This is one of the most important questions to ask when it comes to weight training and one of the most important things to know.
So How Often?
How often should you be working out each week depends on what you are trying to achieve. You have probably heard from many different people about this already. Their responses to this question probably vary from 3 days a week to working out every day, which would probably leave some people somewhat confused, so which is it?
In this article I will be focusing on weight training specifically. If your weight training intensity is high, which it should be if you want to actually achieve anything other than burning off a few calories. If your workout intensity is high then you are going to need rest and recovery days. These rest days allow your muscles to fully recover from a high intensity weight training session. These rest days also allow your muscles to grow, provided you are supplying your muscles with enough nutrients, ideally protein.
So a good standard and recommended weight training schedule would be 3 to 4 times a week, this allows you to cover all the muscle groups and train them effectively and to give yourself adequate time to rest and recover those muscles. How much rest you actually need is dependent upon a few factors, such as how hard you actually trained your muscles and your genetics, some of us will recover quicker than others. Other factors will be your diet, how many calories you consume and your nutrient intake, and also how much sleep you are getting.
Can you train the same muscle group more than once a week?
Yes you can but there is something to keep in mind, once you train a particular muscle, it requires anywhere from 2 to 6 days to fully recover and to allow for any muscle growth to occur.
If you don’t give your body adequate time to recover you will run the risk of over training which will hinder your process in terms of muscle growth.
Some people can make gains with just 2 weight training sessions per week however it will probably take longer to see any progress.
This article is just focused on weight training and it doesn’t take into account cardiovascular exercises which can be included into your weight training sessions, or even performed on your rest days.
3 or 4 days a week has a nice balance of work and recovery, create a 3 or 4 day workout plan and stick to it. When your progress begins to slow down, change things around, change the days that you workout, change the order of the exercises and even change the exercises themselves. Just keep your basic compound exercises.