How Many Days per Week Should I Work Out
How Many Days Per Week Should I Work Out?
One question we get a lot, especially from people new to working out, is how often to exercise. If you hardly ever work out, you’ll hardly make any gains. But working out too much can lead to fatigue, injury and burnout.
So how often should you work out? The exact answer depends on your fitness goals, lifestyle, availability and other factors. However, the PowerBlock™ experts have some tips to help create a custom schedule that’s right for you. Remember: whichever schedule you choose, start small and work your way up for the best, most sustainable results.
The Fitness Fanatic: 6-7 Days a Week
For some people, fitness is life. Those people may feel the urge to work out every day. While experts generally recommend at least one day of rest per week, a 7-day-a-week workout schedule is doable if you manage it correctly. There are two keys to making this successful:
1. Work different muscle groups each day. For example, use PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells for two upper-body workouts and two lower-body workouts a week, then dedicate the remaining days to core or cardio. This allows the various muscles some recovery time while still getting a workout in.
2. Don’t push yourself to the limits. The harder you work your muscles, the more time they need to recover. Working out 6-7 days a week doesn’t leave much margin for error. Pushing yourself too hard one day can lead to an injury several days later simply because your muscles are tired.
3. Factor in cardio. This is the secret to maintaining a daily-workout schedule. Attempting to lift on a daily basis will inevitably force you to train muscle groups before they can fully recover. The solution is to reserve a day or two for cardio and low-impact recovery exercises like active and static stretching.
Moderate to Serious Gains: 4-5 Days a Week
An everyday-workout schedule isn’t realistic for most people. For those who are serious about fitness but have less lofty goals or a busy schedule, working out 4-5 days per week likely makes more sense.
Most experts, including the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommend 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical exercise a week. This can easily be accomplished in a 4-5 day schedule by working out for 30-40 minutes per day.
Another benefit of this schedule is that you can add some longer or higher-intensity workouts to your regimen because the built-in rest days give some time to recover. Such a routine is common among bodybuilders and long-distance runners.
Casual or High-Intensity Fitness: 3 Days a Week
Some people’s life schedules don’t allow working out even every other day. The good news is that, for everyday fitness, exercising three days a week is still enough to live a healthy lifestyle. You can even make the same gains as someone who works out six days a week as long as you’re putting in the same total volume.
A three-times-a-week schedule may also be optimal for those who like doing full-body workouts or high-intensity training. Less frequent workouts give your body adequate rest time so you can push harder during each workout – all while having time for other life obligations.
Depending on your goals, lifestyle and schedule, the optimal number of workout days per week varies. Regardless of the number of workout days that’s right for you, creating the healthy habit of working out regularly is the key to long-term success.