How Often Should I Workout?

This is a very important topic when it comes to seeing results. To give a simple answer, workout at least twice a week if you are performing a total body routine. You can certainly do more and it comes highly recommended you do, but you don’t want to overdo it either. You should give each muscle at least 48 hours rest after exercise. This gives the muscles time to recover from the stress and trauma of exercise.

48 hours isn’t just a random number. The University of Texas Medical Branch has shown that protein synthesis within the body is elevated up to 48 hours post exercise. This is a key indicator for muscle growth. What’s more is this is about the same amount of time it takes for your metabolism to return to its normal resting rate.

Ideally you should lift 3-4 times per week. You can accomplish this one of several ways and still give each muscle group the adequate 48 hours of rest. You can organize your workouts by total body, upper/lower split, or by muscle group. To read more into the different routines read What’s the Best Workout Routine?

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2 thoughts on “How Often Should I Workout?

  1. PeggyAnn Smith Reply

    Great article Thank you! Is there ever an instance when it’s ok to workout more often? 😉

    • Jeff Smith Post authorReply

      Hi thanks for the comment. Yes there are occasions where it’s ok to workout more often. You’ll see this often with more elite athletes or advanced lifters. They are typically conditioned to tolerate more intense workouts more often. It’s best to use the format above if you are a beginner or even intermediate with your conditioning. If you try to do too much when first starting out you are likely to injure yourself. It’s best to start slow so your tendons have time to build up along with your muscles. Not to mention over training stimulates the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that can have detrimental effects on your progress. Best of luck!

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