How Often Should I Be Working Out?

29 Aug

How_much_is_enough_logoIsn’t this always the question?  Is it too much?  Is it too little?  Am I on track or do I need tweak my routine?  How many days should I workout in order to actually make a difference? Should I be doing cardio or strength training?  What about those rest days? Many of us have certain ideas in our heads about what works best to keep us “in shape” and what does not.  Luckily, science has come to the rescue with a surprising conclusion!

Exercise scientists have researched this topic thoroughly and have determined the following:

“A minimum of three days per week, for a structured exercise program. Technically, you should do something every day, and by something I mean physical activity — just move. Because we’re finding more and more that the act of sitting counteracts any of the activity you do.”

Scientists also found that there was a huge difference between working out for two days and working out for three.  With three days, we see significant gains early on and you want to keep progressing from there. With two days, we don’t get the stimulation in our systems in order to see much change at all.

Here’s the key:  If you’re looking to maintain your fitness level, your magic number of days depends on how active you already are. For example, you’ll probably see results from one day a week if you don’t already work out at all. But if your body is used to six days a week, one day probably won’t cut it for you.   Three days a week is the minimum number that you should at least be doing some sort of workout.

The breakdown varies depending on your specific goals, but in general, four to five days a week is the IDEAL number if you’re simply aiming to improve your fitness and stay in shape.  This is what your routine should look like:

  • Full five, three days should focus on strength training, two days should focus on cardio, and two should be active rest.
  • If you only want to (or only have the time to) work out four days a week, think about your goals: If you want to add muscle tone, cut a cardio day. If you want to improve endurance, skip a strength day. Or, switch it each week.
  • If you’re going for three days, two should be on strength training, one day should focus on cardio – but make sure to try and do something active for the other days, such as going on a brisk walk during lunch or after dinner.

Own your workout!  No one else can do it for you.  See you at the Studio!  

PX Front Desk


Article Sources:
-Business Insider (
-US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health (
-Self (




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