Ask Al: How Much Do You Work Out?

I recently received a message from a reader who asked, “What does a regular week of training look like for you, and how much time do you spend on it?”

As I view training and life as one in the same, it’s hard to say exactly, but since I get asked this question often, I figured an attempt at an answer was due – so here goes!

I formally “work out” anywhere between 15-75 minutes a day, depending on my energy level and the intensity I’m going at. I take a day off if I feel sore or tired, which on average is about one out of every ten days, but I am pretty active in addition to that. And, no, I’m not worried about over-training.

How it Breaks Down
I do strength training sessions 2-4 times a week consisting of bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, muscle-ups, dips and pistol squats. I tend to practice feats of strength (human flag, one arm chin-up, etc.) during these workouts as well. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll simply do 100-200 total reps in as little time as possible (like this). I also throw in some parkour training and handstand practice during these sessions.

I’ve recently been swimming a few times a week, mostly for skill enhancement (plus swimming is a great form of active recovery the day after a strength training session). While swimming is my primary source of cardio these days, I still run once or twice a week as well, anywhere from around 3-8 miles. I used to do a lot more running but swimming has been taking the place of that. When the weather improves, I will bring some biking into the picture and hopefully start training for my first triathlon.

I also do a weight training day, kettlebell workout or yoga class about once or twice a month each, though I did all three on a regular basis for several years at other points in my training.

Other than that, I walk a lot and I live in a fourth floor apartment with no elevator, so I go up and down the stairs several times a day. I also conduct personal training sessions every day, which gives me extra physical activity. Since I still manage to spend several hours a day sitting in front of a computer, I throw in some stretching throughout the rest of the day too.

I wouldn’t recommend a regimen like mine for everyone, but it works for me…and I work for it!

15 thoughts on “Ask Al: How Much Do You Work Out?

  • By Mattman -

    I think mainly it depends alot on your goals also.
    You’re a better man than I to be juggling all of that, I’d get so bogged down with having to do everything that I’d burnout mentally.
    Right now I’m focussing solely in improving my handbalancing and planches, nothing else.

    Another great post dude! :)

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Well Matt, I don’t HAVE to do any of it. I do it because it pleases me to do so.

      Keep training that handstand and planche!

  • By Jenifermparker -

    cool. so, i’m seeing something like

    15-75 minutes per day of exercise that is either: running, swimming, bodyweight training, weight training, or yoga. the latter two come in once or twice a month; the first three about twice a week.

    then, you also have the lifestyle: personal training, walking around town, taking a lot of stairs to your home.

    yeah, similar to me: about 30-45 minutes per day of yoga (vigorous practice), plus body weight work for about 15-30 minutes each time about two-three times a week.

    then, lifestyle stuff such as walking/carrying/playing outdoors with the 2 yr old, walking around town and to/from work, and of course, taking all of the stairs up to our house (which is 77). i often sprint these at the end of my work day for fun.

    i also like to play around with parkour about 2 twice a month, and i’m looking at taking a yoga class (1.5 hrs) once a week plus adding in a running-and-yoga “club” at our studio, where we would run the waterfront and then come back and do about 20 minutes of yoga (whole thing being about 45 minutes long start to finish).

    on weekends, a fair bit of hiking, walking, etc, with the kid on my back, which is nice, weighted hiking. we’re getting closer to hawk walking longer bits of trail himself. :)

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Right on, Jenifer. You and I have similar activity levels, which explains why were both fit people. It can seem like a lot when you see it all written out, but then again, there is a lot of time in each day!

      • By Jenifermparker -

        ironically, i feel sedentary because i do spend a lot of hours sitting at the computer and working. i’m in the offices at least 3 hrs a day, and sitting at home doing work while the kiddo occupies himself for at least another 2 or 3. and then the evening sitting. so. . .yeah. i feel sedentary, but i apparently am not. 😀

        • By Al Kavadlo -

          Sedentary is a relative term. Even if you spend five or six hours a day sitting, that’s still probably less than 1/3rd of the total time you’re awake on a any given day.

  • By Eddie -

    Lovin the bodyweight routines Al, functional and able to do them everywhere, no excuses to ever workout!

  • By Eddie -

    ever Not workout I mean!

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Haha good save!

  • By Stefan -

    Good post Al. I’ve been meaning to ask you this myself. Good post on over-training too, hadn’t seen it before.

    Anyway, I try to work out every day, keeps me sane. Every day need not be heavy but I try to do something every day.

    Thanks for a great blog by the way! I’ve been reading it for some time without ever commenting on any of your posts. Keep up the good work!

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks for the kind words, Stefan (and good job on the daily workouts)!

      Feel free to comment more often!

  • By Natemital -

    Al how have you gotten so muscular doing bodyweight exercises? I would like to be somewhere around where you are physically but I have only been able to gain muscle doing weights.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks! If you are looking to get bulky, weight training along with bodyweight training might be better for you than just bodyweight. I’m smaller in person than I look in pictures.

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