Fit athletic woman runner doing her warming up routine exercises with jumping rope outdoors

I kind of love this question, because it makes me reflect back on when I first started working out and just wanted to get my quota in.
You will be pleased to know that the answer is not everyday or twice a day, but that it depends on what you’re looking to achieve.

If you’re a beginner who just wants to improve endurance and strength… Busy sportsman is at exercise bike with earphones, he looking ahead

If you’re thinking maintenance then you’re thinking long-term. They make it sustainable and effective. Which means not going from 0-100. This is an opportunity to educate yourself as well, so don’t be afraid to try new things.
2 sessions a week
Try:
1 hour-long session of cardio, like running or spinning, 1-hour long session of strength training, with weights or bodyweight, and at least one session of active rest with low-impact exercise like walking or swimming.

If you’re trying to lose weight… Group of Young People Exercising in a Gym

Remember the old adage: abs are made in the kitchen? As with all exercise, changing the way you eat and exercise will give you better results than if you only changed the way you exercise.
Minimum of 3 sessions a week
Try:
3 hour-long sessions of a moderate intensity workout that combines light cardio and strength training. Use the other days as active rest days, where you’re walking or doing restorative yoga.
Or 2 hour-long sessions of strength training and 2 45-minutes sessions of cardio, with two days as active rest days, and one day off.

If you’re trying to build muscle… A multi-ethnic group of young adults are lifting dumbbells together at the gym.

Weight can only be lost if you eat less than you burn, but for muscle to be gained, you eating will only get you so far. Muscle grows when it is used.
5 sessions a week
Try:
3 hour-long strength training sessions, 2-hour long cardio sessions, and 2 days for recovery, focusing on stretching out the muscles, correcting posture, and foam rolling.

If you’re trying to push through a plateau… Happy athletic couple giving each other high five after finishing sports training in a gym.

You’ll need to kickstart your metabolism (which strength training is perfect for) and make sure your workouts are really challenging you. It’s easy when you find something you like to just keep doing it, but we need variety to challenge our bodies and work other muscle groups.
5 sessions a week
Try:
Alternating between one week of 4 hour-long strength training sessions and 1 hour-long cardio session; and one week of 3 hour long sessions of strength training and 2 hour-long cardio sessions. Make sure to change your workout (the specific exercises you’re doing and the order in which you do them) so that no two are exactly the same.
And: Don’t forget to track ALL your workouts in the Lifesum app, so you manage calories and macros all in one place.

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams