I would like to lose some body fat and get stronger. I've always tried to stay active, but due to a bad diet (result of stress) I haven't managed to lose weight as much as I would like. But I think I have found a routine which would work for me (i.e. I would enjoy it):

Joyful Routine

Mon/Wed/Fri - early mornings - Strength Training (5x5 by Mark Rippetoe). No cardio.

Mon/Wed - evenings - 2 hours active dance (similar to Zumba but more intense).

Tue/Thu - evenings - 1.5 hours Muay Thai.

Sunday - 2 hours volleyball. Very light.


I'm 5'9" (175cm), 185lbs (84kg), 26 y.o. Reasonably active with some previous weightlifting, martial arts and Zumba experience. Also I cycle daily 16km (10 miles) to work 4 days per week (but I will probably give up cycling if I continue with my plan)


I have checked similar questions on this site and google, and I know about sleeping requirements and I have created my diet plan. But given my specific workout plan and my health in general, would it be too much stress for the body?

I am aware that due to my weight and intense routine I might need to take extra care with my joints, proper warm up and stretching.

I would appreciate your views on this subject.

2 Answers 2


Hi Mark,

Apart from the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday sessions, the routines shouldn't impose any special difficulty for your body.

My concern, though is if your body would have recovered enough from the Muay Thai exercises before lifting heavy weights the following morning. You might not be able to perform your best on that. Maybe switching the dance with the weightlifting sessions (if time allows you) would do the trick.

All in all, it's not a bad routine.

Start it and adjust as you see fit.

BTW, the dance/Muay Thai sessions should torch your body fat pretty fast. Awesome idea :).

  • Thanks for your comment @Kneel-Before-ZOD. I am very, very lucky to get this workout routine without any clashes. You are right - I completely missed the next morning after MT, there's the culprit there. I will probably shift my weightlifting from Mon/Wed/Fri to Tue/Thu/Sat. Many thanks!
    – mai
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 15:02
  • @MarkA Feel free to move things around till you find a good structure. One thing not to do is to wait until the plan is perfect before starting. Goodluck. :) Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 15:39
  • Do still try to keep 1 rest day a week. Mentally and physically you will need it. Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 16:42
  • @Tracyat2bactive Definitely concur. Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 16:47
  • @Tracyat2bactive - That is highly individualized. I know many people that run every day of the week, and/or do triathlon workouts 7 days a week. Definitely need a day of easy/low intensity, but there's nothing mandatory about a complete rest day.
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 17:53

I don't find that routine to be too stressful, so long as you give yourself adequate time to adapt.

Many athletes work out at much higher intensities multiple times per day, and there's no reason why anyone couldn't do the same -- given they follow healthy adaptation habits (like you mentioned: warming up, cooling down, stretching, myofascial release, active recovery, sleeping).

I think the most common mistake people make when starting a new routine is biting off more than they can chew. Take it easy for a 2-4 weeks to give your body enough time to ramp up, and you should be fine. Listen to your body: if you feel as though you're approaching injury, dial it back a bit.

Good luck!

  • Thanks for your advice @Doc. I have a new term to research now - myofascial release. As per your advice, I will approach the initial 2-4 weeks rather easily. To be honest, my mind is my worst enemy (not my body, as in "muscle pain"). It gives up if routine is mundane or repetitive. But that's an entirely different subject on the whole "goal setting" topic. Thanks again!
    – mai
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 14:56
  • 2
    @MarkA - Definitely do some reading - While myofascial release is a new wrinkle in treatments, there is yet scant evidence that it does anything more than placebo. YMMV.
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 15:00
  • @JohnP thanks, I will. I generally lookup unknown terms as a matter of curiosity, and rarely dive into "flashy" concepts. It took me some scientific reading behind the whole HIIT idea.
    – mai
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 15:09
  • @MarkA - Cool. I have also looked at HIIT, and while I believe it has a place and use, I don't believe it is the "anything and everything" workout adherents claim. I especially like when people make claims like "Complete an Ironman in record time on only 30 minute workouts a day!"
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 15:12
  • True @JohnP -- it seems I've read the same. There's definitely not a wide enough body of research on it. One could logically assume it would help pump lymph through the lymphatic system (thus abiding by Dr. Kelly Starret's MCE -- aggregate site link - Movement/Compression/Elevation). Personally I've noticed some improved mobility in my ankles when squatting, and some overall relief of stiffness, but I can't give any testimonials that correlate to some of the other things it professes to help.
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 15:12

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