How Many Days/Week Should You Exercise?


Whether you are brand new to exercising or, have been consistently training for years, you may be wondering how often you need to be exercising to create changes and achieve optimal results.

Is it safe and effective to exercise multiple days in a row?

Do you need to be taking days off / rest days in between?

How many days should you exercise?  Is 2 days enough?  Is 5 days too many? 

In today’s blog, we are going to be covering just that!  Newbies and veterans alike, it’s a pretty easy formula to follow.


There are only 24 hours in a day, and fitting in an hour-long workout can seem like an impossible task at times.

Thus, makes sense the most popular questions, especially among newbies is: “How many days per week should I exercise?

Is it better to train your entire body 1-2x/week? Or, more effective to train certain muscle groups multiple days a week?

For the majority of the population, regardless of personal goals, working out a minimum of 2 days a week is an absolute MUST.   Here’s why this is a non-negotiable!

As you exercise, you are applying a stimulus to the muscle to make it work harder for a certain number of reps.  The more frequently you apply that stimulus, the greater the chance that muscle has to build more muscle fibers and get stronger!

Now, exercising 1x/week is better than training 0 days, but note that 1x/week does NOT stimulate your muscles enough to build up muscular strength or yield noticeable results.

Exercising 1x/week will make it nearly impossible to learn and properly execute movement patterns and exercises.

And you need to learn this stuff so that you can physically progress over time  Otherwise, exercising 1x/week feels like you are starting over every single time because essentially, you are (and you deserve better!).

Whether your goal is losing 30 pounds, getting stronger, building muscle, being more active, or improving your health, you need to be exercising consistently, no less than 2x/week.

Studies show exercising anywhere from 3-6x/week is optimal for achieving goals quicker and more effectively compared to exercising only 1x/week – here’s why:

When you first start exercising, you will feel muscle soreness those first few weeks (very normal and to be expected) since you are doing something new and putting a new stress on your muscles.  But over time, staying consistent with regular exercise 3-6x/week times a week puts a constant stimulus onto the muscles (this is a very good thing) and that is what allows the muscles to grow stronger!

This is also why exercising multiple days in a row is okay and encouraged!

As you build that strength, you will feel sore much less often compared to someone that has been working out just as long, but only 1x/week.

In addition to stronger muscles, attending multiple workouts every week will help to lower blood pressure, lower body fat, increase muscle mass, increase mood and energy, improve bone health, and have you feeling better overall!

Like all good things, it takes time and practice makes perfect!  Think of exercising like starting a new job:

  • If you only show up to work once a week, it is going to take you much longer to understand what to do and how to properly do it!

  • Equally so, you will have a harder time remembering it all so that 1x/week always feels like your first day!

  • Worst of all? If you’re only working once a week, that’s going to be a pretty small paycheck – womp, womp!

Exercising is a learned habit; from making it part of your routine to understanding how to move properly. If you don’t consistently practice, it’s nearly impossible to learn and get results.

If you are exercising 1x/week, you will feel like you’re starting over every single session.  If you’re working every day or every other day, you feel more comfortable in the office much sooner, until eventually it all becomes second nature.

You gotta work and you gotta workout 😉.

Pro-tip based on your current fitness level:

  • Newbies: If you’re just starting your exercising adventure, be sure you are hitting a minimum of 2 workouts/week, with the goal of building up to 3 workouts.

  • Veterans: If you’re a current RF Warrior or, exercising elsewhere, you’re already ‘in the groove’ so hitting that 3rd day is what we like to call a non-negotiable! Your goal is 4-5x/week.


Now that you know you want to aim for a minimum of 3 workouts/week, how do you actually do it?

What if you’re currently exercising 2x/week and convinced there’s no way you can add another day?

What if you are new to exercising and think 3+ workouts each work would be over doing it?

Here are our 4 fool-proof ways to add in more (regular) exercise so if you’re new, you can build up to 3 workouts or if you’re a seasoned veteran, you can tack on MORE!

#1.  Prioritize YOU!

With kids and grandkids running around, holidays, birthdays, work, school, extracurriculars, prepping meals, keeping the house clean…it’s easy to see how time can get away from you, and it’s even easier to say, “I’ll start tomorrow” or “Exercising 2x/week is fine.”

While keeping everyone in check is important, it’s arguably even more important to keep yourself in check!

Truly making a stand and prioritizing your own health is the first step in your workout journey.  Whether you are a seasoned workout veteran or exercise is brand new, putting yourself first is a must!

You cannot care for / take of others running on “E”.

Being able to keep up with your kids and grandkids, grocery shop for the house, haul laundry baskets up/down the stairs, enjoy family vacations, be productive, focused and clear at home/office, you need to be at your optimal health! You must make change in order to see change, and that starts with regular, consistent exercise!

#2. Identify “open windows’

Sitting down and reviewing your family / work / personal calendar(s) to identify pockets of available time is the first step so that you can plan and schedule your 3 workouts.

If little Johnny and Sarah don’t need to be up for school until 7:30 am, then getting up and into the gym before  is a sure way to make time for yourself while still being there to get the kids ready and off to school!

Comparatively, there are late morning (after kids go to school), mid-day (workout during your lunch) PLUS afternoon and evening options post work, school and kids’ activities if that is your only open window.

At Results Fitness, you can choose from early mornings (5:30am) through evenings (up to 7:30pm)! This level of flexibility provides you with endless options based on your /your family’s schedules.

It might not be the most glamorous thing – early mornings, later evenings – BUT if you are serious about feeling better, improving your health and seeing results, it can/will come down to choosing between what you don’t want to do vs. what you can do (but may not wanna!).

#3. Schedule in advance

This is HUGE! Scheduling workouts in advance is inherently part of your regular routine and keeps you consistently showing up!

Just like scheduling a work meeting or doctor’s appointment, scheduling this stuff in advance allows you time to prepare and work in other life events around that meeting / appointment.

It’s the same idea as exercising!  You don’t book a work meeting with your boss/colleagues in advance and then day of ‘cancel’ because you don’t feel like going anymore.

Here at Results Fitness, you can schedule workouts up to 30 days in advance.  Planning and making time for exercise / your health is a learned and practiced habit.

Allowing you to book out is our fool-proof strategy so that you can nix the excuses and prioritize your fitness and health! Plus, this guarantees you book the best days/times for YOU!

#4. Do what you can!

It is understandable that some days, getting into the gym just isn’t happening and that’s ok!  Just because you aren’t physically in a gym, doesn’t mean you can’t exercise or mindfully move your body.

Going on a nice long walk in the metro parks, taking a yoga class or exercising at home / the office by using all the wonderful knowledge the smartest coaches in the world have taught you or, can teach 😉.

It is never a bad idea to have a couple pairs of dumbbells and kettlebells at home for situations just like this one.  Not only are at home workouts be great in a pinch, but you are also setting a great example for your little ones!  Health is wealth 😊.


“I’m not too sure about exercising 5 days a week.  I heard working out back-to-back days isn’t safe.  I just don’t have the time. I don’t like exercising in the mornings/afternoons.”

As coaches we hear this stuff a lot; especially for those brands new to exercise. As humans, we understand the many barriers that make exercise hard as well as confusing. Most of this stuff is mindset so let us help you push through these barriers so that you can feel your best and live the longest, best possible life!

Here’s how you can start overcoming the “yeah buuuuuuut__________” mentality:

Excuse #1:

“Im not too sure exercising 5 days/week….I heard exercising back to back days ins’t safe.”

Contrary to certain belief, working out back-to-back days is 110% safe and beneficial.  At Results Fitness, we program each workout so you aren’t doing the exact same exercises day in and day out (the same cannot be said for all gyms and their workouts).  This means you can (and should) exercise multiple days each week, even if back-to-back.

If you are really pushing yourself to form failure and fatigue, then muscle groups need about 48 hours of rest in between sessions.  Notice I said ‘muscle GROUPS’ and not just ‘muscles.’

If you are in a Small Group Personal Training session on Monday focused on training quads, shoulders, and biceps, the next day you come has been programmed so you train hamstrings, back, and triceps.  Giving muscle groups time to rest and recover is important, but that does not mean you need to be sedentary and taking days off in between.

Exercising multiple days, including back-to-back days, will help you master the name of the exercises, movement patterns, technique, and form.  The more you do it, the better you become, leading to the best results!

Excuse #2:

“Yeah But I’m TOO Sore!”
Even if you are sore, exercising is an effective tool to help your body and muscles recover faster since it increases blood flow to muscles needed for muscles to recover.  Exercising while sore, especially if you are new to exercising and in the first couple weeks of your journey, also helps you practice and build the habit of consistently working out!

Excuse #3:

“Ok but I don’t have time.”

Another way to look at this concept is through time and numbers.  There are 168 hours in a week:

  • If you spend 3-5 of those hours exercising, the rest of your week is active recovery (walking, biking, yoga, etc.) or resting; leaving TONS of time to recover 😊.

Like we covered earlier in the blog, exercise requires planning, and it can be hard to find that motivation!  You don’t want to work out in the morning because it’s too early or, you don’t want to come after work because you’re too tired. The struggle is real!

There will be times when it comes down to exercising at your less ideal or preferred time, but the benefit of that work out makes you 1% better, healthier and 1 step closer to your goal!

You don’t want to go to work every day but you do!

You may feel too exhausted to wake up early and take care of the kids, but you do!

You may not feel like brushing your teeth, getting dressed or putting on your seatbelt but, YOU DO!

This is said lovingly but remember, there is a difference between not being able to exercise vs. not wanting to exercise.

Keep in mind that at Results Fitness, scheduling in advance allows you to pick the best days/times for your schedule and ensures you can then work around your workouts when planning for other stuff.

After reading through this blog and learning the benefits of exercising at least 3x/week, it’s time to take action!

The ideal sweet spot = 4x/week and working up to that frequency will require patience, practice, time, and commitment!  Stay steady, schedule and plan your workouts ahead of time, and get better one day at a time 😊.



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