How Much Time Do You Have Available?
Now, how much time do you REALLY have?
It is common for those brimming with enthusiasm to drastically overestimate how much time they have available for training.
But, on execution, that proves not to be the case.
If your life beyond your training (work, family or other demands) meant that taking time out of your day 5 times per week would cause an increase in stress levels, then you get into a situation where you are simply piling stress upon stress and your ability to recover and improve becomes heavily compromised.
In the previous two scenarios, you may be training for the same accumulative time, but the travel time or the additional required shower time might just be what takes you over the edge.
Plus, if we are including activation and warm-ups within the times sited, then a larger chunk of the frequent, but shorter sessions are going to be taken up here. But if we exclude them, to make the main workouts pairable, then that is further time required to follow the higher frequency approach.
In such a situation, despite frequent and shorter workouts being more effective on paper, fewer but more taxing, workouts would clearly be the preferable option in this situation.
How Well Fuelled Are You?
If you don’t have enough fuel in the car, you can’t go on a long journey without stopping for additional fuel.
If your nutrition was at a sub-optimal level, the drop off in energy and focus will be more rapid.
Similarly, if the quality of your nutritional intake is not aligned well with your training goals, or is lacking in nutritional value, shorter workouts will be more beneficial as the level of CNS stress and level of recovery from each individual session should be lessened. Thus, a less than optimal nutrition strategy is going to have a better chance of coping.
On the flip side, if your poor nutrition choices involve ‘cheat meals’ or days where you lose control, your next workout is likely to be sluggish, as you deal with your ‘food hangover.
In this scenario, having an extra day to re-activate yourself before a full workout or having a longer workout to build into it might just be what you need.