They say 'quality over quantity', but when it comes to exercise, there's still an assumption that more is, well... more.
Fitness influencer and trainer Krissy Cela recently proved that's not the case, however, by cutting the number of workouts she does per week in half and insisting she feels better than ever - both physically and mentally. So how does she do it? How has she managed to go from five-to-six workouts a week to doing just three-to-four, and not notice any adverse effects?
Krissy, who has 1.7 million followers on Instagram and founded the fitness app Tone & Sculpt, explains her change of routine to Cosmopolitan.
"My fitness journey started about five years ago and has almost always consisted of five to six workouts a week," Krissy says. "Soon after I started working out I knew I had found my true passion in fitness. I was motivated and I was doing it for me. I genuinely love to exercise, it makes me feel strong and empowered."
But a few months ago, Krissy noticed she was struggling.
"I found myself overwhelmed with trying to juggle too many things at once," she shares, explaining that the development and expansion of her fitness app began taking up a lot more of her time.[instagram]https://www.instagram.com/p/B0JeEyyFQV8/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading[/instagram]
"Running your own business means you are constantly on the go, it can be challenging to try and fit everything in."
While Krissy wanted to train, she also wanted to dedicate enough time to her app and her family life. "I slowly realised that my workouts should work around me, my lifestyle and my happiness, not the other way round," she tells Cosmopolitan.
Krissy switched from doing five or six workouts weekly, to a base level of three - and if she has time, she squeezes in a fourth.[instagram]https://www.instagram.com/p/B14Mk7OlolJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading[/instagram]
But despite initial feelings of guilt - "I was worried I would feel disappointed in myself," she confesses - Krissy soon realised there was no need for concern. Dropping her number of exercise sessions actually made her feel better, both psychologically and in terms of her physical ability.
"Physically and mentally I feel better than ever," shares the fitness influencer. "I am giving my body enough time to fully recover which means I can train even harder on my next session.
"As for mentally, I feel a lot less overwhelmed and anxious with everything and I can truly enjoy doing this for me again."
So how often should you work out? Krissy's advice is to decide whatever fits around your life.
"How many times do we get mad at ourselves for not hitting our 'five gym sessions a week goal'? Even if you make it to the gym for one day, that's one day that you decided to go and workout instead of making an excuse for why you couldn't. Whether it's two, three, four or five times per week, it really doesn't matter, it’s what works for you," the trainer advises.
"Shift your mindset from what you have told yourself you SHOULD be doing, be proud of yourself for the small achievements, and remember to do this for you," Krissy urges.
So maybe the 'quality over quantity' proverb really does apply to exercise.