Do you like to be active? Do you like feeling strong and healthy? If so, an active lifestyle is something you should definitely strive for.
An active lifestyle has many amazing benefits, the most important of which is keeping your body healthy.
But an important question here is… How often should you train? And well, that’s a tricky question, because it depends on what you want to achieve.
For instance, if you’re looking to get in great shape, tone up, or just stay healthy, then three to four times a week is a good place to start.
But if you’re looking to compete in bodybuilding or powerlifting competitions, then you’ll need to be training every day in some way.
Now let’s discuss this commonly-asked question to get you to your optimal training frequency!
Here’s what you should consider…
Level Of Training
The first and perhaps most important consideration when building out the frequency in your training regimen is your personal level of training.
Especially for weight training, too frequent heavy sessions may be a tad bit too exhausting for beginners.
On the contrary, the more you train, the more work you can do, more frequently – This is what we call adaptation/gains!
We would generally recommend for beginners to train every other day (3-4 times a week), while intermediate and advanced trainees can bump up their sessions to 5-6 per week.
Type Of Training
Training frequency should correspond to the type of training being done.
For example, intense training shouldn’t be done every day because it can lead to overexertion and exhaustion, which can cause a decline in performance.
On the other hand, low-intensity training can be performed more often without any adverse effects because it is not really strenuous on the nervous system and the muscles.
Think about it – professional sprinters don’t sprint every single day – They use most of the week to do workouts in preparation for the day where they will test their maximum capabilities.
As a rule of thumb, you should remember that you would need 48-96 hours to fully recover before your next workout for the same muscle group. (i.e, if you train your chest on Monday at 5 pm, you’d be best off training it again Thursday or Friday around the same time.)
Oppositely, if you’re doing low-intensity cardio workouts, you can do them every single day!
Sleep & Food
Besides the type of training and your personal advancement, another thing to consider is your sleep schedule and eating habits.
This is because training frequency is just one part of your recovery, and though important, you need to factor in sleep and food, as well!
And so, are you working a night shift, or do you have anything else that is robbing you of proper sleep?
Are you having issues with your appetite, or do you simply not have places where you can get quality food?
If that’s the case, you may consider increasing your rest time between workouts (decreasing training frequency) until you sort these problems out!
The optimal training frequency depends on a variety of factors, including your fitness level, age, and how intensely you work out.
But as a general rule, aim to strength train at least 2-3 times a week as a beginner and 5-6 times as an intermediate/advanced trainee.
And cardio, well, do that when you please – As long as it’s not overly extensive, you can do cardio practically every single day.
Most importantly, however, consider this – You don’t need to be in the gym every single day.
Much like anything else in life, consistency is the most important thing, especially with training.
2-3 sessions per week, done consistently over a year, are better than 6-7 sessions a week, done during a short burst of motivation.