Perhaps one of our most frequently asked questions is ‘how often should you workout’? The answer is simple at times and complicated at others. In short, there’s a balance with exercise, of needing to push beyond your limits, but not push too far so you don’t get injured. It’s this concept that makes the question “How often should you workout” so difficult to answer. In addition, different workout styles come with different frequency needs based on the demands placed on your body. So, you must first know what types of workouts will you be doing to achieve your goal? Heavy weight training? Distance running? HIIT training? All of these styles come with their own set of challenges for your body, and therefore change how often you should workout. Hence, let’s take a few common examples to get a better understanding.
Long distance running. Whether you’re training, trying to maintain your health, or losing weight, you’ve almost certainly tried running before. The key here is the long duration of the activity and impact on your joints. Whether jogging moderately for 20 minutes, or running hard for hours, you need to really focus on your rest days. As a result, do a minimum of 20 minute workouts, 3x a week, and no more than 60 minute workouts 5x a week. Beyond that, causes great risks of injury without much additional benefit. Moreover, the same goes for most forms of cardio, even low impact; so stick with this guide when asking how often should you workout for cardio!
Heavy lifting. Another popular form of training for muscle, bone & joint health, as well as physical & sport performance, and good looks! The mode here is very different from long cardio because you’re doing much less. Your repetitions are 3-20 instead of thousands of steps, impacts are lower, but loads on your body are higher! Plus, you can train different areas at different times making it even trickier, but you can figure it out! To maintain your current strength/size, you’ll want to work each desired area at least 1x per week. However, to improve, work each area at least 2x, but no more than 4x to prevent burn out & over-training!
HIIT & Sport Training. This one is perhaps the most difficult to understand, partly because it’s so broad. In general, HIIT training is high intensity, which means less frequently (< 4x per week). However, it can also be high impact, requiring even fewer workouts, especially when mixed with other forms mentioned above. Also, you need to remember that these workouts will start to compound each other. Hence, a heavy leg day, followed by a long run, then a HIIT workout, is asking for an injury for even the most elite individuals! For sport training, it’s similar, but varies from sport to sport, and generally falls within a mix of the 3 types of training listed above. Does the sport require sprinting & explosive movements, a lot of force, or long endurance? Asking these questions and using these tools will answer: how often should you workout!
For questions & more info, reach out to us on our contact page! mojavefitness.com/contact