How Many Times A Week Should I Workout?
Some people will say that recovery and rest days are really important to get stronger and fitter and working out every day is bad for you because you’ll “overtrain” and on the other hand, people say that working out every day is super good and they wouldn’t have it every other way. So, how many times a week should you workout?
What Is Progress Based On?
Getting stronger in the gym and getting fitter doesn’t really happen when you’re doing the exercise.
The magic happens when you’re resting, the majority of growth and recovery happens when you’re asleep.
When answering the questions it’s never a one size fits all. I mean think about it, let’s say you were to go to a bunch of power cleans and 1 rep max deadlifts 3 times per week. vs 2 hours walking on the treadmill 2 hours per day, of course, you need less rest for the walking.
Understand that increasing any of these increases your need for recovery, if all are high then your recovery is going to be high.
If you’re training to failure and you’re doing CrossFit type workouts then you’re 100% not going to be able to train every day. I mean you can, but one time your performance may suffer.
Sometimes you can get away with it, especially if you’re young and/or you gave the genetic capability which endows you with a speedy recovery and athletic performance.
But if you’re an average joe then it’s important to remember that keeping an eye on these three things and the rate of your recovery and progress is super important.
If your building strength then you’re going to be focused on intensity, if you’re focused on growing your muscles perhaps you’re focused on volume and if you’re focused on getting better at callisthenics and/or running perhaps you’re more focused on your frequency.
Certain types of exercise such as strength training will generally require more rest than something like volume based work or callisthenics, or even a jog because by lifting heavy weights you not only fatigue your muscle tissue but much of your central nervous system which needs more time to recover.
The Truth About Overtraining
If you keep exercising too much and you’re going over what you’re capable of recovering you begin to overreach.
Overreaching isn’t the same as overtraining and isn’t necessarily bad in the short-term if used strategically., but your performance will begin to suffer as you transition from over-reaching to over-training.
This isn’t as easy to do as many people make it out to be and your body is much more capable than you give it credit for, but this is something you most definitely want to avoid. It’s not a fun time.
For muscle growth, muscle protein synthesis will generally run its course in this time frame.
Although it may take longer or even less time depending on your genetics, age, sex, hormonal profile and most importantly the food you’re actually eating and it’s not just protein which affects this. That’s a different video.
Now this topic can go on and on and on and you’re all doing different exercise programs, I’m sure.
I think that between 3-5 workouts per week are a good place to start.
I can’t give you a “routine” to follow because you all have different goals and different bodies, but what I can do is give you what I do just as an example.
Personally, I train 5 times per week in the gym doing callisthenics and a few weights (yeah I lift a bit lol) and I also go on about 6 quick jogs throughout the week either as warm-ups or just when I feel like it.
That seems to work for me.
So how often should you workout per week? Well. Start reasonably at 3, 4 or 5 times per week.
Track your progress and as long as you’re not pushing your body to the extreme but pushing just enough to make steady progress week to week then you’re doing something right.
Don’t try to make a decision about how often you’re going to work out per week this instant, just give it time, track everything and I mean everything you do from sleep to training, to the food you eat in a journal and then over time begin to quantify and analyse the data to find what works best for you.
I think everyone does well on 3 weight/calisthenic days and 2 cardio days and that’s a good place to start.