Though a seemingly simple question, “How many days a week should I work out?” is surprisingly hard to answer. Some people are committed to getting some type of sweat on every day, while others swear a few times a week is more than enough to achieve your goals. So how do you know what’s actually accurate information?
The truth is most of the fitness advice you receive online works for someone, but that someone may not be you. What it all comes down to is figuring out what your ultimate (long-term) goal is and what works for your specific lifestyle.
Workout Frequency and Schedule
When I was a fitness trainer, the most popular question I would get asked was how many days I would recommend that a client works out. And the answer is: “It depends.” Unfortunately, fitness is not one-size-fits-all, and that also applies to how often you should work out.
That said, there are some general guidelines you can operate within. The key here is to pay attention to your body’s unique needs and adjust based on how you’re feeling.
If your goal is to be more healthy and in shape, or if you’re just starting your fitness routine, 3–4 days/week is a great start.
Sessions only have to be around 30 minutes before you start to notice a difference, and no, that doesn’t mean it’s all cardio for you. Strength training is especially important for women to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
For Fitness Queens
When you get to the point where you are attacking your workouts with fierce intensity and feel like you’re ready for more volume and more fitness, then it’s time to bump up your routine to 4–5 days per week.
While both cardio and strength training are equally important, the type of exercise you do more of should match your overall goal. If you are training to run a marathon or play a sport that requires endurance, put more focus on cardio. If you are looking to build lean muscle mass, your focus should be on the weights.
Can You Work out Too Often?
Here’s the cold, hard truth...there is such a thing as working out too much. If you’re feeling run-down, fatigued or have ongoing muscle soreness (to name a few), this could be your body telling you to slow down.
Finding the right frequency and schedule of fitness for your particular body can be a big game of trial and error. You want to push yourself — but not too far that you could end up injured. Pay careful attention to your levels of soreness, and let your body rest when it needs it. If you don’t allow your muscles to repair themselves and your body to rest, then all that time in the gym could just leave you on a frustrating plateau.
The Other (Maybe More) Important Stuff
So, you’re working out and everything is going great during your training, but you’re not seeing any results. What’s up with that?
You may have heard the phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen,” and I hate to break it to you, but it’s so true! Nutrition plays a key role in achieving your fitness goals (it is often thought that 80% of fitness is nutrition and 20% is exercise). You can work yourself to the ground, but it doesn’t matter if you’re not eating properly.
This is why we’re dedicated to giving you the fuel you need to crush your fitness goals at Buddy Nutrition. Whether you’re looking to tone up or lose weight, getting the right type of protein you need at the right levels is crucial to seeing your body transform. With our quick questionnaire, we’re able to understand what you need to support your workout routine and use that information to build the perfect blend of protein and supplement boosts that will help you unlock your goals. Get started today!
Katie Ferraro is a lifestyle writer based in Santa Cruz, CA who is passionate about fitness, sustainability, and holistic wellness. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the beauty of California, or really anywhere in nature.