How many times a week should you exercise, how long should you train?

[This article was originally published in 2017.]

Staying active is crucial to staying healthy, and since 27 percent of Brits don’t exercise at least once a week, you’d be tempted to increase your activity level, according to a 2020 YouGov survey.

But it’s hard to know how much exercise you need to do to reach your fitness goals, whether it’s weight loss or weight gain.

“The type of training you do ultimately depends on your skills, goals, likes and dislikes, equipment available, what injuries you have and how much time you have available,” explained personal trainer Tom Mans. the independent

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there is: to be principles and guidelines that you can follow and apply to your training to ensure you have a balanced, effective, safe and enjoyable training regimen.

How many days a week should you train?

Unless you’re a fitness enthusiast, you probably want to spend as little time in the gym as possible to achieve your health and fitness goals. But Mans says exercising just once or twice a week won’t get you anything more than a low level of fitness.

“You should train at least three times a week if you want to reach your health and fitness goals in a reasonable amount of time and stay fit and healthy,” explains Mans.

Training four or five times a week is ideal, but most people don’t find that feasible due to time constraints, so Mans says it’s best to aim for three times: “This exposes your body to a sufficiently large training stimulus during the week. , allowing the body to adapt, become stronger, slimmer and fitter.”

How long should your workouts be?

Some people claim that you can get an effective and efficient workout in half an hour if you use the time wisely, but Mans believes that if you want to make real progress, you should train for 45 minutes to an hour.

He recommends spending 10 minutes warming up and mobilizing your body, 30-40 minutes strength training, and five-10 minutes cooling down and stretching.

That said, half-hour workouts can be helpful for conditioning sessions or interval training.

Can you train with weights for two or three days in a row?

Mans recommends taking a day of rest between sessions if you lift weights regularly. “You can train two days in a row, but definitely don’t try to train three days in a row unless you are an advanced lifter.”

If you don’t give your muscles time to recover, you’ll overload your joints and tendons, which can hurt — or worse, you could cause yourself an injury, such as tendonitis.

It is however is OK to work out with weights on consecutive days if you’re working out different body parts each time – Mans believes full-body workouts are best for the general population looking to lose fat and improve their fitness.

A well-balanced exercise regimen should include a combination of strength training and cardiovascular (aerobic and anaerobic) work, but Mans says if you don’t have time for both, focus on doing two to three weight sessions a week.

How important is sleep?

In short: very.

“For everyone – and especially for people who exercise regularly – an average of seven to eight hours of sleep per night is vital,” says Mans.

“After you exercise during the day, the body gets stronger, burns the fat and rebuilds the damaged muscle tissue when you sleep.”

So if you don’t get enough sleep, you put yourself at a disadvantage, your workouts go down and you don’t have enough energy to train.

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