If you are new to exercise or looking to start a gym membership, you may ask yourself “how often do I need to work out to lose weight and see results?” The short answer is this, more is better. However, a specific strategy should be used to optimize your efforts at the gym and this article will help you know what type of exercise you should do each day at the gym. As a personal trainer focused in helping adults lose weight by burning fat, the following guidelines will be geared towards fat loss. Here is the general breakdown for what to do at the gym depending on how many days per week you plan to exercise.
One gym day per week:
Better do a full body workout and touch on your upper body, lower body, and core with 30 minutes of resistance training. This should be followed by 30 minutes of cardio training. Your effort needs to be intense to the point where a full conversation is impossible but a few words may be spoken if needed. When going to the gym one day per week expect to feel sore from every workout. One workout per week can help you maintain your progress for a short time and I recommend this during your very busy times of the year. Do not expect to make much progress in changing your body.
Two gym days per week:
The maintenance zone! Two awesome workout each week lasting an hour to an hour and a half will allow you to maintain your current fitness level. This is the dream zone for clients who dislike working out but want to look good. Both gym sessions should include full body resistance training followed by 30 minutes of cardio at the end of your resistance workout.
Three gym days per week:
Now you’re making real progress. Three gym workouts per week is where you begin to burn enough calories to see the scale change on a weekly basis. Ideally, your workout days would be spaced out; Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. Spacing your workouts throughout the week allows your body time to recover. Do one upper body resistance workout, one lower body resistance workout, and one full body workout. Finish each workout with 20 to 30 minutes of cardio.
Four to Six gym days per week:
The more days you get to the gym the better. Exercising four to six days allows time to segregate your resistance and cardio days. Plan for three days of resistance training with the other gym days focused on cardio. For resistance training spend one day working chest and biceps, one day working back and triceps, and one day working legs and shoulders. The remaining days at the gym can be used to burn fat with cardio training. There are many forms of cardio training (long slow distance, interval training, high intensity interval training to name a few) each are good for different reasons and which will be covered in future blog posts.