How Often Should I Work Out?
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gym-goer, you may be wondering how often you should work out to get the best results.
The answer really depends on your goals and on your overall fitness level. This article breaks it down for you so you can schedule your workouts accordingly.
Remember, one of the best ways to stay motivated at the gym is to plan ahead, whether your goal is weight loss or muscle gain. Knowing how often you should work out and sticking to that plan is one of the most effective ways to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle.
If you’re looking for a good tool to keep you on schedule and on track, I highly recommend the Fitlosophy Fitbook. It’s great for keeping track of your goals, logging your workouts, and staying motivated.
So, how often should you work out? Let’s take a look…
Beginner – Generally, if you’ve never worked out before in any serious way, you should probably take things a bit easy at first. This doesn’t mean you get to do it without any effort. But in terms of days per week, it’s always safe to start out around 3-4 days a week.
If you’ve been living a relatively sedentary lifestyle up until this point, suddenly working out like crazy could be hard on your body, depending on other health factors. Start out with at least 3 days per week for the first 2-4 weeks, and then slowly start to increase. If you’re weight training, I usually recommend 30 minute workouts for beginners, alternating between upper and lower body.
Intermediate – If you have a little more fitness experience and are already in fairly good shape, then you’re going to want to hit the gym 4-5 days per week to reach your goals. You don’t need to worry so much about preparing your body, but still keep in mind that any major shift is going to take some adjustment.
If you’re looking to pack on the muscle, then there are a few things I recommend for the intermediate weight lifter. First, try to focus your workouts on specific muscle groups. Generally a chest/triceps, back/biceps, core, legs/shoulders split is a good place to start. Since most people aren’t getting enough protein in their diets to support this schedule, you should also be supplementing with a protein supplement like Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion.
Advanced – Okay, so if you consider yourself at the advanced fitness level (and trust me, you know if you are), then you obviously need to kick things up a notch. If your goals include major gains in muscle size and strength, athletic endurance, or significant toning, then you should be hitting the gym 5-6 days per week.
When you’re working out this often, you have to be mindful of muscle recovery. Make sure you’re giving each muscle group at least 48 hours of rest between workouts. In addition to a protein supplement (a great advanced option is MHP Probolic-SR Muscle Feeder), you should also be supplementing with an amino acid complex like Scivation Xtend. This will further ensure adequate muscle recovery and repair. For further ideas on workout recovery check out my article – Post Workout Recovery Supplements.
No matter your fitness level or goals, remember – working out even twice a week is better than nothing! Do what you can, and continuously challenge your body to take things to the next level.
Have any questions or feedback about how often you should work out? Please leave a comment below…