How many times do I train?

How often should I train?

The optimal frequency of training is determined primarily by the main purpose of visiting the gym - from building muscle mass, ending with increased stamina or losing weight. It is this that affects how many days the body will need to recover.

If long, but relatively light, cardio training for fat burning can be conducted 4-5 times a week, then strength training for muscle growth clearly requires more recovery time - the most effective frequency will be 3-4 visits to the gym per week.

When is it better to do cardio before or after weight training? Rules of cardio workout for weight loss.

Muscle Recovery Time

Scientific studies show that the time required for the muscles to recover is 48 to 72 hours. In reality, the figure depends on both the total length of training and the age of the person( the older it is, the longer the recovery lasts), and on what muscles were involved in the work.

Small and medium muscular groups( arms, shoulders, press) require regeneration of about 48-60 hours, and for full recovery of muscles and the central nervous system after basic exercises and working out large groups of muscles( legs, chest, back), at least 72hours( 1).

Muscle Pain after Exercise

If, after physical exertion in the muscles, a specific "delayed" pain is felt( usually it starts from 12 to 24 after training and ends after 24-72 hours) - this means that the body restores muscles and removes toxins, formed after training.

It is usually believed that this pain is directly related to muscle growth. This is not entirely true, and the growth of the musculature can go without pain - it all depends on the individual characteristics of human metabolism. It should be noted that active regeneration and sports massage significantly reduce the delayed pain.

Active recovery

It is not strange, complete rest is not the optimal way to restore muscle - moderate physical activity on days of rest from strength training increases the blood flow and the rate of toxin removal from the body, thus accelerating the processes of regeneration and growth of muscle tissue.

Light cardio-loading( rowing machine or ellipsoid) lasting 20-25 minutes on days, free from strength training will not only accelerate the recovery, but also have a positive effect on the relief of muscles. It can also be useful to visit the sauna or water area of ​​the fitness club.

How many times a week do I need to train?

Summing up, the optimal frequency of training for weight gain is training in the gym 3-4 times a week. Each major muscle group is studied no more often than once every 72 hours - if you trained your chest on Monday, the next time it is better to swing on Thursday or Friday.

In this case, the recovery time depends on the type of physique - sports mesomorphs can train more often and build muscle faster, whereas the body of lean ectomorphs or full-fledged endomorphs requires an increased amount of time to replenish energy reserves.

How many times a week does a press train?

Beginners in the first months of training can swing the press and 5 times a week - the presence of "delayed" pain will help in a direct sense to feel the abdominal muscles, which will dramatically increase the effectiveness of their training. However, we are talking about performing single exercises at home.

Complete sets of exercises for the development of the musculature of the press will require the usual 48-60 hours for recovery. More frequent training of abdominal muscles is not able to remove the stomach more quickly( a diet is needed for this), and will only cause overtraining and adversely affect progress.

Frequency of training for weight loss

Speaking about pumping the cubes of the press and creating a flat stomach, we note that more frequent workouts for fat burning will give the opposite effect to the desired one. Acceleration of metabolism against a background of reduced calorie intake will lead to an increase in the hormone cortisol, which provokes the growth of fat on the stomach.

Weight loss should always begin with the normalization of nutrition, the exclusion of fast carbohydrates and excessively high-calorie foods. Various workouts for fat burning are only a means of normalizing metabolism, not a direct burning of calories.


Because the muscle recovery time is 48 hours for small muscle groups and 72 hours for large muscle groups, strength training for weight gain is best performed 3 to 4 times per week. Slimming exercises can be conducted more often, however without a sharp reduction in caloric intake.

Scientific sources:

  1. The Truth About Muscle Recovery Time, source