How Many Times A Week Should I Workout To Gain Muscle?
“How many times a week should I workout to gain muscle?” This is a very common question among most people who plan to start hitting the gym.
Like many aspects of exercising, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, this article will give you insight into the ideal number of times you should be doing exercises to gain muscles, depending on your unique situation.
So, keep reading.
How Many Times a Week Should I Workout To Gain Muscle?
A closer look at this question shows there are two parts to it:
First, how often should you hit the gym? Secondly, how many times should you work a muscle group per week? As mentioned earlier, the answer to the question depends on your situation.
For example, you can train in the gym nearly every day of the week to build muscle, and you can also build impressive muscles training only three times per week. What works for one person might not work for another.
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding how often you should hit the gym. These include:
- Your fitness goals
- Your current fitness level and training experience
- Your work schedules
- Your family commitments
- Your priority (what comes first – other activities and hobbies or gym-based goals?)
Considering the above factors will help you build a concrete plan on the number of times to work out to gain muscle. Here are suitable suggestions based on what we’ve discussed so far:
- Consider working out three times a week if you are a beginner.
- As an intermediate, workout out about 3 to 5 days a week is ideal.
- For advanced or well-experienced gym-goers, it is okay to train around 4 to 6 days a week.
How Does Workout Build Up Your Muscles?
You can build muscle through exercises. However, this happens at different rates based on some factors like sex, genetics, and age.
Generally, you develop muscle if your workouts are challenging, consistent, and long-term. Plus, you can develop some muscle mass if you give your body adequate rest.
That said, strength training is one of the best exercises for muscle building. Also, cardio can be of great benefit. For you to see appreciable results in your workouts, you have to be consistent with your exercises for at least a month.
As an adult, you should do muscle-strengthening working around two to three times a week and this includes exercising major muscle groups.
Some of the activities you can do during your workout routines include:
- Using stationary weight machines
- Doing bodyweight exercises, like squats and pushups
- Engaging in resistance band activities
- Doing some weight lifting
It is worth mentioning that strength training exercises are good for older adults too, as they will prevent injuries and promote fast recovery.
How Many Times Per Week Should You Hit The Gym?
The number of times you hit the gym depends on your fitness goals. A bodybuilder’s gym frequency is entirely different from someone trying to lose weight.
Generally, it is ideal for a newbie to hit the gym and do about 75 minutes of vigorous cardio or 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week. Also, a new exerciser should do about two resistant training sessions a week with a minimum of one full day of rest.
However, your gym routine should be scheduled to meet your day-to-day activities. Here is a general guide you can use to distribute your weekly workout routine.
Gym Routine Guide 1
- Monday: Spend about 50 minutes on the treadmill
- Tuesday: Do full-body resistance training
- Wednesday: Spend about 50 minutes on the treadmill
- Thursday: Do full-body resistance training
- Friday: Do about 50 minutes of cardio and warm-up time
- Saturday through Sunday: Rest days to allow for proper recovery
Gym Routine Guide 2
- Monday: Do 30 minutes of full-body resistance training and stair climber
- Tuesday: Spend 30 minutes doing bike exercise
- Wednesday: Do 30 minutes of swimming
- Thursday: Do 30 minutes of full-body resistance training and elliptical trainer
- Friday: Rest day
- Saturday: Spend about 30 minutes on the treadmill
- Sunday: Rest day
Want to reap extra health benefits? Increase your cardio time. Do 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio or 300 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio a week.
Keep in mind that meeting your fitness goals doesn’t require you to exercise every single day. From the gym routine guides above, it is clear that your body needs to rest and recover for a day or two every week.
This is very important, especially when you are new to exercise. These rest periods will prevent over-training and putting your body under unnecessary strain that can lead to injuries, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and moodiness.
For this reason, you must observe your rest day and give your body time to rejuvenate.
What Happens If You Don’t Do Enough Workout?
Some people don’t think they need to exercise at all, especially those with naturally thin frames. In many cases, these people can eat just about anything they want without adding weight.
It is easy for these people to completely neglect exercise. However, it doesn’t work that way because working out goes beyond merely burning calories to lose weight.
Whether you have a thin frame or not, not doing enough exercise can have some negative effects on your body. These include:
Not Sleeping Well
If you are experiencing some form of sleep problem, it may be a result of inadequate exercise. Your body lacks good exercise if you spend all night tossing and turning.
Quality shut-eye at night is an indication that you are consistent with your workout. You will wake up feeling well-rested.
On the other hand, if you experience insomnia, you should try to increase the number of exercises you do. This may improve your overall sleep quality.
Increased Craving for Unhealthy Food
It turns out that you naturally want to eat healthy foods if you are more active and work out regularly. You don’t have cravings for junk food.
On the other hand, people who don’t work out at all or don’t do enough exercise have a higher craving for junk foods. And as you probably already know, junk foods are not healthy for your body.
It is normal for your metabolism to slow down as you grow older, even if everything seems to be working perfectly now. In addition, inadequate physical activities cause muscle shrinkage and more fat stored up in your body.
To make up for this change in metabolism, it is best to be more active by working out regularly. Consider adding weight lifting and cardio to your weekly routine.
Increased Risk of Weaker Bones
Inadequate physical activities can cause osteoporosis, especially in women. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can affect you as you age.
However, you can reduce the risk of this disease and Increase your bone mass when you do resistance training.
Increased Stress Level
It is common for people to feel more stressed if they don’t do enough workouts. Vigorous or moderate exercises can help you stay active and you also have a lower response to stress.
Can You Do Too Much Workout?
Here’s a straightforward answer: yes, you can work out too much! Although people think that more is always better, the fact is too much exercise puts your body under chronic stress. This is commonly referred to as the overtraining syndrome.
Here’s the thing. When you work out, what you are doing in the real sense is breaking down your muscle fiber. After this, your body repairs and rejuvenates the tissues to become stronger than they were.
This is why you need enough rest, sleep, and good nutrition to help your muscle tissues recover well.
However, you deprive your body of that recovery if you over-train. As a result, you put your body under unnecessary stress, which might under all the benefits you may have gained from working out.
You are probably overtraining or working out too much if you notice one or more of these signs:
- You get sick too often.
- You are losing weight more than usual, even if you don’t mean to do so.
- You get prolonged muscle soreness.
- You feel very irritable.
- You have low energy.
- Your resting heart rate is higher than normal for your body weight.
- You are not motivated like usual.
- You were making much progress and then you hit a plateau.
- If you experience early onset of fatigue.
If you are wondering “how many times a week should I workout to gain muscle?” you should understand that it depends on your current level of fitness and what you are trying to achieve.
Also, you should know your body type and how much it can take when it comes to the type of physical activities you should be doing.
Exercises are meant to keep you healthy and fit. However, overdoing it can be dangerous. Make sure to combine adequate amounts of workouts per week with a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition to get positive results.