Hack Beast Mode
When you're going for big gains and looking to stimulate all those major muscle groups, knowing how often to work out is essential.
To enjoy consistently epic muscle-boosting results, you have to strike the perfect balance between intense training, recovery, and nutrition. No ifs, no buts, no compromises.
To help you find your training sweet spot, here we're going to help you answer the question: how often should I work out? We're also going to share some top tips on rest, recovery, and what to eat to get the gains you deserve.
Are you pumped? Great. Let's get going.
Finding your personal workout sweet spot
Before we go any further, here's a little mantra to remember when you're working towards your strength and fitness goals: Consistency counts.
Everyone's resistance training frequency sweet spot will differ depending on their current fitness level, body type, and goals. But no matter what you're trying to achieve, consistency will get you where you need to be.
By giving every training session your all and 'keeping at it,' you'll avoid any pesky muscle-building plateaus and reach your goals faster.
Set a realistic schedule
First of all, to keep consistent and work towards your muscle mass-building goals at a steady pace, you should start with a training frequency of three times per week.
While this may not sound like much to begin with, committing to two to three strength training sessions, to begin with, will give you a much better chance of sticking to your schedule while pushing yourself during every workout.
By training at a consistent rate and giving it your all during every strength training session, that lean muscle mass will start to appear sooner than you think.
Oh, and by working out two to three times a week (at least at the start of your strength training journey), you'll leave enough room for rest days as well as additional cardio exercise sessions—without burning yourself out.
Throw a little cardio into the mix
By cardio and strength training consistency, you'll supercharge your fitness results. The magic combo of strength or weight training and heart-pumping cardio will offer you a treasure trove of fitness benefits while keeping your body conditioned.
By adding a weekly cardio session to your training schedule, you'll elevate your overall fitness levels while increasing your overall calorie burn. By enjoying a weekly cardio exercise session—you're also likely to boost your resting metabolism.
So, by focusing on a combination of cardio and strength training, not only will you improve your heart and lung health—but you'll also build the level of lean muscle mass that will maximise your strength while turning heads in the gym.
Know your limits
In addition to setting a consistent (and realistic) weekly workout plan, knowing how often to train for the best results is also about understanding your limits.
If you train too hard too often, you run the risk of injury—which will completely derail your training efforts. Plus, grabbing those epic gains is also about getting the most from your training sessions, and if you're running low on energy, you're more likely to slack or burn out quickly—especially when it comes to strength training.
Listen to your body. If you feel any niggles in your muscles or joints, take a break and slow down. Take some time to re-assess how much you're working out and if you're performing your strength training exercises with the proper form.
There's no shame in dialling your cardio and strength training back a little if you're struggling to keep up the pace. Remember, consistency counts, and gradual progression is the best way to achieve your fitness goals in the long run.
So, know your limits, stay on track—and you'll get to where you need to be in no time.
How many times a week should I work out? A quick summary...
To set a workout schedule that works for you, it's important to make sure you have enough time to commit to your cardio and strength training sessions each week.
Knowing your personal limits is also essential to avoiding injury and making consistent progress.
While everyone is slightly different, as a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to take on two to three solid strength training sessions as well as a vigorous aerobic activity (cardio) for between 30 to 60 minutes, around once a week.
If you feel you can handle the pace and you're primed to train more often, you can dial your efforts up a notch. But make sure you do this gradually and have at least two quality rest days per week—that's when the muscle growth really happens.
Read: Our guide to working out if you work nine to five for clever tips on how to keep grabbing those gains when you're flat-out busy.
Bonus tips for epic muscle growth
Now that you know how often you should work out, we're going to cover a few top tips on building lean muscle mass and elevating your fitness levels the right way.
Let's kick things off with food.
Eat muscle-building foods
For maximum muscle hypertrophy (aka. epic muscle gains) and quicker recovery between training sessions, you should focus on the food you eat.
Once you've finessed your training schedule, you should make sure you fuel your workouts by eating a balanced mix of whole foods that ensure you get your daily fill of essential body-building macros (proteins, carbs, and healthy fats).
For optimum muscle recovery and the best possible gains, make sure you get enough protein in your diet.
As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to consume around 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to keep building muscle.
As we mentioned earlier—you should weave at least two solid rest days into your weekly routine for the best fitness-boosting results.
Whether you're lifting weights regularly or your workout schedule leans more towards cardio and dynamic full-body workouts, your rest days are when the strength-boosting magic really happens.
When you rest between workouts, your muscles have a chance to grow and repair. And, when you rest well, you can maximise your gains while priming your body for your next big training session.
Here are some tips to help you rest well and keep smashing your fitness goals...
- Eat recovery foods and stay hydrated throughout the day
- Go for a brisk walk to keep your muscles and joints in good condition
- Try some post-workout stretches to fight muscle soreness and aid recovery
- Do some lengths in the pool or cycling for a little active recovery action
- Grab a sports massage
- Set a solid sleep routine and aim to get between seven to nine hours of quality slumber
Read: Take a look at our essential rundown of recovery foods to help you max out your rest days. Oh, and try this essential post-workout stretch routine with legendary fitness trainer, Chris Tripp.
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to reach your fitness or strength training goals faster while improving your results is by taking the right supplements.
When you lift weights or take part in vigorous aerobic activity regularly, weaving quality workout supplements into your routine will fill in any nutritional gaps while speeding up your recovery and boosting your muscle gains.
Once you've set your fitness goals and decided on a workout frequency that suits you, you can start working with supplements designed to get you where you want to be.
Top tip: When you're choosing supplements, always go with products developed by a reputable brand with a good track record. Oh, and check user reviews to make sure any potential supplement is tried, tested, and trusted.
Resistance training frequency: final thoughts
When it comes to knowing how much to work out, striking the right balance is key. As long as you can commit to your training schedule and push yourself without overstepping your limits, you'll keep making progress. And, when you make consistent progress, great gains will come your way
With the right mix of strength training and cardio—plus a balanced approach to food and recovery— you'll not only boost your overall health, but you'll keep on winning. Supplements will help, too.
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