This is one of the most asked questions when it comes to being physically active. However, the answer is not just one word. In fact, the answer is “it depends”. It depends on many factors, such as your goal and your abilities. So how to know how often you should work out? Here are a few different scenarios.
Working out to lose weight
Based on the general recommendations, you should lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week, no more. In order to lose weight, one needs to follow a diet that has a limited number of calories and burn more than they consume, through exercise. Depending on the weight you want to lose, you can increase the number of days of exercising per week. If you are looking to see results the soonest possible, and commit to a working out routine, then you need to work out at least four to 5 days per week.
However, if you are a beginner, you can build up your routine until you reach that number. Start with 2 to 3 days per week and increase the number with time. Include a combination of strength training, cardio, stretching, and core workout. Make sure that your workout is made of both, cardio and strength training. The first type will help you burn calories and improve your moods, making you more energetic to work out. You can opt for 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week and up to 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio also per week. A good plan for losing weight considered two days of moderate-intensity cardio sessions and two days of high-intensity cardio such as HIIT.
As for strength training, 2 to 3 days per week are helpful to reach that goal. Make sure that you adopt a full-body workout that engages many muscles at the same time.
Since you will be working out 4 to 5 days per week, make sure you take at least 2 days to rest per week.
Working out to build muscles
While most people work out to lose weight, others have a different goal. Therefore, people who want to build muscles, know that they need to combine cardio and strength training, and they need to do both the right amount of time per week to avoid complications. Too much of this workout can over-train your muscles and too little of it means that your gains will be minimal.
For this purpose, you can stick to two to three days of cardio every week. Do between 25 and 35 minutes of high-intensity sessions.
You also need to do some strength training in order to gain muscles. Make sure that you do so at least three days per week so that this process is effective. Structure your workouts and the number of days where you do strength training based on your fitness level.
Also, make sure that you split your workout between upper and lower body training, doing two sessions per week for each part, incorporating cardio and rest days as well.