Are you wondering how often to weight train? Well, you’re in the right place! I will be giving you all the information you need to answer this very question with the reasons behind it!
The best part about it all, I will be delivering this information in a highly applicable and easy to understand format!
Get ready to be educated!
So… How Often Should I Be Training?
Like most things in the fitness world, there isn’t really a “correct” answer to this question. It largely depends on your circumstances and goals!
With that being said, how do we know what we should be doing for our circumstances and goals? Well, luckily we have some guidelines that we can follow!
When we make a plan, we want to ensure we are consistently executing this plan. Why? Because if we have a plan and are not consistently executing on it, how do we expect to achieve the results that we planned? You can’t!
I am not saying if you don’t execute 100% you’re doomed. I am saying that staying on track 80 – 90% of the time would be advisable!
Secondly, the number of days that would be considered “ideal” for training will vary depending on your goals. For example, someone who is just trying to keep their general health up and have something to do would likely be fine training twice a week. Someone with the goal of building muscle is likely best off training at least 3 times per week. Meanwhile, someone interested in gaining strength could likely benefit from training 4 times per week.
What about 5 and 6 days per week? You absolutely can do that! However, for beginners, you can still make great progress from 3-4 sessions per week. By all means, train 5-6 days a week. However, I like to promote this frequency for those who are more experienced as planning becomes a little more “finicky” and the extra frequency can serve as a beneficial way for one to progress their training as they become more experienced!
How Do I Make a Plan That I Can Stick To?
When we’re trying to ensure consistency, it is important to factor in different life aspects that would contribute to making us inconsistent. Some primary examples would include work/school, family and other prior commitments.
Being honest with yourself in the sense of not saying “I’m too busy” to reduce your workload, while at the same time not putting too much on your plate is important! For example, someone who works a 9-5 job and loves to spend the weekends with his family may very well be able to commit to a 3 day per week program.
I say this because the individual could train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while having some recovery/relaxation time on weekdays, and leaving the weekends open for family time!
Why Are Different Frequencies Beneficial For Different Goals?
Here’s the thing, different approaches to training frequency are best suited towards different goals because you can better design your actual sessions towards these goals.
For general health, 2 days a week would allow you to do an upper and lower day or 2 full-body days. This would allow you to train all your muscles and have some sense of routine!
For the goal of muscle growth, 3 days per week allows you to train all muscle groups once per week, but with more targeted sessions so you can achieve a greater amount of volume, (a big driver of hypertrophy). If you’re more ambitious or advanced, training 5-6 days a week can be beneficial for hypertrophy as it would allow you to train your muscle groups 2-3 times per week. Splitting total weekly volume up over 2-3 days is most effective for growing muscle.
So why 4 days for strength? This would allow you to train strength for your upper and lower body, twice per week. With regard to strength training, both heavy loads and speed work can be quite beneficial. You could have a heavy day for lower body movements and upper body movements, with a lighter “speed focussed” day for both the lower and upper body as well.
Training 5-6 days a week can typically allow one to more efficiently set up their training and is a great way for people to continue progress as they gain experience and require more/a more efficient training stimulus. Training 5-6 days per week isn’t for everyone though. Remember, it has to be sustainable and there has to be a reason or a “why” behind that training frequecy.
What’s Wrong With Once a Week or Every Day?
Here’s the thing, once a week is going to be difficult for you to get in any meaningful work. Could you maintain training once a week? Probably. However, the other issue is it would be difficult to get into a consistent routine in my opinion.
With that being said, please keep in mind that something is always better than nothing. Once a week might just not be the most sensible approach for most.
As for training 7 days per week… that is going to make recovery an issue in almost all cases. Giving your body at least one rest day per week is important so you can progress from week to week, reduce your risk for injury and ensure you’re not getting physically and mentally burnt out.
That’s All She Wrote!
Well, everyone, the sub-heading says it all! That’s the info! All in all, training frequency needs to be sustainable when relating it to your life schedule. In addition to this, there are different frequencies that are best suited for different goals!
Do you have any questions on the matter? Please leave them below and I would be more than happy to respond!
Here are some other articles that may be beneficial for your knowledge!
Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.