If you have ever asked yourself how often should I work out, you’re not alone. It is a common question. The answer is not easy though. There are many variables that need to be explored before you can really know the answer. And even then the answer can change if you change your goals. Do you see how that can get complicated? So let’s break it down to the least common denominator (someone who willingly wants to work out and lose weight) and try to give you some guidance.
You have to want to work out in the first place not just talk about it. Too many people say they want to work out but what they really mean is that they want to lose weight, continue to eat crap and look like some fitness instructor who lives at the gym. Not gonna happen that way. Sorry. Work is involved. Sweat must be produced. Commitments must be made. So take five minutes (literally – it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to figure this out) and make your plan.
First, determine why you want to work out. It is probably to lose weight. Fine. Now ask yourself: Are you overweight because you don’t work out or you don’t work out because you are overweight? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. Bottom line is that you need to start doing something to improve your physical condition. Commit to working out for at least 30 days to get started.
Second, are you willing to change your eating habits? If you eat like crap all the exercise in the world won’t matter. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. You have to change your inputs (what you are eating) to see changes in the output (your workouts). Adopting an eating plan like Eat Stop Eat makes so much sense and will help speed up your progress. Make sure you change this first.
Third, what kind of shape are you in now? Decent, bad, awful, f’ing awful, round, waif, or awesome are some of the possibilities. The amount of exercise that you can safely do will depend on where you are starting from. Don’t try and over do it right out of the gate. You’ll probably get hurt or easily discouraged and give up. Be smart and start small. Your age will have something to do with it too. If you haven’t really exercised since college your mind may be willing but the body may protest.
Fourth, where are you going to work out at? A gym, home, a park, work, your couch are some possibilities. If you are starting from scratch, just do it at home. Don’t go and spend a lot of money on a gym membership that you’ll never use after the first month. Make the membership a reward for your hard work.
Fifth, what do you want to look like when you are done? What’s the ultimate goal? Is it to look like a bodybuilder? Then plan on laboring many hours for years to get that big. Is it to look good at the beach? That is more achievable and doable. If you have a good base built up use the course Visual Impact to fine tune your physique. What ever it is find a picture of it and refer to it often to remind yourself why you working out.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t have to work out every day of the week. A safe, easy to follow schedule would be to work out at least 4 days a week for 30 to 60 minutes. Get the most out of your workouts by being intense when you are doing them, not just showing up. Don’t overdo it in the beginning. Make small improvements over time and they will add up.