You may have heard the saying that working out is a science. How our bodies respond to what we do to it has been extensively studied, especially when it comes to exercise and nutrition. Through much trial and error, experts have been racking up the best ways to train our bodies for sports, fat-loss, and muscle growth. If you are new to working out or not seeing the results you expected, it could be that you are not training your body properly. Fitness experts will tell you that it is not necessarily what you do with your body as much as how consistently you do it that leads to muscle and fitness gains.
Consistency Is Everything
To see results from your workouts, you must train consistently. Going hard one week at the gym is awesome, but it means nothing if you don’t do the same the following week and the week after. For best health measures, most experts agree that you should workout at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes or more. This is the baseline for people who want to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight. However, how often you should workout also depends on how intense your workouts are, your fitness level, and your fitness goals. Athletes, for example, workout nearly everyday under strenuous conditions. They do this of course because they are training to be on top of their game. For those of us not planning on competing in the Olympics, working out 3 hours a day 7 days a week might be a little intense. So, just how often should we be working out?
As mentioned, how often you decide to workout will depend on your fitness goals and current level of fitness. If you love to workout everyday, that’s awesome. As long as you are not experiencing any exercise related injuries, there is nothing wrong with working out everyday. Should you decide to workout this often, however, it’s important that you don’t overtrain your muscle groups. This means you should switch up which muscles you work everyday to give your previously worked muscles a break. For example, if you hit the squat rack heavy one day, work a different muscle group the next day like your arm muscles. This will give your legs a break and time to recover before you work them again on your next leg day. Letting your muscles recover is essential for building and strengthening muscle tone.
How Often You Should Train Each Muscle Part
Experts have varied opinions on how often each muscle group should be trained for best results. Some believe that training a muscle part just once a week is enough while others argue that two to three times is most beneficial to muscle growth. A 2016 study collected data on whether training once or twice a week was better for muscle growth and found that the group who trained each muscle group two to three times per week saw a 3.1percent increase in muscle growth in comparison to the other group. Training your muscles more frequently may indeed increase muscle growth but it should be noted that this may depend on the person and intensity of each workout. Everybody has a different rate of recovery, meaning training the same muscle group more than once per week might be too strenuous for certain people. How intensely you train your muscle groups may also affect how often you train them per week. For example, squatting with light weights a few times a week is a lot less intense than using heavy weights on the squat rack once a week.
Follow A Split Routine
One of the most popular methods of training for muscle growth is the split training routine. This means you work different muscle parts on different days, focusing more intensely on one muscle part at a time. A split routine could look something like this:
Monday- Chest and Back
Tuesday- Quads and Hamstrings
Wednesday-Biceps and Triceps
Thursday- Glutes and Abs
Friday- Shoulders and Calves
Saturday- Active Rest
How you train and how you decide to do your split routine is entirely up to you. Following a split routine allows you to follow a consistent workout schedule while ensuring that your muscle groups get enough rest in between workouts. This is the preferred workout routine for most fitness professionals.
Fitness is a personal journey that requires a lot of trial and error to get right. We’re all different and respond differently to training and nutrition. If you’re not seeing the results you want, you may need to push harder or ease up depending on your current training routine. Fitness is a journey, but consistency and hard work will always pay off in the end.
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