It's always hard to know how much you should be training. Are you doing too much? Are you doing too little? You should definitely be aware that sometimes to can train too much which can be dangerous, but what's best for you?
Some people will argue there is no such thing as overtraining, however in my opinion, there really is such thing as overtraining. Everyone's body has different boundaries and limits so knowing where they are will prevent you from potentially overtraining. Overtraining symptoms can be fatigue, lack of motivation and unusual aches and pains, these are all negative towards training and are something you need to try and avoid getting to.
How to determine how many times you should train per week.
1. What level are you in your training?
This is the first thing I would look at, this is because knowing how advanced you are with training in general will set an immediate base to how much you should initially be training. If you're a beginner, should you be training 6 times a week? I wouldn't suggest so. If you're fairly advanced and your body is used to training very regularly then maybe training 6 times a week would be okay. The reason why knowing your level is so important is if you are a beginner and start training everyday, your body just isn't ready for that! Leaving you open to fatigue, increased risk of injury and exhaustion.
2. What is your goal?
Each person will need to train different amount depending on what their goal is. For example: Someone who's training for the marathon, running once a week isn't going to be enough to condition your body to run a whole marathon, this is a very strenuous event and needs a tremendous amount to preparation and training. Someone who wants to lose 5 stone in a specific time period would need to train more than twice a week, as again this is a fairly large amount of weight to lose, therefore your total energy expenditure and calories burned per week needs to be high! After knowing what level in training you'd put yourself at, you can determine how much you should be training in correlation to your goal.
3. How do you feel?
If you're training twice a week but don't feel like you're being worked much or not seeing muscles change in, then you could probably increase the amount that you train! On the other hand, if you're training 5 times a week but keep getting strange pains, feel tired and also feel the quality of your sessions is going down, then maybe it's good to decrease session amounts. This will be one of the most important keys to knowing when to stop. No matter what level you are, how you feel can change week to week! So listen to your body and train adequately to what it's telling you! Sometimes you may have bad muscle soreness, DOMS (delayed on set muscle soreness) this doesn't have to stop you from training, but can change what you train or use a different muscle group which doesn't have DOMS. Be careful not to confuse muscle ache with body pain!
Does Age Count?
The answer to that is both yes and no. Take a child in early to mid teens, interested in weight training, should he be training everyday? Certainly not, the body needs rest, and as they will still be growing, weight training (when done correctly and safely can help that) but when done too much can cause muscular and mental fatigue to adolescence. A person in their 40s plus will definitely need to train regularly to aid with their metabolism getting slightly slower, but not all should be hammering the gym too much as it could potentially be bad for joints, ligaments and tendons due to past injuries or pains. Don't let age tell you what you can and can't do, but know whats best for your body in conjunction with your previous training / fitness experiences.
Use this rough guide to get an idea of how to plan session amount depending on your level
Beginner - 1-2 times a week to start
Intermediate -2-4 times a week
Advanced - 4-7 times a week
In order to find your ideal amount YOU should train per week is worked out by using all 3 pointers. Be careful not to overtrain as you can cause many set backs and risk time off from the gym. Make sure you know your boundaries and how far you can push your body before you need to rest! When you feel you're getting fitter and stringer, theres no reason not to increase how much you train.
Feel Free to Share if you liked this post!
Have you read our last article?
All articles are written by Luke Teuma, Founder of Lean With Luke.