One of the fitness world’s million dollar questions: how often should I work out? Research across the industry varies, and you’ll find different answers for different workouts like weight training, cardio and aerobic activity, or bodyweight workouts, on how many times per week you should endeavor in each.
Hmmm, where could you possibly go to work out that encompasses all of this?
Fitness experts recommend anywhere from two to six workouts per week. Sources saying you should work out twice per week are the same that recommend that whole grains and pasta make up the highest percentage of your diet. Why do Americans look and feel the way they do? I just don’t understand.
There is one common theme pretty much everywhere you look: the amount of time you devote to working out depends on what your goals are.
If you are overweight, deconditioned, or new to exercising you should consider planning for a workout schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or, alternatively, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Think one day on, one day off, and repeat this cycle.
Having a routine and sticking to it, even when times are tough, is what is going to transform you to the “new and improved you.” Don’t leave your health to chance, commit to it.
Once your body’s recovery process has improved, and you can handle a higher workload, look to keeping a rotation of going to the gym on back-to-back days, then taking one day of rest.
For competitive athletes the CrossFit main site recommends three days on, one day off. This works well for workout volume and proper rest.
For any of the aforementioned routines, this snip-it from CrossFit Impulse, sums it up pretty well. “If your body is getting the nutrients it needs to perform tissue repair and fuel your workouts then you can train more often. If you eat poorly then you will inevitably train less often or with less intensity, and will require more rest when you are done. Your body also won’t get as full a benefit from the workout because you haven’t supplied it with the tools to fully adapt to the stress you provided during the workout.”
Above all listen to your body. Work through soreness and fatigue. Beware of working through pain, especially acute pain.
Train often enough to reach your fitness goals, but not too much that you overtrain or develop overuse injuries.
A goal for all of us should be to do something active for at least thirty minutes per day (stretch, hike, bike, swim, sports games, mobility, yoga, etc.).
Your body is made to move, not to sit on the couch!