional Considerations for the Adolescent Athlete.” Nsca’s Performance Training Journal 10.6 (2011): 17-18. Web. <www.nsca-lift.org>.