How often should you exercise? This question is pretty commonly asked among sportsmen and -women. Quite often people put too much pressure on their own person forcing themselves to the gym frequently. But you don’t necessarily have to exercise too often to achieve decent training results. Working out just once or twice a week already allows you to make significant progress.

How often should you exercise? – Investigation

Buskies W./Boeckh-Behrens W. (2014) investigated the question of how often should you exercise with a group of athletes working our at different training frequencies. They developed different schedules on which sportspeople had to work out a certain muscle group once, twice and three times per week. As a result exercising three times a week causes better absolute training results than working out twice a week. And working out twice a week causes better absolute training results than just exercising once a week. But the differences between those frequencies are not as significant as you would imagine. Already one training session per week causes significant progress in terms of muscle growth and strengthening, especially for beginners.

How often should you exercise on a health-oriented basis?

health-oriented fitness training is especially recommended for beginners or athletes with just small experience within the fitness training area, children, older people, people with complaints, etc. To achieve long-term positive effects these groups should at least work out once a week. An optimal ration between the time spent and your training results could be achieved with exercising twice a week. This ratio still is very good for a training three times a week. More training sessions are not necessary for health-oriented sportsmen- and -women. Each training session will cover all intended muscle groups and can be practised within a circuit training. Between each training session there should be at least one recreation day. It is very important to exercise regularly. Breaks of longer than two weeks already will decrease our performance level.

How often should you exercise on a performance-oriented basis?

Performance-oriented athletes should exercise more often than health-oriented sportspeople. But the number of weekly training sessions varies in accordance to the respective objectives of the individual. Body builders, for instance, work out up to twice a day on five to six days per week to maximize their strength. Competitive athletes that don’t require strength as the most important factor (soccer players, runners, etc.) are pretty fine with a training twice a week to optimize their strength.

Hobby strength athletes who like to shape their body and want to increase their strength to a very good level should at least work out three times a week. Even more effective would be working out on four to six days per week on a split schedule. Here, you can exercise certain portions of your body on different days what allows you to work out several days in a row. Split training as well as other workout techniques are explained in article fitness training methods.


The answer to the question of how often should you exercise is determined by your individual training goals. For health-oriented sportspeople a training once or twice a week is perfectly enough. Performance-oriented athletes that require a certain strength level should at least exercise three times a week. Learn more about training intensity.

 

How often should you exercise

How often should you exercise? An optimal exercise-recreation-ratio determines the success of our training. Learn more about training frequency.

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