Shortly, it depends. There is no fixed number of hitting the gym in a week.
Should you workout three days a week or six days, it mostly depends on what goal you are trying to achieve and what’s your current fitness level.
For example, an overweight person needs to train more to lose fat, while an underweight man should follow a different workout split to gain some weight.
Let’s read on to know deeply the answer to your question: how many days a week should I workout? This article covers what should be your training frequency to get maximum results, whether it’s building muscle, losing fat, or maintaining a healthy physique.
How Many Days a Week Should I Workout?
Before we know our best training frequency, first, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of working out more frequently.
Is there any benefits of working out every day?
Most of us would say no because you’re not giving any time to recover and grow your muscles.
However, the benefits of working out every day have the insane forward momentum you’ll generate. When you work out six or seven days a week, it’s going to be super easy for you to never miss a workout.
It is because we’re the creatures of habit, and another reason is you don’t need to think about whether to work out that day or not.
Working out is just set a part of your day that you engage in every single day. It’s super powerful to maintain forward momentum to hit your goals.
For example, the reverse of working out every day would be not working out for the last year. We can all agree that getting your head into the gym after not working out for a year is about a million times harder than getting into the gym after not working out for a day.
Okay, now let’s dive into what should be your training frequency to achieve specific goals.
To Improve General Fitness
If you’re already fit enough and want to maintain your fitness levels, working out 3-5 days a week is the perfect number.
But if you have so busy schedule or job, then exercising three days a week can be good enough.
Working out three days a week is a great way to provide your body enough time to recover, and it specifically improves your strength as well.
And also, this workout split helps you to maintain a healthy balance between the gym and outdoor life.
Summary: If your goal is to increase strength and get toned muscle, perform three days of weight training and two days of cardio. But if you want to improve endurance and burn calories, reversed that. Switch this split each week to maintain balance.
To Build Muscle
Workout consistency is the key to build muscle because it increases the ability to train the muscle groups more frequently.
So, you have to work out more frequently to stimulate protein synthesis that responsible for muscle growth.
The best results you’ll get regarding building muscle are hitting each muscle group twice a week.
Related: How Much Muscle Can We Gain Naturally?
Whenever I try to hit muscle groups once a week or even less, my progress slows down, but when I trained my muscle groups at least twice a week, it significantly improved my strength and muscle mass.
A 2016 study also shows that training three days per week (using a total body routine) had a significant advantage over only one-day training (split body routine) per week.
Your muscle-building workout split should be like chest and back on one day, lags on the next day, and arms and shoulders on the third day or you can follow a push, pull, legs split. Train three days, then take one day off and repeat that for a second time within one week.
So, when you’re training every muscle twice a week, make sure you’re taking one day’s rest before hitting it for the second time in a week. Because that’s where your body will recover, and the muscle will get time to grow.
However, working out three to five days a week can be perfectly fine for beginners to get enough recovery time to grow the muscles at its highest rate.
Although you can reap the benefits by just working out for only three days, all you need to do is increase your sets, reps and overall training volume.
Related: How to Build Muscle FAST: 5 Proven Ways to Increase Size
Summary: If you’re looking for hypertrophy or gains, it would be better to work out more frequently, like six days a week. This way, you’ll break down your muscle groups twice a week and increase their potential to grow.
To Lose Weight
The fat loss formula is burning more calories while keeping your consumption low.
If you want ot lose weight, you can achieve this with both three days a week or more frequent training, like six days a week for about 45-60 minutes of workout.
But to make faster progress in weight loss, it would be better to work out six days a week than three days because putting more effort into the training will help you burn more calories.
However, fat loss is a lot more to do with your diet than your workout frequency and duration. At the same time, it’s true that training more often can help you burn some extra calories, and it’s also true that higher intensity workouts can also burn more calories.
Summary: Your workout split for losing weight is like perform two to three days of resistance training and three to four days of aerobic exercise. This means you’ll train about six days a week, and your workout duration should be 45-60 minutes.
Remember the quote – “Quality is more important than quantity.”
If you’re going to the gym almost every day but not pushing yourself to your maximum potential, you’ll probably see less progress than the one who is doing quality training, even only three days a week.
Remember, your diet plays a crucial role in achieving any fitness goal. So, only hitting the gym doesn’t help you make good results if you’re not taking care of your diet.
Also, remember that life is about keeping things balanced. So, it would best to schedule a workout routine that you can follow to stay fit and healthy in the long run.