So you’ve picked out a workout regimen that you feel comfortable with. You know exactly what muscles to target, and are hitting the gym on the regular. Big question that isn’t asked enough: Are you going to the gym too much? How much time should you allow between workouts? Should you be exercising twice a week? Five times a week? Every day? Knowing how often you should work out is key to getting the results you want from a fitness plan.
There are different recommendations pertaining to frequency of exercise. Some people believe the more you work out, the better. Others like to play it safe and just work out once or twice a week. There’s really no black and white answer to the question. Honestly, it depends on a number of factors:
How Busy Is Your Schedule? Everyone’s schedule is different. Some of us work 9-5 while others work the graveyard shift or the weekends. You should work out whenever your schedule allows for it. The key is to try to be active daily. Days you cannot head to the gym, find ways to stay active. Whether that is doing a few pushups to start your day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If you can only work out twice a week without feeling overwhelmed, that’s fine. If you are lucky and can work out five times a week, that’s great as well.
Your Level of Fitness: If you are just starting out on a fitness regimen, you don’t want to overdo yourself. Although it is great that you have the desire to start strong, you probably shouldn’t be working out 5-6 times a week if you’ve led a sedentary life for years. You’ll just hurt yourself and be sidelined for days, weeks or sometimes months. Ease into it and add more days or workouts as you start to see progress.
During exercise, your muscle fibers tear and need time to heal and come back stronger than ever. If you’re constantly fatiguing your muscles, they never have time to heal. In turn, this can lead to serious injury that could ruin any sort of progress you’ve made during your fitness regimen.
Your Workout Venue: You’re more likely to work out often if you exercise at home. There’s no need to get your gym bag ready or deal with mind-numbing traffic when you work out at home. If you’ve had a long day at work and then have to head to the gym for a workout, you might just go home and relax instead of actually exercising. Investing in a good set of dumbbells and a pull-up bar can go a long way.
Keep these factors in mind when determining how often you should work out. Again, the goal is to be active regardless of whether you can work out every day or just one day a week. The popular opinion is that you should work out 3-5 times a week with a rest day in between sessions.
Work out as often as you feel comfortable. Don’t push yourself too hard and use common sense by implementing recovery days into your regimen. With all these tips in mind, you should find a nice fitness groove and get the results you want.