It’s the age old question for every fitness-attuned individual: “how many days a week should I work out?” And while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are some general ‘best practices’ everyone should try to follow.
1. Give it a Rest
Yes it’s a bit ironic that we’re starting out by mentioning the need for rest. But resting for a day in between workouts is important for rebuilding your muscles and making you feel refreshed the next time around.
Think about it, even if you’re taking every-other-day off that’s almost four days of exercise per week. That’s plenty for most of us.
2. Know You Goals
If you’re trying to become Hugh Jackman in X-Men, you’re gonna need to lift weights at least 6 days per week. If you’re training for a marathon, you’re gonna need to run 6 days per week. But if you’re just a normal person trying to maintain an adequate, or above adequate level of health, you can probably do between 3-5 days.
There are plenty of training materials you can consult based on the results you’re aiming to achieve.
3. Don’t Fear Being Normal
Everyone thinks they need to go HAM in the gym to see crazy results. I mean, yes, if you’re trying to get to some bizarrely buff physical level, but don’t fear being just healthily fit. Why? That’s all you need to be. You have a busy life where you probably work anywhere from 40-60 hours per week, and time is of the essence. Here’s how to maintain a “normal” workout schedule:
- 3 Times Per Week – If you can get yourself going to the gym three days per week, you’re getting somewhere. Like we said before, that constitutes about every-other-day, which is perfect because that gives you time to focus on the rest of your busy life.
- Workout a Different Muscle Group Each Time – If you focus on your forearms everyday, you’re going to have some monstrous forearms, which is fine except that you’ll be neglecting everything else. Not good. Make sure to space out your different body part workouts throughout the week. Yes, that includes leg day—everyone’s favorite holiday, NOT.
- Run, Run, Run – So many people forget cardio when in fact cardio is one of the most important workouts you can do. It keeps your circulatory system running smoothly and helps you recover from an exercise more quickly. You’ll be looking good if you can do something cardio related at least twice a week.
So the amount of time you spend working out is all about what you’re looking to achieve. If your goals are normal and realistic like most of ours, you’ll be fine with just 3 days a week.
— Mindfulness Wellness (@HealingMB) June 30, 2017