One of the most common questions I am asked is: “How many times should I attend class per week?” The correct answer is incredibly individual due to a number of other lifestyle choices and genetics.
I always try to answer from personal experience in addition to what I have seen work for the Clients I’ve observed in classes over the 10 years I’ve taught The Dailey Method (TDM).
3 times per week is a great number. Time wise it’s still manageable and you will continue to make changes to your body with every class. This is a good number for the busy Client that wants to be as time efficient in their fitness goal as possible or someone who has another practice that they like in addition to TDM. This is truly all you need to do to be anatomically healthy and to significantly change your body.
My personal goal is 4 times a week. I’m sure it’s hard to believe, seeing that I’m at one or another Studio almost every single day, but it’s not always easy for me to schedule my own workouts. Quantity or quality of exercise does not occur when I teach because I generally only demonstrate set up and then my focus is on helping the clients perfect their positioning so they get the most effective workout possible. Therefore, with three kids to manage in addition to the business, I have to truly schedule this important time for myself. When I take 4 classes I feel as strong and lean as needed for my body and comfort level. This is for the person that really loves to work out but still may have some time limitations. Clients that regularly attend this quantity have incredible form and focus in the practice and would not have to do any other form of exercise to achieve their personal best body.
I’m not an extreme personality type when it comes to exercise, but must say that when I do have the opportunity to take 5 classes a week, it’s amazing! I’m challenged with enough variety of exercises, positions and angles of strength and stamina that I feel stronger every day. This is a great number for former marathon runners or other athletes that want the intensity but a kinder, more rehabilitative exercise for their bodies.
In addition to time and personality there are also lifestyle, and genetic factors, which will help in determining the quantity of class that is right for you. For example:
-Food quantity and quality consumed. I’m not someone who restricts my diet but I do believe in the importance of both enjoying and eating the best quality and healthful food available. There is value to taste and if you’re enjoying what you’re eating this can have a positive impact in the long-term. Possibly keeping one from over-indulging or under eating. I believe food goes beyond just fueling my body so I tend to take an “anything in moderation is okay” approach.
-The amount of energy expended during the day. This is influenced by how much you physically move and the amount of energy devoted to that movement each day. Both the quantity and quality of exercise will determine the individual differences. There is a wide-range of activities that qualify, from taking stairs, chasing your children, or additional cardiovascular work you may incorporate into your day. Although you may not burn as many calories during your one-hour Dailey Method class as you would in a 60-minute cardiovascular workout, you will actually increase your metabolism by both repairing the muscle from your Dailey Method workout and from the improved lean-muscle vs. fat mass ratio of your new body. Before I started the Dailey Method I used to do 5 hours of cardiovascular work a week and was a size 6, now I only do the Dailey Method and I am a size 2. I have a Studio owner that used to run 6 days a week in addition to her Dailey Method practice. Once she (finally!) followed my advice to quit running, her body leaned out and loosened up significantly, with phenomenal results. We’re two of many true examples of how TDM works better overall than cardiovascular work on reshaping your body.
-Your lean body mass/fat mass percentage make up. This is what determines your metabolism. One of the reasons that you can continue to make these kinds of extreme changes to your body with this workout is a result of the muscular strength work we do in class. Due to the increased metabolic rate explained earlier, you have an increase in energy expenditure even while you’re sleeping, so you’re burning more calories all day long. With cardiovascular work this does not occur. This is why resistance training has proven to be so much more effective in changing ones body and shape over time.
In addition, it is widely recognized that benefits derived from core strengthening are the most important for maintaining the highest degree of health, physical comfort and longevity.