Male, 29, 108kgs, mostly fat. Started exercising about four weeks ago.

I've been starting with Les Mills On Demand. I've been struggling a little as my thighs are much weaker than the other muscle groups, comparatively speaking, so I'm still doing lower-intensity workouts to accommodate them when my biceps and other muscles could do something higher. I tried to correct this by doing more workouts each day with a few hours rest between which, uh, did not work out- I essentially stopped making any progress during this time. I read some articles about multiple workouts which suggest that it's really not recommended so I went back and checked the starter plan again and I'm finding the workout scheduling recommended to be pretty confusing.

150 minutes a week is the first target. Since the starter workouts are 25-30 minutes, it seems like you can only reach this by doing more than one a day or skipping rest days which seems bad. Things get even worse when considering how to arrange the next target of 300 minutes or 10-12 workouts in a 7 day period. The starter workouts are evenly spread across the body so no muscle group rotation going on there.

If you're not doing multiple workouts each day, how are you supposed to achieve the desired target without breaking the rest days/multiple workouts rules?

I also noticed that the non-starter workouts are often e.g. 60 minutes. How is one 60 minute workout different to two 30 minute workouts?

  • "I also noticed that the non-starter workouts are often e.g. 60 minutes. How is one 60 minute workout different to two 30 minute workouts?" - That's an interesting question actually. I remember seeing a study that compared exactly that. I'll see if I can dig it up again. Essentially, the conclusion was that if you do the EXACT same amount of work each week, but in one scenario, you work out three times a week, and in the other, you do six times a week, the latter was better. Easier workouts, but twice as often. – Alec Jun 2 at 0:14
  • Interesting point, @Alec. I would be interested to see that study too. My own experience has led me to conclude the same thing for all levels of conditioning, but without any clear scientific evidence to support it. Only my own data. – POD Jun 2 at 1:19
  • Well, I looked at some data about the supercompensation stuff, and they seem to suggest that if you break for a few hours, you are in the recovery stage instead of the supercompensation stage, so training stress decreases rather than increases performance. – Puppy Jun 2 at 15:17

Given your current level, I would not bother having 150 minutes as an absolute target and I would certainly not bother "having to do 2 workouts a day" to reach that. When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. Those 150 minutes shall rather be seen as a constraint i.e. giving you a contraint to have a physical activity, regularly, each week.

You are a beginner, you don't have much training age and you don't know yourself well enough yet. Take it slow, take it easy. Trying to absolutely reach this number will, in my opinion, bring negative effects.

If you already switched from 0 minutes to 30 minutes 5 out of 7 days, it's great !

Concerning your question about 60 minutes vs 30 minutes. Yes it's different. After 30 minutes, you have depleted ressources (glygogen, ...) and you also have fatigue that sets in (neural fatigue, muscular fatigue, ...) so yes training for 60 minutes straight will be different than training during 30 minutes, rest, 30 minutes because you will train under different physiological and neural conditions. If you are versed into endurance training, there are nifty details such as cardiac eccentric hypertrophy which can apparently be ellicited only with long straight bouts of endurance training.

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skipping rest days seems bad

Not really. Go ahead and work out on consecutive days; it won't kill you. Moving vigorously every single day should be a goal, not something to avoid.

The easiest way to get to 150 minutes a week is to do either longer workouts or more workouts or both. Don't sweat the decision, just do whichever fits better into your life enjoyably and sustainably.

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