By: Shawn Jang (NASM-CPT, NASM-CES, NASM-FNS, NASM-WLS)
A question we often get from our clients is how often they should work out. While this may seem like a simple question, the answer can greatly determine how slow or fast you want to achieve your fitness goals, help prevent injuries, and boost recovery time.
The following guideline is our general recommendation as each individual is different, but the main takeaways we want everyone to leave with are to listen to your body and that consistency is key.
Those who are new or have been working out for less than 3 months, whether that involves strength training, running, yoga, group fitness classes, or any other physical activity, should work out 1-2 times a week.
Your body is new to all the different physical stimuli that you are putting it through, so we advise you to take things slow. Fitness has different impacts on each individual, so one workout may make you very sore or fatigued over the course of a couple days.
Once you have been consistently working out for more than 3 months, your body is starting to adapt to the workouts you do, so we recommend increasing your frequency to 3-4 times a week.
Whether your current fitness goal is to lose body fat, build muscle, or maintain overall health, working out 3-4 times a week helps you achieve your goals faster. It allows you to progress through your workouts at an increased rate, helping you lose more body fat, build more muscle, gain more strength, or reduce recovery time.
People who have been working out consistently for more than 6 months have a good sense of what their bodies can do and may have hit a plateau in terms of achieving their fitness goals, so these people should start working out 5-6 times a week.
After 6 months of consistent exercise, your body has adapted to the level of activity that you are currently putting it through. In order to stay on top of your fitness goals, working out 5-6 times a week helps you lose those last few inches off your waist, achieve that defined, muscular look, or set a new bench press or biking PR.
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