How often should I workout?

How Often Should You Go to the Gym?

There’s no magic number of times you should hit the gym every week. How often you should go will depend on your body, your fitness goals, and your schedule. Still, there are some general guidelines that we are going to cover in this article.

To Improve Your General Fitness

Workout 4 to 5 Days a Week

If your goal is greater endurance or burning calories, try three days of cardio and two of strength training. If your goal is building strength and muscle tone, reverse that. You could also switch each week to keep things balanced.

Try “active rest” in your off days. It’s important to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day to maintain good health, even though you aren’t working out. This could include taking a walk around your neighborhood, playing ball with your kids, or even doing yard work or chores.

Benefits: A four to five day a week gym schedule allows for a balanced workout routine. It keeps you active and in the habit of going to the gym, while still allowing your body time to recover between workouts. Many people find that they just feel better when they’ve been to the gym!

Potential Risks: If you’ve got a packed schedule, it may be difficult to find time for four to five gym sessions. Once you start missing workouts, it’s easy to get frustrated and out of the habit. Cut back to three days instead and make the most of them.

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To Lose Weight or Reduce Body Fat Percentage

Workout 5 to 6 Days a Week

To lose weight, most adults need 60 to 90 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per day while keeping caloric intake in check. This can vary according to your diet, your age, weight, and gender, plus the types of workouts you do.

You don’t have to spend all your time on cardio machines or in aerobics class to lose weight. Dedicating two or three days to resistance training will tone and strengthen your muscles while burning calories. Focus on aerobic exercise the other three to four days.

Benefits: Going to the gym five times per week allows you complete your daily workouts in one session, and gives you access to many different ways to exercise. Exercising most days of the week is good not only for weight loss, but for your overall health and well-being.

Possible Risks: When weight loss is your goal, it’s easy to start out very motivated about going to the gym and then start to burn out. This is especially true if you weren’t active before and are now hitting the gym five days a week. Rather than skipping workouts because you don’t feel motivated, try changing things up. Try a dance aerobics class, kickboxing or swimming instead of running on the treadmill every time. Learn a new sport.

You might also try cutting back your gym time and instead ramp up the intensity with HIIT workouts if appropriate for your fitness level. If you’re burned out going nearly every day, you could try going three or four days a week and adjusting your workout intensity and/or caloric intake.

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To Build Muscle

Workout 3 to 4 Days a Week

On a three to four day schedule, focus on two muscle groups per session. Do not work the same muscles on consecutive days, allow them time to recover. Some people do well on a five to six day a week schedule, working only one muscle group each time.

If you want to go the gym more often, you can, but don’t overwork tired muscles. They need the rest. Instead, try a restorative yoga class. Take advantage of the sauna or spa to ease soreness, or go take a walk.

Benefits: A three to four day schedule allows for adequate rest. Muscles don’t grow when you’re lifting weights. They grow as they recover and repair themselves between sessions. Your nervous system also needs to recover so you perform exercises correctly. Push your muscles too hard, too often, and you risk plateaus and injuries due to overtraining.

Potential Risks: Even when you’re allowing rest days, you need to listen to your body. Your body may need more time to repair itself than you’ve allowed, especially following a particularly intense workout. If a muscle is very sore, pay special attention and don’t work it out again until it recovers.

For more information, talk to one of our Fitness Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request in our Mavyn website.

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