How Often You Need to Workout for Optimal Results

Alternating between cardio and strength training exercises helps provide the variety you need for success. When developing an exercise plan, one of the main elements to consider is how often you will be working out as well as the duration of each session. There is no one size fits all solution. How much exercise you really need depends on your individual workout goals.

Most exercise plans recommend a minimum of five sessions of 30-minute moderate to vigorous cardio workouts and at least two sessions of strength training each week. The right amount for each individual varies depending on their goals, workout intensity and current fitness level, e.g., beginner, intermediate or expert.

Rest days are essential for muscle and mental recovery between workout sessions. Taking time off from exercising not only gives your muscles a chance to recoup but also gives you a mental break so you can recharge and return that much more dedicated to the cause.

Think about it. After a weekend away from the job, don’t you feel more refreshed when you go back to work? The same concept applies to exercise. How long you need to rest depends on the intensity of your workout sessions.

A recent study on Olympic rowers found a significant reduction in bone building protein and an increase in painful inflammation during periods of non-stop training versus periods with rest days built in. This, among other research findings, demonstrates the detrimental effects that can occur when rest is not incorporated into vigorous exercise plans.

More intense workouts require more rest in between sessions, while some forms of moderate exercise can be carried out on a daily basis without consequence.

Light physical activities, such as walking or stretching, can be incorporated into rest days. Most personal trainers recommend at least one full day of rest for all exercise plans. When making an exercise plan, strategically plan your days of rest to occur after your more intense workout days, e.g. max out days, race days and other days of high performance activity.

One thing to keep in mind is that a day of rest for one muscle group doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rest from working out altogether. By including exercises that work different muscle groups throughout the week, you can avoid overuse of the same muscles and reduce the risk of injury, all while obtaining the full body results you are looking to achieve.

Also remember to switch things up. Whether you are aiming to lose weight or build strength, you can avoid reaching the dreaded plateau by switching up your workout frequency. Replacing a long distance run with short intervals, for example, will significantly shorten your exercise time. The time you gain from alternating your workout can then either be applied to another focus area or used for much needed rest.

At Core Results, our personal trainers will work with you to best determine your workout frequency and duration, check your progress and mix it up as needed for optimal results. Contact us for your first FREE session today!

Categories: Advice & Support How to Workout