A question I get asked all the time is how many times a week should I work out? Training frequency and consistency is important. We know it's more than once a week, but exactly how many times do you need to hit the gym to see results?
I'll start by saying I'm not normal when it comes to exercise. My love and passion is exercise and nutrition. I got into this business to help people get healthier and enjoy the benefits from exercise that overflow into all areas of life. A toned and strong physique, mental clarity, more energy, achievement, better relationships, and enhanced confidence. Exercise is my meditation, it clears my head and helps me prioritize and focus on the essentials. I could happily workout 7 days of the week.
The truth is you can get great results with 3 to 4 days of weight training for 45-60 minutes. If you do this consistently, live an active lifestyle, and eat healthy 80-90% of the time, you can enjoy a great physique year round.
This is the minimum effective dose. The least amount of time you need to put in to enjoy great results. Anyone has 3 hours in a week. However, you might not be able to get to a gym 3 times a week. I train a good portion of my clients at their homes or offices with limited equipment. You can do lunges, push-ups, squats, burpees, mountain climbers, and planks anywhere. If you can only get to the gym once a week, I recommend investing in equipment for a basic home gym. Start with a light, medium and heavy set of dumbbells and/or kettlebells, resistance bands, and a suspension trainer like a TRX.
Your weight training workouts should be full of focus, intention and intensity. You aren't reading a newspaper, texting or checking social media. A workout doesn't have to be painful to be effective, but you need to get your mind 100% into the muscles you're working. Instead of asking "is that enough" ask, "how can I make the most of my workout".
If you only have 20 minutes for an at-home workout, then start small and make it part of your daily routine. Here is a great no-equipment needed fat-blasting workout.
Let's talk cardio. I saved this point for last as you should always prioritize weight training over cardio, especially for fat loss. Add cardio to the end of your weight training workouts by hopping onto a treadmill, bike, crosstrainer, etc. for 10-30 minutes. My favorite cardio is to work it into your lifestyle. Park your car far away instead of fighting for the closest spot, where you're more likely to get your car dinged anyway. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Enjoy 30-60 minute leisure walks on your lunch break or walking the dog. Get up and move once every hour of the day. A good goal is 12,000 steps a day.
Most important is you identify a training goal that inspires you and a workout plan in line with this goal and one you enjoy. This way you will stick to the plan in the long-run and live an active fit lifestyle.