One of the most common questions I get asked by clients and followers alike is, “But how much do I actually have to work out?” So much so that I’ve finally decided to write a post about it.
The answer can be a little nebulous, as the work (and the type of work) you will need to put in are a direct reflection of your goals. For example, someone who is looking to increase their cardiovascular health will have a workout and frequency that differs from someone who wants to be a competitive bodybuilder.
Naturally, the real question becomes what are your goals?
It has been my experience that most people who come to me for fitness coaching/training/advice fall into the category of wanting to lose a few pounds/tone up. If that is you, I would suggest a mix of weight training with cardio, and an emphasis on the weight training. Many people go wrong by committing to hours of endless cardio and get frustrated when they do not see the results they want or those results are short lived once the cardio is scaled back
The ideal commitment should be a 3-5 days a week strength training with cardio performed after each workout or on an additional cardio centric day. This allows for a total rest day, even with the most vigorous commitment on this scale. The minimum should be 3 days a week - anything less and you are basically spinning your wheels rather than advancing to your goals. (Remember, this is based on fitness goals.)
What does a typical week commitment look like?
Your strength training sessions should alternate either by muscle group /upper/lower or by push/pull, and begin with a short 10 minute cardio warm-up. Your strength training workout should be between 30-60 minutes with another 10-20 minutes of cardio tacked onto the end. Adding that up, you can expect to spend anywhere between 50 - 90 minutes at the gym on any given day. I also recommend adding in a day of cardio of your choice, lasting about 60 minutes.
Remember, despite what you may see online, there is no shortcut to your fitness goals. Shakes, supplements, etc. only work if you do (and when choosing shakes and supplements make sure you do your research! So many of these weight loss options are loaded with sugar that will 100% sabotage your hard work). With consistent effort, you should start to notice some changes between 4-8 weeks.
The takeaway here is no matter how frequently you choose to work out, remember that the real minimum is 3 days and that you will get out of it only what you put into it! Diet, sleep, overall health, etc. also play major roles in how quickly or how likely it is that you hit your goals.
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Hi! I'm Nugget. I am wife to my awesome husband, Fran, and mama to our toddler son, Remington. We also have another baby on the way (due very soon!) and our pup, Fiona. I am body positive fitness instructor, teacher, and health/wellness advocate. I believe in the potential of EVERY body to be happy and healthy.