How Many Days a Week Should I Workout?
Regular exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle and can provide numerous physical and mental health benefits.
The number of days you should work out in a week depends on several factors, including your fitness goals, current fitness level, and schedule. As a general guideline, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that, "healthy adults should aim to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, spread out over at least three days per week." (ACSM, 2023)
Building Muscle as a Fitness Goal
If your fitness goal is to build muscle or improve your strength, you should also include resistance training in your workout routine, with a focus on working each major muscle group at least two days per week. However, it's important to give your muscles time to recover, so you should avoid doing strength training exercises on consecutive days.
What Muscle Groups you Should Train
The specific muscle groups you should focus on when weight training will depend on your goals and fitness level. However, as a general guideline, it is recommended to include exercises that target the following muscle groups:
Chest: Exercises such as bench press, push-ups, and chest flyes can target the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor).
Back: Exercises such as rows, pull-ups, and lat pulldowns can target the back muscles (latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, and erector spinae).
Legs: Exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg press can target the leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Shoulders: Exercises such as overhead press, lateral raises, and rear delt flyes can target the shoulder muscles (deltoids).
Arms: Exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, and chin-ups can target the arm muscles, including the biceps and triceps.
It's also important to incorporate exercises that work the core muscles, which help stabilize the spine and support good posture. These exercises can include planks, sit-ups, and leg raises. Remember to always warm up before beginning your weight training routine, and to start with a weight that is appropriate for your current fitness level. Gradually increase the weight and intensity of your workouts over time as you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercises.
Overall, if your goal is to build muscle, it is generally recommended to work out at least three to four days per week, with each workout session lasting around 45-60 minutes. This frequency allows for adequate stimulus to the muscles and enough time for recovery.
However, the exact number of days you should work out will depend on various factors, such as your current fitness level, workout intensity, and recovery time. It's important to avoid overtraining, which can lead to injury and fatigue, and to give your muscles enough time to recover and grow.
In addition to frequency, it's also important to consider the types of exercises you are doing and the amount of weight you are lifting. In order to build muscle, you should focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. You should also progressively increase the weight you are lifting over time, as this will provide the necessary stimulus for muscle growth.
Remember to also prioritize proper nutrition and rest to support your muscle-building goals. Consuming enough protein and calories to support muscle growth, and getting enough sleep to allow for adequate recovery, are both important factors in building muscle. It may be beneficial to consult with a qualified fitness professional or registered dietitian to develop a personalized workout and nutrition plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.
Ultimately, the number of days you should work out in a week depends on your individual needs and goals. It's a good idea to consult with a qualified fitness professional to help you develop a personalized workout plan that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals safely and effectively.