How Often Should You Workout?

I workout 4-6 times a week, depending on how I feel and I like to take at least one day off where I do absolutely nothing. Non-fitness people are shocked to hear how much I workout but workout frequency doesn’t really mean anything. It’s all about the quality of your workouts based on type, volume and intensity.

Friend #1 can tell you they workout 6x/week but all the workout consists of running for an hour on the treadmill and maybe some light yoga, whereas Friend #2 works out 3x/week but incorporates heavy lifting and HIIT cardio. Who do you think will be more successful in the long run?

Investing in health will produce enormous benefits.

Notes on Training Frequency:

  • There is no right or wrong answer to how often you should workout a week because it depends on one’s fitness goals and schedule.
  • If your goal is to lose weight, which is 80% diet, spending too much time at the gym maybe counter-productive (especially if most of that is doing steady-state cardio). Most people trying to lose weight, exercise too much while often over-restricting calories which means not properly fueling their bodies and letting it recover with proper diet and nutrition. This will damage your metabolism and make your body hang onto fat.
  • If you want to get stronger and fitter, do it more often.
  • If you simply love working out and do it for both health AND leisure, there’s nothing wrong with spending more time exercising. Just remember to take proper rest days and have variety in type and intensities.
  • Short and intense workouts are generally better than long and less-intense ones for fat loss (eg. HIIT vs steady-state).
  • Some of my best workouts are the short ones when I’m on a time crunch. Having exactly an hour at the gym, including time in the changeroom, will force your brain to focus like never before. It’s an amazing feeling and you will get an amazing workout!
  • It’s beneficial to your body and mind to have active rest days. Take time off from the usual intense stuff and go for a walk or take a relaxing yoga class.
  • The real key is to move everyday.
  • It’s really okay to train the same muscle 2 days in a row. Those who train a little bit more intelligently can train more frequently.
  • Maintain a constant variety of training load (reps, sets, rest time, exercise selection/order, etc) as well as intensity.
  • The most important thing: listen to your body.

How often do you workout?

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