“How Often Should I Work Out?”

People ask me how often they should be working out, frequently assuming that “more is better.” While I recommend some type of physical exercise daily, the preferred weight training workout frequency is three times a week. For most people, that’s all you need.

Why three times a week? This is the perfect way to stagger your workouts to allow your muscles to heal and give your body time to recover from any soreness. If you work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (every other day) your body would be expecting a workout on Sunday. If your body doesn’t get that workout, and gets an extra day of rest, all of a sudden when your body gets hit with a workout again on Monday, it will make that workout so much more effective.

Unless you’re doing bodybuilder training, you should be focusing your three workouts on doing more intense full-body weight training. Personally, I don’t advocate a bodybuilder-style workout for most people because you are just working individual muscle groups one by one. I refer to that as the “Frankenstein workout” because you’re not training the body as a whole unit; you’re training bits and pieces.

For the best long-term fitness training plans, do your weight training three days a week and plan to do something of lower intensity on your “off days”, like walking, yoga, stretching, or any other type of physical activity that will be less strenuous on your muscles. You will get a lot more out of your fitness program by employing this routine.