When you’re working out alone, heck, even when you’re working out with friends; it can be hard to know what a workout should look like and how to get the best out of it.
We know there are a lot of you with questions about exactly how to do it, so we thought we’d try and answer some of those.
There isn’t a minimum necessarily, but the CDC recommends either 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity 5 days a week, or 25 minutes of more high-intensity activity 3 days a week. What you should be concerned about is rest days – it’s important to give your body the time it needs to rebuild the muscles, nerves and connective tissues broken down through exercise. Aim for at least two rest days a week.
Again, there isn’t a ‘should’ here, but they’re usually going to take somewhere around 40 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on 1) The type of workout, 2) How long you rest in-between each exercise, and 3) How you warm up and cool down. A HIIT workout tends to be pretty quick at only 20-25 minutes, because you’re doing so much work and taking very short rests, but you add a warm up and a cool down to this and you’re easily at 40 minutes. If you’re doing an endurance workout rather than a power workout, you’re more likely to spend a longer time in the gym. And of course, if you’re taking a class, most classes are around the 30-60 minute mark, although there are some fitness programs that offer 90-minute classes.
This all boils down to what your goals are, but the recommendation is to have a mix of strength training workouts and more aerobic workouts. You need to maintain a balance between workout intensity and workout duration; so if you’re doing a particularly intense workout, you’ll want to keep it on the shorter side, but if you’re doing a less intense workout, like a walk or a jog, you can extend the workout time.
If your goal is to burn fat and build muscle, sets of 8-15 reps are advised. Challenge yourself on the size of the weight you are using if you’re finding 15 reps are too easy to do. The idea is to balance these out.
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