Gym attendance should be consistent. When you take long breaks between visits to the gym, progress proves elusive. Going to the gym too often, however, comes with problems, also. The average person looking to get in shape should settle on a decent number of days per week to hit the gym.
Weight Training vs. Cardio
Your frequency of visits to the gym depends on what you intend to do. Cardio workouts can be strenuous, but most people prefer low-impact ones. Heading to the gym multiple times per week to walk on the treadmill might not have a negative effect on the body. With weightlifting, however, requires more rest and less frequency.
Weightlifting Frequency at the Gym
Hitting the gym three or four days per week to lift weights is usually fine. Anything more than that brings forth the risk of over training. Muscles require adequate rest in order to repair and grow. You overload the tissue in the gym, and then you allow it to grow during your days off. Yes, there are bodybuilding programs that recommend training six days a week on the two-times-a-day split routine. Unless you are a professional bodybuilder, however, a routine like this is utter madness.
Two Basic Approaches to Weightlifting
The two most common approach is the weight lifting involved working out three or four days per week. The three-day routine usually involves a lengthy workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The program centers on hitting every major muscle group at least once per session. The focus is on traditional compound exercises and their variations.
The four-days-per-week program involves three exercises per body part. Two body parts are hit each workout. The process requires performing a mix of compound and isolation exercises. The four-day program was initially popularized during the heyday of bodybuilding at the original Gold’s Gym in the 1960s.
Cardio on Off Days
A common recommendation suggests going for total rest on off days, but some choose to perform light cardio workouts on one or two of those days. If you hit the weights incredibly hard and pushed your maximum lifts, rest would be better than a jog. When your lifting sessions are moderate, a little cardio in between iron days might be okay.
Listening to the Body
The human body provides warning signs when you train too much. Don’t fall into the ego trap of working out too much and too hard. You run the risk of hurting yourself. At a minimum, your gains won’t be impressive. At worst, you could find yourself with a debilitating injury.
Remember, you want your time at the gym to work for your body and not against it.