Whether you are just beginning on your journey to better health and fitness or you are already well on your way, at some point you have likely wondered, “How many workouts per week do I need?”. A quick Google search will tell you that you need 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. This however will likely lead to more questions than actual clarity. Thankfully, by the end of this article you will be well equipped and able to determine how many workouts per week you need.
- The number of workouts you need per week is based on your goals and your training experience.
- Research suggests that the minimum number of workouts per week which you should do to see results is two.
- With that in mind though, exercise and results share a dose response relationship! To see continued results, you must continually challenge yourself! This involves increasing the frequency (and intensity) of your training at certain training milestones (see point 1 below).
- In the most recent version of ”Essentials of Strength Training and Condition”, the NSCA recommends that to see continual results, beginner trainees (<2 Months) should train 1-2 times per week, intermediate trainees (2-6 months) should train 2-3 times per week while advanced trainees (>1 year) should train 3-4 times per week.
- In a study conducted by McLester et al. (2000), the authors found that 3 training sessions per week produced significantly greater increases in lean body mass (muscle) and strength than 1 training session per week.
- Another study by Kraemar and Ratamess (2004) suggests that 2-3 days per week are necessary to see improvement while 1-2 sessions per week are necessary to simply maintain existing training adaptations. The authors note though that when the object of training is continual improvement, 4 days is better than 3 which is superior to 2 which produces more improvement than 1.
The Take Home Message
Training frequency can be a confusing topic. There are many differing opinions and many different training programs which have proven successful.The single most important factor is that the training frequency fits you. Specifically, your training experience, goals, needs, and availability. If you are not sure if you training the appropriate number of times per week, or you feel that your results have begun to stagnate, please ask Jon, Danica, or myself for tips and suggestions on how you can continue to see improvement from your training routine.
If we have not had the pleasure of training you at JKC and you feel like you could use that extra push to be your best self, please see our Services Page for more information about joining the JKC Family.
Prepared for the JKC blog by Coach Thomas.
Photo credit: JP Mullowney