We all know that feeling, we reach Friday and it's almost like the 3rd day of the weekend, we get ourselves into the weekend mindset from pretty much the moment we wake up. I'm with you, if I have the weekend free, I get excited about it, and rightly so. Weekends (or any time you have off work) is valuable to our mental health and social lives. This can compliment your training and general health and should most definitely be embraced.
What you need to decide though, is whether training on a Friday is for you. Not as straight-forward as yes or no based on how you feel, more whether or not you should. For the majority, like it or not, the answer is yes. But to help you decide, here's a few guidelines:
- Are you going to train Saturday or Sunday? If the answer is no, then you most definitely need to train on a Friday. 3 Days off, on a regular basis, will be quite disruptive to your training and will go some way to undoing the hard work you have put in through the week.
- How many sessions do you train in total per week? The answer for most guys at GT Fitness is 3-4 times per week. Odds are, when we look at a monthly plan, most of those attendances fall in the first half of each week. How do I know this? Because I looked on the booking system, and that's what the statistics tell me. Training hard Monday through Thursday, then not the remainder of the week is the least effective 4-per-week training plan, and barring extreme scheduling factors, should be avoided. I would argue, 3 well spaced training session per week would give you better results than 4 ill-placed ones.
- Do you want to progress, or are you just happy to maintain your fitness level? If you want to progress, the nature of a constantly varied programme means that repeatedly missing Friday (and probably Saturday too) will mean you miss quite a lot of programming, most specifically strength cycles. I have talked in a previous article about why strength is the underpinning foundation of a programme, and you need to try and avoid skipping 2-3 days straight in order to benefit from this. Furthermore, by skipping the same 2-3 day chunk each week, it's likely you'll keep missing the same strength focus (upper or lower body dynamic in our case) which will of course lead to holes in your all-round game.
- At GTF, we quite often put a benchmark in on a Friday. These are a great way to track progress, but also give you a complete dose of pure CrossFit in its truest sense. That's an aspect of the community and the methodology that I believe shapes our environment and results, and as such it's always an atmosphere conducive to excelling and breaking records!
For many, scheduling around work and family commitments is the biggest bar to progress, and in many cases, that's fine. You need to earn a living, and time with your family is vital! But, if you can restructure your week, to only train as often as you do now, but better spread your sessions, you could unlock a new level of progress without actually doing any more work! Certainly worth thinking about, before jumping online and getting booked on a Friday class!