How Often Should You Workout?

Jun 3 08:23 2011 Mark Crossan Print This Article

Learn how often you should be working out in order to build muscle.

A lot of beginners who are new to working out and lifting weights often wonder how often they should be working out for optimum results. Come to think of it,Guest Posting a lot of experienced gym athletes are still unsure of this question. How often should you really be working out? Do we sacrifice results if we workout too often? Let me try and shed some light on this popular subject.

How often you workout largely depends on your goals and what you are trying to achieve. If your goal is to build muscle mass then for optimum results, workout each muscle group hard once per week. Yes that’s right, workout each muscle group once a week. More is not necessarily better in some cases. This workout should be intense and consist of a variety of exercises.

I would recommend performing 3 sets of 3 exercises for each muscle group if are a beginner. Choose a weight that is challenging and will only allow you to perform around 8-12  reps. Some people will have the ability to train a muscle group more than once a week so feel free to experiment with your training to see what brings the best results and progress. Genetics play a big factor when determining how often you can workout and how quickly your body can recover. Now don’t get me wrong, building muscle requires  you to work hard in the gym, be dedicated, disciplined and most of all consistent. But, genetics can determine how much muscle your body is capable of building and also the rate at which you  build/lose this muscle.

Having great bodybuilding genetics can certainly work in your favour. With the right genetics you can build muscle faster and easier than your average person and will be able to train more often. Just because a person can work multiple muscle groups more than once a week and get results does not mean that it will be the same for you or anybody else. Peoples body’s are different and therefore react differently to certain forms of training. It’s also important to take into consideration the intensity you work at during your workouts. If you’re working at a low intensity or performing very little volume in your workouts, you are probably going to be able to work particular muscle groups again after a few days rest. This brings me to my next point.

Not everyone who lifts weights are looking to build substantial amounts of muscle mass. A good example would be people looking to lose weight. These people are not necessarily looking to build muscle but to maintain what muscle they have. Therefore, you may be wondering how often you should be working out if your looking to lose weight? The answer is simple. You should workout the exact same way you would when looking to build muscle. Unfortunately you will not see the results you would when looking to build muscle as your diet and nutrition will be totally different. As you probably already know, your body needs to take in more calories each day to build muscle. When dieting this does not happen so muscle gains will be extremely limited.

Don’t feel you need to dedicate each muscle group into its own workout when you train. There are various different ways to train your muscles. For example, why not try a full body workout to switch things up a bit. Full body workouts are designed to hit all the major muscle groups in one workout. This is usually done by focusing on one main exercise for each of the major muscle groups. For example, your one chest exercise may consist of 3 sets of bench press. To work your biceps you would perform 3 sets of bicep curls. You would do this for each major muscle group you wish to work.

Full body workouts are great for weight loss and are completely different when compared to traditional bodybuilding splits. When your working a muscle group hard once a week it will need sufficient time to recover which is why I recommend working each muscle group once a week unless you have superior genetics which allow you to do otherwise. With a full body workout less volume is used to work each muscle group and the muscle therefore recovers a lot quicker. Full body workouts are usually performed 3 times a week.

When looking to lose weight your main goal is not to build muscle but to actually maintain it as much as possible. In other words, you have a totally different goal or objective. When following a full body workout to lose weight, you will not be lifting extremely heavy weights. Your workout should consist of more repetitions, less exercises, shorter sets and smaller rest periods to help make your workout more aerobic.

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Mark Crossan
Mark Crossan

For more information on how to gain muscle or lose weight visit Marks fitness site at The site has tons of articles and guides on all aspects of fitness and caters for beginners as well as the more advanced athlete.

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