How Often Should You Lift Weights?
Today’s article will cover training frequency to maximize your results in the gym. How often should you lift weights per week?
This question can get really complicated and can often stir up quite a bit of controversy because everyone has different opinions. Many say that you need to lift weights as often as 5-6 times a week, where others believe that 2-3 times a week is enough for gains and any more would lead to over training your muscles.
The simple answer to this question would be that it would completely depend on what your goals and how much time you have to allocate to training.
Are you looking to gain muscle size and strength? Are you looking to get as strong as possible? Or are you just looking to maintain your strength?
These are the factors that will determine how often you need to go to the gym and hit the weights.
If you’re looking to build muscle size, workout splits can be anywhere between training 3 times a week to 6 times a week. The most common workout split for bodybuilding is 4 times a week of weight training (example below), although many people lift weights as often as 5 or 6 times a week, dedicating every day to a specific body part with one day of rest per week.
Monday: Chest and Triceps
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Thursday: Legs and Abs
Friday: Shoulders and arms
If you’re looking at focusing mainly on strength gains you may be looking at 3 times per week of full body heavy training. An example of this would be from the Stronglifts 5×5 program detailed as follows:
Monday: Squat, bench press, barbell row
Wednesday: Squat, overhead barbell press, dead lift
Friday: Squat, bench press, barbell row
As you progress with your training and become more experienced and advanced, you may be able to work out at your own level and stretch the boundaries of how often you train. Many people lift weights up to 6 days a week with one day rest, while others can only mange 5 times a week maximum before their energy levels and mood start to deteriorate.
It’s all about how often you can get into the gym to lift the weights and perform the workout. In my humble opinion, you can lift weights as often as needed, as long as your body is allowed significant recovery time and proper nutrients and supplementation are added into the equation.