There are a lot of questions in the fitness industry — one of them is “how many times a week should you workout?” While it is important to be active every day – even if it is just for a short walk – sometimes, it can be hard to make it to the gym all the time. So if you are wondering how many times a week should you workout, there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on the individual and his or her routine. However, your exercise program needs to be adjusted accordingly, while also taking into account your fitness goals.
You should always prioritize your rest and recovery days to give your body a break. It is important that you do not exercise or train every single day without rest. Contrary to belief, it does not help you reach your fitness goals faster. In fact, it could slow you down. You could over train and injure yourself.
However, you shouldn’t just workout once a week; you should be moving every day. Doing so will keep you fit and healthy. Also, if you want to make progress, then you cannot space your workouts too far apart. When you train, you make progress and in between your next session, you go back to the level you were before. This is why you need to continuously train. You need something to work and build from.
How many times a week should you workout if your focus is on fat loss?
If your fitness goal is to lose fat, then 3-4 times a week in the gym is ideal. You should do a mixture of strength and cardio training.
Cardio helps to keep your heart healthy and keep fat levels down. HIIT ( High Intensity Interval training) is particularly great for fat loss though you can do what cardio you enjoy the most. You can do aerobics, use the treadmill, bike, boxing, and even jump rope.
It is also crucial that you also add strength training to your workout. People tend to neglect weight training when they are trying to cut fat but in fact, it can really make a difference in your progress.
Muscle actually increases your metabolic rate, meaning that you will burn more calories.
How many times a week should you workout if your focus is on gaining muscle?
If you focus on strength training and want to gain more muscle, then try hitting the gym 4-5 times a week. This will involve heavy lifting so it is important not to train the same muscle group more than two times in a row. Doing so will overload the muscle and you will risk injuring yourself, which can set you back even more. The usual regime that people follow is to isolate each muscle group per day. This way, you are not training the same muscles in a row, giving yourself time to recover.
Some group splits that you can follow include: legs, glutes, chest, back, shoulders, arms, and abs.
Can’t make it 4-5 times a week at the gym? Try combining some muscle groups in one day such as chest and shoulders.
What if you can only go to the gym 1-2 times a week?
If you can only go to the gym once or twice a week, you can still reduce the risk of heart and/or cardiovascular disease. But you will need to hit your total weekly recommended exercise time. This is about 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
So make sure that you keep your heart rate up the entire time (HIIT can help). Don’t forget about strength training as well. Try to fit in a full-body workout to make up for the other days.
But it is also important to remember that you need to fit exercise in every day. So even if you can’t make it to the gym, make sure you are going for a walk and moving as much as possible in your everyday life
Also note that if you want to really progress and reach fitness goals, it will be difficult to do with only 1-2 times of training. Consistency is key.
What to do on recovery days?
Recovery Day doesn’t mean you should sit all day and not do anything. You can still do some light sessions to help with your recovery. This may include stretching, foam rolling, or even some light cardio.
Make sure that you move every day, even during recovery. Another point to remember is to sleep.
It doesn’t matter how many times you workout in a week if you do not get your beauty sleep. Getting good quality sleep means that you are giving your body that time to rest. Without enough sleep, you don’t have the chance to repair damaged muscle fibers. Also, without it, your next training session will feel a lot harder than if you’re well-rested.