Unfortunately, there’s no hard-and-fast rule for how long to work out for. It depends on lots of different factors. For example, if you want to have a completely shredded body, you’re going to need to be working out every day and eating really clean. If you just want to maintain your current body, you probably need to work out a couple of times a week. The amount you should work out depends on how your goals, body-type, equipment, time constraints, and more. In this article, we’ve explained roughly how long you should work out and how to vary your workouts every week.
How Long Should You Work Out Each Week?
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that you work out from 150 to 250 minutes every week. This exercise should be moderate intensity, but they don’t specify exactly what types of exercise are suitable. They also say that the more you exercise the better. So, if you want to lose weight, you should be doing over 250 minutes a week.
This can be split into 30-60-minute moderate-intensity workouts five times per week. Although, some people might find this difficult to commit to, due to time constraints. If that’s the case, you could do 20-30-minute-high-intensity workouts three times a week.
Should You Train Every Day?
If you read the advice on the internet, you’ll find all sorts of conflicting reports as to whether you should work out every day. Of course, on the most basic level, the more you work out the fitter you’ll be. The problem is that your body needs time to recover, especially after high-intensity workouts and weight training. When you work out, you actually cause small tears in your muscle fibers. It’s the process of these rebuilding that makes you stronger. But, if you don’t give them enough time to rebuild, you could end up causing an injury.
Change The Intensity
To sum up, you can work out every day, but you need to change the intensity. It’s physically impossible to go full-intensity every day. Eventually, you’ll end up injured or completely burnt out. So, we’d recommend following the schedule below for the perfect weekly workout regime. It’s a mixture of easy workouts, moderate workouts, and hard workouts. You should try and do an equal amount of these exercises and make sure you follow every hard workout day with an easy or moderate workout day.
Easy Workout Days
An easy workout should last around 35 to 45 minutes. The idea on these days is that your body is getting a chance to recover, so you shouldn’t be pushing yourself to any extreme. Something like an easy walk, a gentle swim, or a yoga class would be suitable. The key to making sure this day is a success is to not treat it as a day off. You still need to get your heart-rate up a little bit, but without wearing out your muscles. Try and fit your easy workout day in after a hard workout day, to give your body the best chance of recovery.
Moderate Work Out Days
A moderate workout should last anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes. You should leave these sessions feeling tired, but not completely worn out. Your body is still getting a chance to recover, but your heart rate should be high enough to burn enough calories over the 45-90 minute time period. An easy jog or a session on the exercise bike would be suitable, as long as you don’t have it on a difficult setting. The reason these workouts are the longest is that you need to work out for longer when the workout is less intense. This means you can still burn calories, without tearing your muscle fibers.
Hard Workouts Days
Lastly, hard workouts should last between 20 and 30 minutes. These sessions are also known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The idea is that you do short bursts of really high energy workouts, where you’re giving 100%. Then, you have short rest periods (that are sometimes still active. These sessions should be too hard to do for more than 30 minutes, and if you feel like you could keep going, you’re probably not exercising hard enough. There are all sorts of different HIIT exercises you can do, so we’d recommend asking your personal trainer or searching on the internet to create a routine.
Consistency Is Key
The most important thing in all of this is consistency. A lack of consistency is the one thing that stops so many people from achieving their fitness goals. That’s because they want quick results, which is pretty much impossible in fitness. It takes months of repeating the same things over and over again. The key to consistency is making it achievable. If you’ve never worked out before, don’t go straight into working out every day and eating completely clean. Within a week, you’ll be back into your old ways. Pick an exercise regime that you can fit into your normal life.
You Have To Eat Right
Exercise is very important if you want to get in better shape. But there’s another thing that’s just as (if not more) important – nutrition. You need to eat the right foods and eat them at the right times if you want to achieve your fitness goals. If you’re asking how long your workouts should be, then you need to look at what you’re eating. If you’re eating too much, you’ll need to work out for longer.
Sleep Is Very Important
The other factor that will help your fitness is sleep. As we already said, when you work out, you tear muscles fibers and when they repair, you get stronger. Well, these muscle fibers will only repair properly if you are getting enough high-quality sleep. That’s why it’s something that you should factor into your workouts. Don’t exercise too late and try to get around eight hours of sleep a night. Also, if you’re tired, you’re going to feel less motivated to get to the gym, which means you’ll want to do shorter workouts.
- ACSM Releases New Exercise Guidelines – Greatist
- How Many Times A Week Should You Exercise, How Long Should Your Workouts Be? – Independent
- How Long Should I Work Out to Lose Weight? – Very Well Fit