How much time is too much?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
How much time is too much?
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 10:03am
I have a friend who is concerned I spend too much time at the gym. I have scaled back my workouts considerably but now would like to up my cardio.

I do yoga twice a week for 75 min

I lift twice a week (one day upper and one lower - partnered with yoga days)

Do kickboxing for an hour once a week and

Spinning for an hour once a week

I want to add another hard cardio session (have been doing elleptical for 20min)which will alternate between 45 spinning and 1 hour kickboxing.

Does this sound like too much? I have coordinated my schedule to give my body two days of rest. Thoughts? I'm trying to drop body fat and know its all the in the cardio.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 10:19am
Hi there, I haven't seen you before! Welcome to the board.

As for your question, I'm not sure that anyone else can determine how much is too much for someone. I think that the only person who can judge that is the person doing it. Are you overly tired? Are you having problems doing daily activities? Are you getting injuries? Have you lost more weight than you can afford to (I put that in only because I just had ab psych and we studied women with various disorders who were working themselves into the ground to get thin)? Lastly, have you talked to your doctor about your friend's concern?

I believe that some of us are just more active and more extreme than others. I know people who never do any exercise hard enough to break a sweat, that is their preference . They would likely feel that others who are doing an hour of cardio a day plus half an hour or more of lifting are "overtraining" but who are they to judge? It could be said in reverse that they are under-training.

How do you feel? (Anyone else find that to be the question that means the most around here?) Do you feel like you are overtraining? And lastly, because this is an issue for me... do you have a history of overtraining that may indicate you are unable to make that assessment without help? (I trained myself to semi-serious injury twice in the past. I'm now surrounded by people who recognize that tendency in me and will call foul if I get near the line... I haven't though because I have also learned to recognize it since the last time!)



Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 10:36am
hi there!

what you are proposing isn't too much (as long as your body feels good when doing it - if you are feeling worn out and overworked, then you should listen to your body). the current recommendations are an hour of cardio a day! (not that you need to do that much, but you get my point ...) you are currently doing cardio only twice a week. i wouldn't listen to your friends if i were you (unless they are fitness professionals or doctors or something like that) -- a lot of us have had experience with non-exercisers making those comments, and the general consensus i think is to respond with something along the lines of "thank you for your concern, but i have educated myself on this subject and my workout goals are based on expert recommendations for good physical fitness, plus i feel great!" i think most americans tend to have skewed ideas of what is healthy in terms of exercise and nutrition, and probably there's also a measure of defensiveness in there where they feel the need to belittle what you are doing to make themselves feel better for being sedentary.

but i disagree with you on one point, losing body fat is not all about the cardio! building muscle is very important to losing body fat and indeed, depending on your genetics may be the only way you can lose body fat without unhealthily restricting your calories. moreover, if you try to lose body fat without strength training, you will likely lose muscle as well as fat. so i'd say you should step up your strength training -- working each body part only once a week does not really provide much benefit. you should work each body part at least twice a week. i think it's a good idea to increase your cardio too, for cardio fitness and calorie burning, it's best to work up to doing cardio at least 3 times a week. the two yoga sessions are great for you but they don't substitute for the cardio and strength training, and they are not significantly strenuous on your body in terms of working out too hard.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 10:43am
Kiervin had good advice about listening to your body. Have you been working out for a while or are you new to it? Your schedule sounds fine, as long as you don't feel like you're burning out. Plus, two of your sessions are yoga which is lower intensity/low impact (I'm assuming it's not power yoga). Three days of cardio, two of yoga/lifting sounds like a good routine.

I've posted this quiz before that basically repeats what kiervin said:

Cardio will help you burn calories which will help you lose body fat. At the same time, building muscle will increase the number of calories you burn a day which will also burn body fat, and you'll be burning more calories all the time. When you lift, make sure to fatigue the muscle (so you can't lift one more). You should also lift each muscle group at least twice a week, making sure to take a day break between. I don't think you need to spend more time at the gym, but readjust to do that.

Welcome to the board, BTW! Hope you get the info you need here!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 10:52am
Jinx! I didn't see your message before I posted mine, but they were along the same thoughts on lifting. Good advice, BTW, lol!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:19pm
so i guess i have to buy you a sugar free, aspartame free, all natural organic carbonated beverage. (it's the health nut version of the old playground game!)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:34pm
How funny--there was an article in paper yesterday about Natural Brew Handcrafted Soda. I don't know what they use for sweetener, though. A soda microbrewery! I'm not a big soda fan, but I'll take a beer, for the same calories!