There are a lot of different answers to this question as it really depends what your goals are.
One thing that I’ve learnt over nearly 20 years of training clients is that sometimes less is more and I think this is definitely the case when it comes to training for a sport like surfing but not only surfing.
If someone’s surfing 5 times week, or playing golf 3 times a week or doing a load of other training such as for a triathlon, the last thing they need is to be smashing themselves in the gym!
When designing a training program to get someone strong for a specific sport you need to take into account the demands that the sport already places on the body.
This will be very important when deciding how much volume their exercise program should have.
Things like the number of exercises, sets, reps and how often you do the program will all play a roll in determining how much volume the program will have.
Too much volume will cause over-training (which will negatively affect their sport performance) and too little won’t allow the body to adapt to achieve their training goals (which won’t help their sport performance much).
The following’s been taken from my website and is an example of how I use a fairly low training volume of 2 weights sessions a week in my 12 Week Surf Strength Programs:
HOW TO USE THE PROGRAM:
The amount of training (volume) in this program has been kept quite low on purpose.
The program shouldn’t take more than 2 hours a week (approximately 1 hour per workout including stretching and mobility exercises).
The program’s been designed to get you strong and moving well for surfing without over-training.
If you do too much training or go too heavy you’ll be more prone to muscle strains and joint injuries or you’ll be too sore or fatigued to surf well!
If you’re used to high volume or heavy weights training such as CrossFit or body building then this program might feel a bit easy at the start but it will get harder as you progress through it.
If you’re not surfing much try to do 2 cardio sessions a week for at least 20 minutes each as well as the program.
The best type of cardio training especially if you’re not surfing a lot is swimming because it’ll help increase both your anaerobic and aerobic fitness and your upper body endurance for paddling.
If you keep the rest times down in the program this will also help to increase your fitness but emphasis should still be on doing each exercise with good form.
Another option is to do a short cardio session after each program workout.
Things like age, how much you’re surfing, stress, training experience and other lifestyle factors will affect how well you recover from exercise.
Do the stretching/mobility exercises whenever you feel sore or tight and take rest days when needed to help you recover.
At the end of the day it’s up to you to listen to your body and adjust your training accordingly.
It’s all about finding that balance so you feel great when you do get in the water.
Hope you enjoy the ride!