How much should you train?


Whether you’re a competitive athlete or want to stay fit and functional for everyday challenges, how much time you spend on your training is a very personal choice. Coach Mikko takes a look at a couple things you should consider.

I’ve come across with this question quite often over the years and there is no one-fit-all answer to that. It depends on pretty much what is the person’s fitness goals in general and how the life situation looks like. I’ve seen wide range of time spent for fitness daily from 15-30 mins to 4-5 hours a day. This all depends on your overall goal.

The fitness goals define a lot when we are thinking how much we should train.

  • Staying fit and healthy does not require a 4-5hr. daily commitment. One hour per day is enough for it. This is the lure of fitness classes like CrossFit. Anything that is guided by an instructor with distinct programming and an organized structure will help you get the most out of your time in the gym.

  • If the goal is to do well at bigger competitions, you may need to consider longer training sessions to stay competitive with the elite field. . Most of the athletes train at least twice a day 1-2 hours per session. Some do even more than that. But that is something you and your coaches would need to discuss.

Things to consider

We always have to take our life situation into consideration when we plan our daily schedule for sports and other hobbies. This might also change from time to time. Sometimes when we are busy, your training time may be minimal.

When we have more time at our hands we can spend maybe extra 30 mins daily practicing something we enjoy. This can be skill training, extra lifting, or small extra workout at your CrossFit box, it can be a 30 mins yoga session or 30 mins of something recreational sports.

Athletes training volume also varies depending on the time of the year. It’s not exactly same schedule 12 months a year. After big competitions there’s usually time to take it easy and recharge the batteries and then increase the volume when the training for the next competitions begins.

This is true for any training regimen, whether you’re a CrossFitter, runner, or anything in between. There will be times of intense training, tapering, and more relaxed time periods. This is all a part of healthy training and maintainable goals.

So what’s the answer?

My recommendation is trying to get some fitness into your daily schedule.

Even 15 minute home workouts suffice your schedule is super busy. This is better than nothing. There will be most likely be times of more flexible schedules and you can add the amount of fitness per day. Getting a routine down can keep you organized, focused, and balanced between work, life, and fitness.

Find what makes you happy

Another big thing is how much you enjoy training. I’ve came across with people who have no competition goals but they still really enjoy training 2+ hours per day and this gives them good vibes. I think there’s nothing wrong it that as long as this doesn't cause injuries or burn out mentally. Being excited about training is important and sometimes doing too much might take that away.

From competitive athletes perspective this is slightly different sometimes.  Training higher volume for competitions is not necessarily fun every single day when we have to go doing rowing or running intervals super early in the morning or super late at night when we are tired but it is necessary to do if we want to perform to our best ability.

As you see there’s a lot of things to consider when we try to answer to that question on the headline of this article. Set your fitness goals, consider your life situation and ask yourself how much you enjoy training. These will help to find the answer.