How often should I strength train?

How often should I strength train?

Strength train 2-3 times a week.

Ideally, perform at least one strength training exercise for each major muscle groups 2-3 times a week.

Remember however, that 1 day of strength training is better than 0 days.

Your major muscle groups include your:

  • back and chest.
  • biceps (front of upper arm) and triceps (back of upper arm).
  • shoulders.
  • abdominals.
  • quadriceps (front of thigh) and hamstrings (back of thigh).
  • gluteals (butt).
  • calves (back of lower leg).

The actual number of days you strength train depends on how you split up your workout.

For example, you can perform:

  • one exercise for each major muscle group 2 days a week.
  • one exercise for each upper body muscle group 2 days a week and one exercise for each lower body muscle group 2 other days of the week.
  • three different exercises each on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and repeat Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Create a routine that works for you. There is no right or wrong way to split up your workout. The important thing is to not to perform an exercise for the same muscle group two days in a row. Your muscles need time to recover.

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Position stand: Progression Models in Resistance Training for Healthy Adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2002;34:364-680.

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Stephanie Averkamp

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