We don’t really need to work out daily, do we? How many days a week should you work out to realistically get results, while keeping all your other plates spinning in life?
A quick glance on my Facebook and Twitter feeds makes it seem like everyone is working out ALL THE TIME. I remember when people exercised and didn't feel the need to tell anybody else, but enough of my youth-of-today grumbles :-)
If you are like me and already have so much going on in life (career, family, social life, hobbies) and want to get in shape, realistically how often should you exercise each week to get results?
Most of us just want to know how often to exercise each week to get fitter, a bit stronger, lose a little body fat and feel healthier, right? We don’t want to spend our lives in the gym
So do you need to work out daily? Or is a couple of times per week 'enough'?
How Many Times A Week Should You Work Out?
Now, I could bore you to tears with an analysis of different ways of balancing training volume, intensity, workout frequency, and sleep/recovery.
However, if you’re like me you would quickly zone out and skim to the part of the article where I actually tell you how often you should work out, since that’s all you really want to know.
So I’m just going to tell you right now. Drum roll please…
Was that a little anticlimactic? I should have built up more suspense first, right?
We've become so used to fitness and nutrition being so complicated that a clear, simple answer can be jarring.
Well based on various studies, and keeping myself in shape through life’s ups and downs for the past 27 years, and helping countless other people of all shapes and sizes to get fitter and healthier when they’d rather stick pins in their eyes than work out, that is what I recommend.
What does that mean in practice? Basically, we need to organise our lives so that we can work out three times per week for less than an hour, with a mix of:
Strength training, to improve body shape, bone density, and all-round usefulness as a human;
Short bursts of higher intensity cardiovascular work to build "running for a bus" fitness;
Longer bursts of cardio to build stamina
Obviously remember not to neglect sleep either. Sleep helps the body to recover from training, regulates your metabolism so you’re burning calories effectively, and improves your mood and energy levels so you’re actually able and willing to work out.
Exercise Priorities and Workout Planning
Depending on where your priorities lie you can focus on one of those three types of exercise more than the others.
But for all-round fitness, you can get in amazing shape (assuming your diet is in check) and look and feel fit and strong in less than three hours of training time per week. When planning your workouts, three days per week means basically training on alternate days.
And for most of us, even when life feels busy, that’s a pretty realistic amount of time to find each week to improve our health and fitness. Now that wasn’t that complicated at all, was it? Happy Training!