This might leave you wondering if working out on weekends only is enough to reap any of the benefits of exercise. After all, in a perfect world, you would work out more often, but lately you just straight-up don't have the time. So are those two days really making any difference or helping you reach your goals? According to Charlee Atkins, CSCS, a Master SoulCycle instructor and founder of Le Sweat, there are both pros and cons to working out solely on Saturdays and Sundays each week. But before we get into that, Atkins says it's important not to overthink your two-day workout schedule too much, because the thing is, it's still better than having no workout routine at all.
"A lot of our country is sedentary, so if youвЂ™re able to fit in your workouts on the weekend, then youвЂ™re ahead of 80 percent of your fellow compatriots," she tells Elite Daily over email. Plus, think about all that luxurious free time you have on weekends вЂ”В it's perfect for curating a well-balanced workout, right? "When it comes to fitness and training, we should all be working toward something, so if your training only falls on the weekend, then youвЂ™ll be more focused and have more time to train," Atkins says. Since it's the weekend, Atkins points out, technically your workout can keep going long after you leave the gym. Whether you're walking around town, hitting up a local farmer's market, doing housework, or trying out a new hiking trail with some friends, moving your body in any way counts, says Atkin. Of course, working out on weekends only isn't completely ideal; like I said, there are some cons to this type of workout routine.
According to Atkins, given the fact you're working out two days back-to-back, your muscles may not have enough time to recover properly. "This means performance may decline and, not great, [you'll be] more prone to injury," Atkins tells Elite Daily. Think about your body in this context like a car you're trying to start in the winter: It takes a second for the engine to start running, right? Atkins says this might, more or less, be what it's like for your body to start back up on a two-day workout routine after five days of no exercise. Be sure to stretch before and after your workout to minimize your risk of injury here. "Make sure your body is ready to move," Atkins says. "Do a nice dynamic warm-up, and follow your workouts with a good 10-minute stretch." Additionally, to make the most of your weekend workouts, Atkins recommends starting each of your two days bright and early. "Beat the sun, beat the crowds, and start your day off on the right foot," she tells Elite Daily. Besides #RisingAndGrinding, if you have a fitness-forward friend, enlist them to be your weekend workout buddy. Atkins says this will help your sweat sessions go by a little faster, and you'll have someone pushing you to bump up the intensity of the workout. Ultimately, working out on the weekend can be enough if you make the most of it. Wake up, get moving, and cherish the opportunity to challenge that hard-working body of yours. Sometimes, we just don’t have enough time in the week to get to the gym. As a coach, I work with a lot of mid-aged family men and women, who often spend their business days working and spending time with their families. It’s a recipe to throw off any training consistency, regardless of the absolute best intentions. As a result, these lifters end up having to turn into a weekend warrior in the gym, using Friday afternoon until Sunday night to cram in their training volume for the week. Of course, this is less than desirable, but I suppose it’s the lesser of two evils when compared to the option of not training at all. If you’re confined to Friday to Sunday workout days, then here are some ground rules to think about. If you’re in a pinch, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. In the case of the busy workhorse, that means you’ll have to make do with a killer weekend program to keep your strength and size up to snuff. If you’re a frequent trainee with a few bad work weeks ahead, this one’s for you. If you’re someone who regularly tries to kill it on the weekend, then here’s a bit of structure to aid your quest for muscle. Of course, I still encourage you to get back on track with your mid-week workouts as soon as possible. It makes the most sense not to isolate, regardless of what your goals are. Given that you’re only training a maximum of three days out of the week, it’s reasonable to confirm that you won’t get the greatest results if you’re after size, due to the fact that it’s just too infrequent.
Making sure you’re moving properly is the name of the game here if you want any shreds of strength you have left, to be maintained. I like arranging my clients’ workouts in the patterns of vertical and horizontal pushing and pulling. This will encourage the body to use big movement patterns like the deadlift, standing press, bench press, squat, lunge, pullup, and row. They belong in your workout as the “core” movements, around which other assistance exercise can and should take second place. These choices will give you the most bang for your buck. Be sure to arrange them in the planes of motion that they fit into. On two out of the three days (ideally Friday and Sunday), you need to perform a squat pattern. It’s going to be important to help you deal with an axially loaded barbell, which can induce plenty of hormonal release to aid muscle development. I’d recommend squatting for more volume on one of the days, and squatting for more max strength on another. The biggest mistake you can make as a weekend warrior is to neglect adequately training the lower body.
Rule #3: Make Sunday the Most Metabolically Challenging. If you’re not about to train for 5 days following your last workout, it’s a good idea to go out with a bang. It can be by means of switching the workout system to more of a conditioning-based circuit style method, or it can be as simple as moderating the rest intervals, workloads and exercise pairings in order to tap into an increased metabolic demand. The good thing about training in this fashion is, you can potentiate fat loss for up to 38 hours following the workout, according to recent research.