First of all I just discovered your site…it’s just what I’ve been looking for….thank you!!!
My question relating to this article is that sometimes I split my weight training into several days during the week…a few weights on mon, maybe a few more on tues, then at least one more day during the week and at least one weekend day…
Would I be better off doing 2 full days of weight training and the rest of the week cardio…or am I ok with what I am doing? Thank you!
Good morning, Joan! Nice to hear that you’re strength training to help your low bone density, commonly called osteopenia, or osteoporosis! Did your doctor give you DXA scan numbers or let you know in which category you fall? It’s helpful to know. Either way, take action!
If your osteoporosis strength training exercises only work the arms, legs, and core separately, then having a schedule like yours can work if you rotate through them every 3 days. Letting certain major muscles groups rest while you work others is a good way to divide your strength training out over several days. For many women, strength training is challenging to fit into their schedule, so it’s fine to do that. However, it’s good to remember that there is a fair amount of crossover into other major muscle groups, especially with the core exercises, so your muscles might not be getting the full amount of rest that they require. A reminder for those core exercises: Keep a neutral spine, don’t twist, or bend forward. This means keep your upper body on the floor for abdominal exercises.
I’ve designed my workouts to incorporate as many muscle groups as possible into each exercise, along with balance and agility challenges. Using more muscles give you a fantastic full body workout, keeps your metabolism up for 24+ hours, and basically, you get more for your money (time!). An hour of that kind of workout needs 48 to 72 hours of rest. Not bed rest!
Yes, you’re completely correct to do cardiovascular exercise on the other days. (Cardio on the same day is fine, too.) Weight-bearing cardiovascular exercise would be the best, where you are bearing your own body weight on your feet. A nice brisk walk the next day, then some more intense cardio the 2nd day after strength training are some examples. If your muscles feel heavy during your recovery days, then you need to go a little easier, either with the intensity of the strength training or the cardio. You might need a day of no exercise, or a really easy walk for that “rest” day. It’s a matter of listening and working with your body as you strengthen your muscles to strengthen your bones.
There are benefits to both types of schedules. Whichever style you choose, the most important one, by far, will be the one that gets done!