We often get asked by clients and people we speak to online who are just starting out “how many days a week should I workout?” In short, there is no definitive rule for how often you should train. It all really depends on what you’re looking to achieve.
The best thing to do is to look at your fitness goals. Whether that be losing weight, building muscle or general health, you should be completing a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week.
This could be 5, 3 minute sessions a week, where you’re doing interval training, or 2 weight training sessions per week with some cardio taking over an hour each.
How many times per week you should be training really does depend on your goals. But as a minimum point, think about how much you’re currently doing.
What do we mean by moderate to vigorous activity?
Moderate activity would be an elevated heart rate above your resting norm, vigorous activity would be highly elevated heart rate well above the resting norm for prolonged durations.
Most visitors to this site are predominantly interesting in increasing their muscle mass and reducing body fat, so a good place to start would be advising some workout programs and how these can be used to get your minimum workouts per week, but achieve maximal results.
Example Workout Routines
- Full Body – 3x Per week – 1 day rest between sessions – 3 sessions per week
- Upper/Lower – 2 days on, 1 day off
- PPL (Push, Pull, Legs), 3 days on, 1 day off – 6 sessions per week
These are exercise program progressions. Most beginners (insert caveat here) in order to promote optimal growth should start with as much frequency as possible for target muscle groups with as little volume as possible to support and stimulate growth.
Over time, this volume will increase to a point where the frequency will need to vary as one may risk over training.
I would always recommend with a new starter to live in hypertrophy rep ranges, focusing on progressive overload with controlled contractions through a full range of motion. Beginners will see incredible results with minimal loads, so long as their form, diet and rest are sufficient.
If you are an absolute beginner, and happen to be interested in growing muscle mass, I definitely recommend finding yourself a GOOD personal trainer. This doesn’t have to be the biggest guy in the gym, but one that pays attention to you, creates person specific programmes geared to help you reach your goals. If you find a good PT, they’re invaluable at the start of your journey. Your progression will be much faster and a valuable investment as you look to acquire more knowledge.
Be cautious however, do your research about the PT, watch the way they train and the way they train clients. The worst thing you can do is learn from someone who doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. (We’ll probably right more on this at some stage).
So in summary, as a beginner, you should be completing at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, how this is structured depends on your goals AND you should spend time researching and potentially invest in a PT, if you’re looking for a PT, chances are we probably know one close to you, or you may want to work with us, so send us a message for our PT rates.