We all go to the gym with different sets of expectations and goals. You may be aiming for weight loss while your friend is focusing on improving endurance. What matters is how frequent you go to the gym to achieve these results.
The gym routine for a person looking to shed weight will differ from the one a professional bodybuilder uses. If it’s your first time going to the gym, learn as much as you can about health and fitness. You should also adjust your workout schedule depending on what you learned and your goals. As you’re lacing up your sneakers ready to sweat out that extra fat, take note of the following tips.
How Many Days a Week Should You Workout?
Since your fitness needs may differ from other people’s, there’s no guaranteed formula that suits everyone. If you’re aiming for optimal physical fitness, your workout routine will depend on how active you are. In general, working out four to five days every week will be enough to keep you in good shape. The entire breakdown of your workout routine will depend on your individual goals.
The exercises you indulge in matter more than how frequent you do them. You’ll benefit less if you use improper form, push yourself hard or overtrain. Have a professional trainer help formulate a workout routine that suits your schedule, body type and fitness goals. A proper routine combined with specified calorie intake will help you get the results you want.
What Each Workout Day Should Look Like
For cardio fitness and strength, spare two days doing cardio exercises and three days doing strength training. Remember to take two days off your routine for active rest. You’ll need one cardio day every week to build muscle and two strength training days every week to improve endurance. Always be realistic about your training schedule since discipline is the key to workout success.
2-3 Times a Week for Strength Training
Your metabolic rate depends on the weight of muscle you have. Working out each muscle group (including lower and upper body) twice or thrice a week will help you add muscle mass. Exercises such as bicep curls, lunges, overhead presses and squats target your core, arms, back, shoulders and chest. Maintain a balance between pulling and pushing movements as you vary each move in your strength training sessions.
2-3 Times a Week for Cardio
Cardio exercises such as jogging, cycling and kickboxing keep the circulatory system in good health. With a well-functioning circulatory system, your body will recover and utilize oxygen faster. Your cardio routines should last 45 to 60 minutes as your heart rate is at 120 to 150 beats per minute. You can use equipment such as treadmills, bikes and indoor rows for cardio.
2 Times a Week for Rest Days
When taking a break, your body will be in better position to rebuild and recover. You need active rest between your workout sessions to keep your body refreshed and improve your mental recovery. Light exercises such as walking and stretching or restorative sessions such as yoga are ideal for rest days. The order of the rest days won’t matter as long as you give your body ample time to fully recover.
If your workout routine runs from Monday to Friday, you may take the entire weekend off resting. You may start your routine with one strength training day followed by one cardio day then one active rest day followed by weight training. The trick here is to avoid strength training for two consecutive days. Always give your body at least two days (48 hours) to recover.
Remember to strive for balance rather than quantity to avoid getting burned out or achieving negative results. Stick to a workout routine you’re comfortable with to get the most out of the gym. Working out is all about achieving lifelong good health without compromising your physical abilities.