How Often Should You Workout? Your Weekly Plan

Published June 25, 2019
Ben Kissam

Written By: Ben Kissam, BS

Ben has a B.S. in Movement and Sports Science and over 7 years Certified Personal Training Experience.

how-often-should-you-workout
<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@type":"BlogPosting", "headline":"How Often Should You Workout? Your Weekly Plan", "datePublished":"June 25, 2019", "description":"There is no perfect answer to the question, “How often should you work out?” But there is a compelling case to be made for doing 3 workouts per week.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/06/how-often-should-you-workout-0191-thumbnail.jpg" }, } ] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">How Often Should You Work Out?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Our Favorite Weekly Workout Routine</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Here’s What We’ve Learned…</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">Is Working Out 3 Days a Week Enough?</a></li> <li><a href="#section5">What Types of Workouts Should You Do?</a></li> <li><a href="#section6">Why Is Rest and Recovery Important?</a></li> <li><a href="#section7">Three Workouts Per Week—That’s All You Need</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p align="justify">One website advises you should work out 5 times per week. The next website says you should work out 4 times per week. And then, some fitness trainer says those websites are wrong, and 6 days per week is the perfect number.</p> <p align="justify">If you’re looking for simple information about how often you should work out, that wild goose chase is a recipe for disaster.</p> <p align="justify">So here’s what we did: We answered your question right off the bat. Then, we wrote up what you should do each and every day of the week (and weekend). </p> <p align="justify">And <i>finally</i>, we explain everything.</p> <p align="justify">Here’s how often you should work out. And, if you want to know, the why of it.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"How Often Should You Work Out?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"For most people, 3 times per week is perfect.\n\nThat said, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How often you should work out depends on two things: your goals, and what works for your body.\n\nDo you want to add lean muscle, lose weight, or both?\n\nAnd, which types of exercises should you do? Which components of fitness should you prioritize in workouts? And what’s best for your body given your age and current fitness level?\n\nKeep those things in mind as you read. We tried to answer all those questions for you."}}]}</script> <h2>How Often Should You Work out?</h2> <p align="justify">For most people, 3 times per week is perfect.</p> <p align="justify">That said, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How often you should work out depends on two things: <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-set-realistic-fitness-goals-you-can-achieve" rel="noreferrer">your goals</a>, and what works for your body. </p> <p align="justify">Do you want to add <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/top-7-post-workout-foods-for-lean-muscle/" rel="noreferrer">lean muscle</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/" rel="noreferrer">lose weight</a>, or <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/introduction/warrior-made-tribe/" rel="noreferrer">both</a>? </p> <p align="justify">And, which types of exercises should you do? Which components of fitness should you prioritize in workouts? And what’s best for your body given your age and current fitness level?</p> <p align="justify">Keep those things in mind as you read. We tried to answer all those questions for you.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/girl-high-plank-outside-0191.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/girl-high-plank-outside-0191.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/girl-high-plank-outside-0191.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/girl-high-plank-outside-LR-0191.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="girl-high-plank"> </picture> <h2>Our Favorite Weekly Workout Routine</h2> <p align="justify">Monday through Sunday, here’s how we recommend you split up your weekly workouts.</p> <h3>Monday: Lower Body and Core</h3> <p align="justify"><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/6-bodyweight-leg-workout-progressions-you-can" rel="noreferrer">Leg exercises</a> like squats, lunges, drinking birds, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/the-5-best-calf-exercises/" rel="noreferrer">calf exercises</a> strengthen your lower body and core. The biggest muscles in your body are in your legs, so you’ll also start the week off burning a ton of calories.</p> <p align="justify">And because all human movement starts in your core, we include core exercises in all three of our weekly workouts. </p> <p align="justify">Try one of these <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/9-at-home-workouts-to-tone-and-tighten" rel="noreferrer">9 at-home workouts</a> or check out our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/" rel="noreferrer">exercise section</a> for more ideas.</p> <h3>Tuesday: Rest or Active Recovery Day</h3> <p align="justify">Sore legs? Take today off, or <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/10-reasons-why-walking-is-the-best-exercise/" rel="noreferrer">go for a walk</a>. </p> <p align="justify">Besides burning fat, walking actually promotes recovery. How? By pumping fresh oxygenated blood into your sore or fatigued leg muscles. </p> <p align="justify">Even a 10 to 15 minute walk can invigorate your body for tomorrow’s workout.</p> <h3>Wednesday: Upper Body and Core</h3> <p align="justify">We love using push-ups and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/27-beginner-bodyweight-exercises-that-get-results/" rel="noreferrer">beginner push-up variations</a> on Wednesday. Your legs don’t get the day off, though. </p> <p align="justify">Many of our favorite <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/best-core-workouts-for-men" rel="noreferrer">core exercises</a> use the legs, like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/plank-exercises-to-activate-your-core/" rel="noreferrer">planks</a> or <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/27-beginner-bodyweight-exercises-that-get-results/" rel="noreferrer">reverse crunches</a>.</p> <p align="justify">For this week’s workout, throw in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/a-step-by-step-guide-to-perfect-hindu-pushups" rel="noreferrer">hindu push-ups</a> or scroll through our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/" rel="noreferrer">exercise blog</a> for <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-simple-tricep-workouts-for-stronger-toned-arms" rel="noreferrer">upper body</a> workout ideas.</p> <h3>Thursday: Rest or Active Recovery Day</h3> <p align="justify">You’ve earned another rest day after another day of hard work. Good job!</p> <p align="justify">Drink <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/water-fasting-what-it-is-and-how-to-do-it-right/" rel="noreferrer">lots of water</a> today to prepare for your final workout of the week tomorrow. Or, practice <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/intermittent-fasting-and-keto-should-you-do-them/" rel="noreferrer">intermittent fasting</a> to burn more fat and reach your goals quicker.</p> <h3>Friday: Full Body and Core</h3> <p align="justify">Get ready for burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and more. Full-body exercises are great for strength training and also elevating your heart rate. Your heart is getting stronger, too!</p> <p align="justify">For this week, give one of these 3 at-home <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-at-home-workouts-to-build-strength" rel="noreferrer">strength training workouts</a> a try.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/meal-prep-avocado-tuna-0191.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/meal-prep-avocado-tuna-0191.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/meal-prep-avocado-tuna-0191.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/meal-prep-avocado-tuna-LR-0191.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="meal-prep-avocado-tuna"> </picture> <h3>Weekend: Rest, Connection, and Preparation</h3> <p align="justify">Weekends are good for a little R&R, but they’re also good for a little R, C, and P, too (yeah, we just made that up).</p> <p align="justify">But seriously, you don’t have to work out on weekends to get results. In fact, we could present the case that it’s better <i>not to</i>. Focusing on preparation and recovery on weekends helps you maximize effort during the week.</p> <p align="justify">Weekends are your chance to rest, grocery shop, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-basics-of-keto-meal-prep/" rel="noreferrer">meal prep</a> for next week. Perhaps you even celebrate your progress by enjoying or testing your recent fitness gains. Try going for a hike with the family or even a small fitness challenge—there’s no better feeling than watching your body do something it couldn’t do before.</p> <p align="justify">But you don’t have to do a workout at all if you don’t want to. You’re still recovering from last week’s hard work, and taking some time off to relax will benefit you come Monday’s leg and core workout.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/why-question-mark-tiles-0191.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/why-question-mark-tiles-0191.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/why-question-mark-tiles-0191.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/why-question-mark-tiles-LR-0191.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="why-question-mark"> </picture> <h2>Here’s What We’ve Learned…</h2> <p align="justify">An <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-simple-tips-for-workout-motivation" rel="noreferrer">important fitness question</a> to ask (and know the answer to) is “why?”</p> <p align="justify">In this case, <i>why this routine</i>? We’ll tell you.</p> <p align="justify">Since launching <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/introduction/warrior-made-tribe/" rel="noreferrer">Warrior Made’s fitness tribe</a>, we’ve watched thousands lose weight, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/top-7-post-workout-foods-for-lean-muscle/" rel="noreferrer">add lean muscle</a>, and transform their bodies. And we’ve learned a thing (or four) about the best workout routines since we started.</p> <h3>1. Most People Want The Same (or Similar) Things</h3> <p align="justify">At the end of the day, most people’s fitness goals are to look and feel healthy. That’s why when you ask some people if they want to lose weight or gain muscle, they give you a look like, “Huh?”</p> <p align="justify">“Huh?” is code for something: They’re just looking for results. That’s it. If losing weight will help that happen, they’re in. Same with adding muscle. Ultimately, their goal is to look and feel healthy.</p> <p align="justify">That’s why we build all our health and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/" rel="noreferrer">fitness resources</a> with results in mind. At the end of the day, we know what people want.</p> <h3>2. Simple Is Always Better</h3> <p align="justify">You start losing people’s attention (and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-simple-tips-for-workout-motivation" rel="noreferrer">motivation</a>) when workout routines get too complex. That’s one reason we emphasize <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/" rel="noreferrer">simple, home workouts</a> that use only bodyweight exercises. You can start doing them now, and they’re easy to be consistent with.</p> <p align="justify">The fewer hoops there are to jump through (like signing up for a gym membership) the easier it is for people to start making progress. </p> <p align="justify">And, research shows simplicity is one key to making workout routines “stick.” <sup>1</sup></p> <h3>3. There Is No Secret To Reaching Your Goals</h3> <p align="justify">There isn’t a magic number of days per week, minutes per workout, or number of healthy meals you need to eat before you reach your goals. There’s only effort and consistency that, over time, lead to the results you’re looking for.</p> <p align="justify">Count us in the same group as you—we wish there <i>was</i> a magic number. It would make this whole health and fitness thing a lot easier. But that’s just not a thing.</p> <p align="justify">However...</p> <h3>4. If There Is One Secret...</h3> <p align="justify">It’s this: Find a workout routine and nutrition plan that you’ll actually stick to.</p> <p align="justify">That’s why we recommend you exercise <strong>3 times per week, 20 to 30 minutes per day</strong>. The rest of the time, focus on <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/" rel="noreferrer">eating quality food</a> and surrounding yourself with other <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/accountability-partner-key-to-weight-loss" rel="noreferrer">like-minded people</a>.</p> <p align="justify"><i>Why?</i> Because 3 home workouts per week is enough to get results. It simplifies things. And it only takes about an hour per week total, so even with a busy schedule, you’re able to be consistent.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/simple-side-bends-at-home-0191.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/simple-side-bends-at-home-0191.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/simple-side-bends-at-home-0191.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/simple-side-bends-at-home-LR-0191.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="simple-side-bends-at-home"> </picture> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"Is Working Out 3 Days a Week Enough?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Yes, and here’s why. You could work out 6 days per week for the next 4 weeks. That’d be 24 workouts toward your goals. That’s great. But all that exercise might burn you out.\n\nNow imagine you do 3 workouts per week for the next year. That’s 156 workouts! And you don’t feel burned out because your workouts are quick, simple, and progress slowly.\n\nIn one scenario, you start out hot, but fizzle away. In the other, you turn working out into a weekly habit!\n\nWhat we’re saying is slow and steady wins the race. You can totally get results, make fitness a lifestyle, and transform your body working out only 3 days per week.\n\n"}}]}</script> <h2>Is Working Out 3 Days a Week Enough?</h2> <p align="justify">Yes, and here’s why. You could work out 6 days per week for the next 4 weeks. That’d be 24 workouts toward your goals. That’s great. But all that exercise might burn you out.</p> <p align="justify">Now imagine you do 3 workouts per week for the next <i>year</i>. That’s 156 workouts! And you don’t feel burned out because your workouts are quick, simple, and progress slowly.</p> <p align="justify">In one scenario, you start out hot, but fizzle away. In the other, you turn working out into a weekly habit!</p> <p align="justify">What we’re saying is slow and steady wins the race. You can totally get results, make fitness a lifestyle, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/introduction/warrior-made-tribe/" rel="noreferrer">transform your body</a> working out only 3 days per week.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section5"> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/woman-stretching-outside-water-0191.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/woman-stretching-outside-water-0191.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/woman-stretching-outside-water-0191.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/woman-stretching-outside-water-LR-0191.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="woman-stretching-outside"> </picture> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"What Types of Workouts Should You Do?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"You’ll need the right tools if you only have an hour per week. Here’s what we recommend. \n\n1. Compound, Full-Body Exercises \n\n2. Proven Fat Burning Workouts \n\n3. Proper Exercise Progressions"}}]}</script> <h2>What Types of Workouts Should You Do?</h2> <p align="justify">You’ll need the right tools if you only have an hour per week. Here’s what we recommend.</p> <h3>1. Compound, Full-Body Exercises</h3> <p align="justify"><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/" rel="noreferrer">Functional exercises</a> work several muscles at once. These burn tons of calories and strengthen your whole body. They are the best “bang for your buck” exercises. </p> <h3>2. Proven Fat Burning Workouts</h3> <p align="justify"><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you" rel="noreferrer">High-intensity interval training</a> (HIIT) and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/circuit-training-for-weight-loss/" rel="noreferrer">circuit training workouts</a> are perfect for bodyweight exercises. They also give you a heck of a workout in a short time.</p> <p align="justify">In fact, the most popular high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout takes only <i>four</i> minutes. Do 20 seconds of as many reps of an exercise as you can, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat that interval 8 times, and you’re done.</p> <p align="justify"><i>Sound easy or too good to be true</i>? Try it with <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/step-by-step-guide-on-how-to-do-perfect-squats" rel="noreferrer">squats</a> and you’ll be a believer.</p> <h3>3. Proper Exercise Progressions</h3> <p align="justify"><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/6-bodyweight-leg-workout-progressions-you-can" rel="noreferrer">Exercise progressions</a> mean you pick appropriate exercises for yourself based on your fitness level. For example, you might start with <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/6-bodyweight-leg-workout-progressions-you-can" rel="noreferrer">reverse alternating lunges</a> and work your way up to jumping lunges over time. </p> <p align="justify">Over time, those beginner progressions will strengthen and condition your legs. Eventually you’ll be able to do the more advanced variations.</p> <p align="justify">Good exercise progressions are essential for getting results. If the exercises are too difficult, you might get discouraged. And if they require a certain level of strength or fitness that you don’t have, you could get injured.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section6"> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fit-man-stretching-recovery-0191.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fit-man-stretching-recovery-0191.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fit-man-stretching-recovery-0191.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fit-man-stretching-recovery-LR-0191.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="fit-man-stretching-recovery"> </picture> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"Why Is Rest and Recovery Important?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Because your body doesn’t get stronger from workouts—it gets stronger when it recovers from workouts.\n\nWait, what does that mean?\n\nWhen you exercise, muscle tissue gets damaged. Don’t worry, this happens to everyone. It may sound weird, but after a tough workout, there are actually micro-tears in your muscles.\n\nAnd actually, that’s the best news for your fitness you’ve heard all day.\n\nBecause when this happens, your brain sends a signal to your body to rebuild your muscles stronger than they were before. This is why you can do more push-ups or squats after a workout or go for longer walks than before.\n\nExercise conditions your body to handle more physical stress. Making you healthier and more able-bodied to live life to the fullest (and pain-free)."}}]}</script> <h2>Why Is Rest and Recovery Important?</h2> <p align="justify">Because your body doesn’t get stronger from workouts—it gets stronger when it <i>recovers from</i> workouts.</p> <p align="justify"><i>Wait, what does that mean?</i></p> <p align="justify">When you exercise, muscle tissue gets damaged. Don’t worry, this happens to everyone. It may sound weird, but after a tough workout, there are actually micro-tears in your muscles.</p> <p align="justify">And actually, that’s the best news for your fitness you’ve heard all day. </p> <p align="justify">Because when this happens, your brain sends a signal to your body to rebuild your muscles <i>stronger than they were before</i>. This is why you can do more push-ups or squats after a workout or go for longer walks than before. </p> <p align="justify">Exercise conditions your body to handle more physical stress. Making you healthier and more able-bodied to live life to the fullest (and pain-free).</p> <h3>And If You Don’t Rest…</h3> <p align="justify">You might get hurt or not stick with your workout program. It takes time for your body to rebuild muscle tissue. The amount of time depends—in part—by how serious you take your recovery.</p> <p align="justify">That’s why resting after workouts is important. When you rest, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-going-keto-can-improve-your-sleep-quality" rel="noreferrer">sleep enough</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/" rel="noreferrer">eat good food</a>, you recover and become stronger and more fitter than you were before. And it gives you a mental break, too, which is important for <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-simple-tips-for-workout-motivation" rel="noreferrer">staying motivated</a>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section7"> <h2>Three Workouts Per Week—That’s All You Need</h2> <p align="justify">While there’s no magic number that answers the question of how often you should work out, there are some compelling reasons to keep things simple. Do 3 full-body, effective workouts per week, be consistent, eat well, and let your body recover. Weight loss and fitness results will come.</p> <p align="justify">Results will come a lot faster with the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/introduction/warrior-made-tribe/" rel="noreferrer">right community</a> of people and coaches by your side. Warrior Made’s <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/introduction/warrior-made-tribe/" rel="noreferrer">fitness tribe</a> offers weekly home workouts, nutrition guidance, and a community of hundreds on the same journey to health and fitness goals as you. We’d love for you to be a part of it!</p> <h3>Resources</h3> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/experts-stick-with-simplicity-if-you-want-exercise-routine-to-last/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">Experts: Stick with simplicity if you want exercise routine to last</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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