How Many Times a Week Should I Work Out?

How many times a week should you work out? This is probably the most common question asked by beginners or even experienced people who are trying to find the ideal schedule for themselves. Understanding of this question can help people find the consistency in their workouts and get the best results.

How Many Times a Week Should I Work Out for Weight Training and Cardio? 

Generally speaking, you need to work out for at least 3 times a week. Anything less than that is just too less to affect your strength, weight or muscle gain.

1. Weight Training

For an exercise program that consists mostly of weight training, it is recommended that every muscle group is worked out at least two times a week. This can vary: Beginners follow routines that are less intensive, so training muscle groups three times a week is suggested; and the most experienced builders train each muscle group only once a week. Avoid over-training or not training your muscles enough. 

2. Cardio

If the program that you are following consists mainly of cardio workouts, then 3 to 4 workouts with each lasting for about 40-60 minutes per week are recommended.

The intensity of the cardio workout also makes a huge difference. Try to aim for 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio per week, or 150 minutes of moderate to low-intensity workouts.

How to Do Weight Training and Cardio

How many times a week should I work out for weight training and cardio? You already know the answer, so how to do them more efficiently?

Weight Training

The most important thing to remember during weight training is to make sure that all your muscle groups are being worked out evenly. At the same time, you should stick with the routine for 4-6 weeks. That is the minimum amount of time that you will need before seeing some gains.

Aim to gradually increase the weights or the number of reps to build up strength, stamina and muscle mass without injuring yourself. Including some body weight exercise into your program is also a good idea.


You should focus more on keeping the intensity up when you are doing cardio. Target heart rate for cardio should be between 120-150 beats/minute. Some good options include jogging, spinning and the elliptical machine.

How Many Times a Week Should I Work Out for Different Goals?

1. When Training for Fat Loss

3 to 4 workouts per week are recommended in this condition. The workout should include weight training and cardio, and the idea here is to burn as many calories as possible and boost the metabolism.

2. When Training for Size

When training to increase size or to gain bulk, look to train at least 4 to 5 times a week and focus on weight training. This will provide your muscles enough intensity and stimulus, so that they can grow and develop in response to all the training.

3. When Training for Strength

Train for 4 times a week when you aim for strength and make sure you spend at least three days to do these exercises: dead lifts, squats and bench press. These compound exercises will form the basis of your strength gain. Add other specific muscle exercises on the fourth day.

Factors That Affect the Frequency of Workouts

How many times a week should I work out? Now you know the answer, and it is important to know that before beginning any workout routine, you should consult your doctor first and make sure you have an up-to-date complete physical. There are several factors that can affect your frequency of workouts.

  • Your overall health will determine the intensity of workouts. People that are suffering from high blood pressure or other chronic diseases should lessen the intensity and frequency of their workouts.
  • The age of the individual is also an important factor. Someone who is young and in peak condition can work out for longer and more times than an elderly person.
  • The weight at which you start to work out is also very important. People often think that an obese person will have to work out more frequently; however, such people have poor starting fitness levels, so they should start their workouts at low intensity and frequency, and then build it up over time.
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