For a great many people, the greatest obstruction to hitting their get-fit objectives isn’t what practices they incorporate into their workouts – it is how consistent they are in their workouts.
By having too much time in between your workouts, you don’t allow your body enough time to build off that last workout. Studies show each time you work out, you basically give your body a little boost.
In between that last boost and your next workout, your body slides back to where it was before. Studies show that taking only two weeks off can fundamentally decrease your cardiovascular wellness and lean muscle mass.
On the other side, however, planning workouts excessively near one another doesn’t give your body enough time to completely recoup. Considering that each workout is physiological stress to your body, too much puts you at danger of overtraining, disappointing results and possible injury.
So how often should you to hit the fitness center? It depends. Workout schedules aren’t one-plan fits-all, and it’s essential to plan your workouts to help meet your objectives.
For example, while the American Heart Association suggests individuals get no less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days per week, 25 minutes of more aggressive exercise no less than three days for every week or some mix of the two, in order to promote overall cardiovascular health.
For some people, particularly individuals who are new to working out, that level of activity can help diminish the danger of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and dementia.
The greatest mistake many individuals make is regarding a workout program as an event, which means there is an end in sight. Embracing exercise as a lasting lifestyle change is best when it is consolidated as a day-by-day or every other day program rather than just participating once a week.
For new exercisers who are getting use to their workout routine, it is natural to increase exercise frequency to challenge the body. For those interested in weight loss exercising three to four times a week using a combination of cardio and strength training, at both moderate to high intensities, is ideal for steady weight loss.
Meanwhile, for exercisers who are trying to build muscle, it’s essential not just to consider the number of strength training workouts you schedule per week, but also how often you strength train any given muscle. That’s partly because, in order to effectively build muscle, your level of intensity needs to be high during nearly every strength workout. You can’t train at a high intensity if your muscles are still trying to recuperate from your last workout; doing so contributes to overtraining, stalled results and potential injury.
When increasing muscle is a goal, it is recommended exercisers strength train four to five days each week, and alternate the muscle group during each exercise session and not exercise the same muscle group on any two consecutive days.
By scheduling your workouts this way you minimize the risk of overtraining a muscle group. It is important to allow our bodies the appropriate time to respond and repair in between workout sessions. You can use these rest days to do a more gentle routine like taking a yoga class.