That’s a question we receive on a weekly basis here at LeanStop.com.
It’s a great question because it shows people are concerned over over-training, or under-training.
Let’s go over a few things to see the optimum workout frequency depending on your goals
How Many Times A Week Should I Workout
Before we can answer this question, we need to know what your specific goals are.
Is it fat loss?
Is it muscle gain?
If we workout too much, we run the risk of not building any muscle.
If we workout too little, we run the risk of not losing maximum fat.
Let’s look at both of these goals to see what kind of workout frequency is sufficient.
How Many Times A Week Should I Workout – Fat Loss
For maximum fat loss results, work on your diet first and foremost.
The start of your weight loss journey should be spent decreasing the amount of food you take in.
You can do some light, steady-state cardio such as walking a few times a week, or everyday.
Starting off with calorie reduction first will allow your body to get rid of excess water weight, jump start your weight loss, and get some major traction going on.
If you focus on exercise alone, you’ll be sorely disappointed at your results because you’ll need hours upon hours of exercise to see measurable results.
Once you’ve lost a good amount of weight through diet, and possibly some steady-state cardio, you can then add in more work out days or high intensity training.
Steady state cardio is any activity such as walking, running or jogging where your intensity is at a steady-paced level.
There’s a few different workout frequencies in this category depending on what you like to do.
For me, I like to walk, so when I’m looking to lose some fat, I’ll walk an hour a day, everyday. The low intensity of walking allows me to walk every single day and stay active in some way.
If you love to walk, go for an hour walk everyday.
If you’re a runner, run for 30 minutes everyday or every other day.
Jogging can be done for 30 minutes everyday as well.
High Intensity Cardio
High intensity cardio is any activity done at a high intensity.
If you’re sprinting and giving it all you’ve got, that’s high intensity.
Because of the level of intensity with this type of exercise, I recommend no more than 3 days a week on non-consecutive days.
How Many Times A Week Should I Workout – Muscle Gain
For muscle gain, we have to realize that LESS IS MORE.
With most all things in life, more is better, but not with building muscle.
To re-build muscle tissue, we need rest and recovery.
So I’ve found through experience and helping others build muscle that lifting weights with a high intensity level and working out just 3 days a week is one of the best, if not the best, workout frequency.
The people in the gym 5 days a week or every single day are generally, GENERALLY, people who aren’t working out with a high intensity level and/or on enhancements aka steroids, etc.
I say generally, because there are some “super humans” with great genetics that can probably get away with working out more often, but for the vast majority of us natural people, we benefit greatly with less workouts and more rest.
So if you’re looking to build muscle, 3 days a week on non-consecutive days will give you great results.
To see a great workout schedule, click here.
To sum up, how many times a week should you workout depends on your goals.
For fat loss, you can do steady state cardio such as walking for an hour everyday.
If you’d like a bit more intensity, do some sprints 3 times a week.
For muscle building, high intensity (heavy weights) for just 3 days a week is optimal.
You could also mix and match – muscle building workouts 3X a week coupled with steady state cardio (walking) every single day.
Or muscle building workouts 3X a week coupled with 2-3 times a week of high intensity cardio (sprinting).
Remember, too much working out can really have a negative effect on your central nervous system as well as your body.
Less is MORE!