How many days a week should you exercise? There is not one specific answer to this question. At Jack City Fitness, we see athletes of all kinds. Some of them work out more days a week than others. Some have longer workout sessions than others. After all, there are multiple factors regarding how often an athlete should hit the gym, including personal goals, lifestyles, and athletic experience.
If you’re beginning your workout journey and are unsure how often to exercise, we’re here to help. Read Jack City Fitness‘s guide to figuring out a workout frequency that suits your needs, or talk in person to one of our coaches!
The Factors That Determine How Many Days A Week Should You Work Out
1) Your Fitness Goals
Let’s talk about fitness goals. Your workout (and how often you go) will depend on your goal when you hit the gym.
If Your Fitness Goal Is To Lose Weight:
Many of our partners begin their fitness journey to drop a few pounds. These goals are often achieved through cardiovascular training (especially workouts like HIIT), strength training, and optimizing their meal plans with the help of our nutritional counselor.
On the cardio side, we recommend 75 minutes of intensive cardio exercise weekly (spread across three sessions) or 150 minutes of more moderate aerobic activity across five sessions. However, your specific “magic number” might differ—and we advise finding a good frequency with your coach. Regarding strength training, many of our weight-loss-seeking partners crush a full-body workout with us twice or thrice a week. This is on top of their weekly cardio!
We highly recommend taking at least one (but ideally two) rest day(s) while working out for weight loss. This is not a marathon, not a sprint! Even though sprints make a great HIIT workout!
If Your Fitness Goal Is To Gain Muscle:
Everybody is different. As with weight loss, your ideal frequency might look different than your buddy’s— which is okay. Most athletes hit the gym at least twice a week, ideally three times, to build strength and muscle. Our bodybuilding partners generally engage in strength and cardio training, with a stronger focus on the former. The cardio side of strength-building workouts often involves short but intense sessions (like HIIT) twice or thrice a week.
Please note that these numbers might change depending on your fitness levels and experience, so it is best to work with your coach to find the right amount for you and your goals.
If Your Fitness Goal Is To Move More And Feel Healthier:
Not everybody exercises with huge body transformation goals in mind. Many partners join Jack City Fitness to get in tune with their bodies and enjoy movement more. If this is the case, it is best to find a routine and schedule that suits your lifestyle and desires—because hitting the gym even once a week can positively impact your life and reduce the risks of stroke or heart attack. Let yourself find your own pace as long as you do not cross the threshold into overtraining or obsession.
2) Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle impacts how often—and for how long—you can work out. For instance, long-distance running or cycling might be a great option if you tend to have a few free days a week. If you balance a full-time job with family and night courses, something short, sweet, and intense is probably your best bet. Combining customized virtual training sessions with occasional real-life classes might be the ticket for those without reliable transportation.
3) Your Age And Experience
Would you recommend your favorite heart-pumping workout to your great-grandma? Your 6-year-old nephew? Of course not—they deserve a workout that suits their specific circumstances! Your chosen exercises work for you because of your unique age, experience, and fitness level. These factors will also determine how often you work out, too.