Wondering How Many Times You Should Hit The Gym? Trainers Are Here To Answer!

It is understandable if the never-ending fitness advice on Instagram is a bit too much for you – we feel the same. Irrespective of whether you want to get ripped, run a marathon, or lose weight, there is no single source that can answer your basic questions like how often you should work out.

If you ask five fitness experts about how often you should exercise in a day and how many days you should put in every week, chances are that all of them will give you different answers! We wish there was a SparkNotes for this!

Do not worry, though as we’ve got you covered. Fitness experts do end up giving advice on how often one should exercise and what kind of exercises are the best for you, provided you are asking the right questions. First, though, each one of us should be able to figure out what exactly our goals are, recommends Sohee Lee, fitness expert and trainer. If you’re unsure, there are three major “categories” – weight loss, general health, and muscle building. Once you have figured that out, try to figure out how many hours you can devote to working out.

Figured everything out? That was quick! We’ve compiled a list of what type of exercises you should do based on your selected goal. So, no more confusion, only positive results from now on!


Muscle building – how many times should I work out?

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Experts recommend putting in three or four workout sessions every week if you are just starting out. However, the main factor in muscle building is how you spend your time during each workout that will determine the gains. Keep in mind that working out for building muscle will be a lot different than workouts for losing weight or maintaining overall health, points out Kehinde Anjorin, who is the founder of The Power Method.



Best cardio approach for muscle building

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Lee says that if muscle building is your major goal, then you should keep the cardio to a bare minimum if you want to see quick gains.

However, that doesn’t mean you should put an end to your cardio regimen – in fact, you should continue with it, albeit in a revised and specific manner. Rebecca Kennedy, who is the strength director at Peloton, points out that the main goal of cardio in a muscle-building program is to just build endurance and general conditioning. She recommends that you should carry out your cardio session after you have put in the strength work, so that you can build endurance without hampering your strength training gains. (Too much cardio can affect your muscles’ recovery rate, which results in lower or even zero gains).

If you are a big cardio fan, you can stick to just one HIIT workout session, some cycling, or other cardio sessions a week. Or, you can go for casual and low-impact sessions like swimming or biking.



Best strength training approach for muscle building

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Well, strength training *is* the way to go if you want to pack on muscles, so the main area of focus should be on including as many strength training workouts as possible. Anjorin recommends that there should not be fewer than three to four sessions every week.

And in strength training exercises, focus on compound exercises like deadlifts and squats and they get all your major muscle groups activated and fired up. However, improving your nutrition and increasing your weight gradually is also important when it comes to muscle building.

Anjorin points out that progressively increasing the load helps challenge the muscle groups into growing, and that results in muscle gains. She recommends picking a weight that you can lift for a maximum of ten to twelve reps. She also recommends paying attention to the nutritional intake as our body requires an ample amount of protein and calories to pack on the muscles.

The key should be to include protein into every single meal you consume – especially the ones you take before and after hitting the gym.