This is one of the most common questions that people ask when they are starting a new workout routine. But, exercise frequency or the number of times you should work out in a week is difficult to pinpoint. It is because each individual has a different body type, resistance, diet, health issue, etc.
However, there are four basic exercise frequencies that can help you to chalk out your workout routine effectively.
The 4 Basic Exercise Frequencies
• Overall Exercise Frequency: Overall exercise frequency is the total number of days you will be working out at the gym in a week (cardio, strength training, lifting, etc.). For optimum results, you should work out at least 5 – 6 days a week and contribute one full day to rest.
• Weight Training Frequency: The number of times you weight train in a week is your weight training frequency. The perfect frequency is three to four times a week. Do not exceed more than two consecutive training days back to back. Give your muscles the time to recover.
• Body Part Frequency: You can train your body parts or muscles once, twice or thrice per week in weight training. But, to maintain a balanced exercise frequency, perform split training twice a week.
For example: Workout on your upper body and lower body on two alternate days keeping a day gap in between. Train your upper body on Mondays and Thursdays and your lower body on Tuesdays and Fridays. Keep Wednesday for some other workout.
• Cardio Frequency: Apart from weight loss, cardio exercises improve your overall health. 20 minutes of cardio training three times a week develops your cardiovascular system and helps your muscles to sip in a lot of oxygen.
How long should you workout in a day?
Usually, you should workout for 30 – 90 minutes a day. The minutes spent at the gym also depends on the intensity of your workout. The more intense a workout is, the shorter the time it requires. If you want to work out for a long time, it is better to split it up. If your next stop after the gym is work, then a high-intensity 30-minute workout would do.
Variety and Consistency are Keys
Apart from exercise frequency, the two things that you would need for an effective workout are variety and consistency.
Multiple workout regimes add intense activity, provide effective results and keep you hooked.
At the same time, be consistent. If you are going to the gym five days a week, then maintain that. Exercise gives you gradual progress. Be patient and consistent.
So, adopt healthy habits, work out the right way, have enough rest and repeat.