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1 Day a Week Workout Challenge. How to Get Fit Fast by Exercising Once a Week.

Updated on May 4, 2020
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Michael gained 35 pounds of muscle cycling to beaches over the summer once a week.

Cycling once a week to get fit and lose fat.
Cycling once a week to get fit and lose fat. | Source

Is Working Out Once a Week Enough?

Working out once a week can be enough to lose fat and build muscle. My heart rate and breathing slowed down, I gained a lot of muscle and lost fat. My strength, endurance and balance improved. After doing my exercise routine 8 times it made me look and feel like an athlete. Your body can adapt to your routine even if you are only working out one day a week.

Workout once and then you are done for the week. If you pick the right exercise routine then you don't need to do it almost every day to get the results you want. You might think you can get results faster by exercising almost every day but your muscles need time to recover. It can take 5 days to recover from a strenuous workout.

Daily Workouts

Working out 3 to 5 days a week can be too much. I do daily workouts to burn calories and build muscle. Doing an exercise almost every day can be a good way to get in shape but overtraining can slow down your progress. If you do not give your muscles enough time to recover then you can not meet or exceed your last workout. Exercising too frequently can prevent you from building muscle.

If your strength and endurance do not improve while doing a difficult daily workout then you are probably overtraining. Being sore and feeling weak is another sign of overtraining. I experienced the signs of overtraining while doing pull ups 5 days a week.

Letting your body adapt to your routine can also hurt your progress. Doing the same exercise routine almost every day is a good way to maintain what you have. It is not a good way to change your body. You could exercise almost every day for months and still look the same. I found that out while exercising to lose weight.

Calf raises at home on stairs.
Calf raises at home on stairs. | Source

Working out damages your muscles. You build muscle after the workout while you are resting.

Workout Challenge

People often have trouble losing fat and building muscle because they don't try to exceed their limits. Their workouts are based on what they could do the first week. You might do the same 20 minute cardio exercise 100 times because it was difficult the first time. Know your limits and know that you can exceed them. Focus on improving.

Challenging yourself helps you improve. Improving over and over again helps you build muscle and lose fat. Every time you workout try to do better than the last time. Increase the intensity or duration. You need to keep changing your workout routine to change your body. As your strength and endurance improves find ways to make the exercise more challenging or switch to a different activity.

Keep an exercise log so you can try to beat what you did last week. You should also write down your achievements and take some pictures. The picture below reminds me that I can make the impossible possible if I believe in myself. It was taken the first time I biked 60 km.

60 km bike ride to a beach in Sandbanks Provincial Park.
60 km bike ride to a beach in Sandbanks Provincial Park. | Source

Weekly Elliptical Trainer Workout

Week
Distance (Miles)
Time (Minutes)
Speed (MPH)
1
3
22
8.2
2
4
30
8
3
5
43
7
4
6
44
8.2
5
7
50
8.4
6
8
57
8.4
7
9
62
8.7

Keeping track of my progress allowed me to compete against myself.

My elliptical display. I burned more calories than my exercise machine could count.
My elliptical display. I burned more calories than my exercise machine could count. | Source

Weekly Workout Routines

If you can keep improving while doing the routine once every 7 days then it could work as a weekly workout. Most forms of exercise would work. For best results choose activities that allow you to increase the intensity and the duration. Do it for strength and endurance. Increase your endurance while lifting weight or increase your strength while doing cardio endurance training.

Avoid doing the same workout every time and think big. You have more time to do the workout and more time to recover because you are only doing it once a week. Get a week's worth of exercise in one day and do something amazing. I recommend long distance biking on roads with hills. That is how I lost inches of fat while gaining 35 pounds of muscle.

Do not limit yourself to one set or one exercise. Have an exercise day or half a day. After tiring yourself out you could rest for hours between sets. Include some interval training and find other ways to mix up your workouts.

I got in the best shape of my life working out 1 day a week.

Exercise Ideas

biking
canoeing/kayaking
push ups
running
cardio boxing
pull ups
elliptical
jumping rope
step ups
roller blading
weight lifting
calf raises
hiking
yoga
leg raises
swimming
Tai Chi/Chi Kung
wrist rollers
Source

Rewarding Hobbies

A hobby is something a person does in their free time for fun, relaxation and pleasure. My hobbies include long distance biking, hiking, and running. Even using an elliptical trainer or treadmill inside can be enjoyable enough to become a hobby. If the exercise is relaxing, makes you feel good or provides you with a sense of accomplishment then it could become your new hobby.

Hobbies that involve exercise can be rewarding physically and mentally. They can make you look and feel better. Running, cycling, kayaking, yoga and swimming are popular hobbies. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Exercise is more enjoyable when it is challenging.

When starting a new routine expect it to feel bad. At first it may feel like you are torturing yourself. You feel bad the first 2 or 3 times. Then it starts to feel good. After doing it 4 times you may start to crave it. Try a workout routine at least 3 times before deciding you don't like it. I look forward to my weekly workouts.

How to Do The Impossible

  1. Keep telling yourself you can do it.
  2. Limit the number of times you exercise each week.
  3. Try to improve a little every week.
  4. Get in the habit of improving.
  5. Have realistic and impossible goals.
  6. Reward yourself.
  7. Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water.
  8. Have fun.

With exercise exceeding your limits can be easy or at least simple. Improving your strength and endurance makes the impossible possible. Realistic goals are goals that are possible now. This week my goal was to run 1 more mile. Impossible fitness goals motivate you to exceed your limits. You can't do it now but you may be able to do it in 2 or 3 months. One of my impossible goals was to run 14 miles on my elliptical trainer on the highest resistance level.

Last summer my impossible goal was to bike 60 km without stopping. I biked for 3 hours. Relaxing at the beach was my reward. If you try your best then you are a winner even if you do not achieve your goal. Increasing my strength and endurance so I could bike 60 km on a road with large hills was fairly easy because I trained by biking to beaches. I like relaxing at the beach and I only go when I ride my bicycle.

Taking a day or half a day for yourself can be difficult. Make sure people know that you are going to be busy exercising and resting. During the summer my exercise days are my beach days.

Wall push ups on a medicine ball.
Wall push ups on a medicine ball. | Source
I leveled up my push up routine by doing weighted decline push ups on my fingers.
I leveled up my push up routine by doing weighted decline push ups on my fingers. | Source

If you are not changing your workouts then your workouts are not changing your body.

Get Fit Fast by Leveling Up

Challenge yourself every week and try to progress to the next level in your workout routine. Workout hard one day a week. Then give your muscles lots of time to recover before doing it again. Aim for the impossible so you can do something amazing and get in the best shape of your life. If you can no longer improve then switch to a different exercise.

You may be able to improve almost every time and do things that seemed impossible. Weekly workouts can be more rewarding and enjoyable than daily workouts. They can also be more efficient. You could exercise less and get better results. However it is not easier than exercising daily.

Physically the workouts are harder and it takes longer to recover. Mentally I find it easier to motivate myself and have fun exercising once a week. If you want to quickly build muscle or lose fat by doing an exercise once a week then focus on improving your strength and endurance. Improve over and over again until you have the results you want.

I recommend daily and weekly workouts. The two most important things are to compete against yourself and to give your muscles time to recover. Treat exercise like a video game. Keep trying to get to the next level until you reach the end or you become bored. Then start over again with completely different exercise.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Michael H

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    • lateralscript profile image

      Daniel Sevan 

      15 months ago

      This makes so much sense to me, After training three times a week my body would constantly ache. so I tried varying my workouts and trained less and rested more and I started to see results and got stronger and more durable in the process. Great hub!

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