How often should I do strength training?

Adam Krueger
On average if you can strength train 3-4 days a week that is fantastic. 1-2 days is ok but you will not see results as quickly after a few months of training, you will plateau. 4-5 days is difficult for a lot of people but will show great results, you just have to be careful when doing this to not overdo your training and ensuring you are resting muscles for at least a full day after a workout. Alternating upper body one day lower body the next tends to work the best for this.
David Slovik, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines recommend strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdominals, shoulders, and arms) twice or more weekly. One set is effective, though two to three sets may be better, according to limited evidence. A set is a specific number of repetitions of an exercise; we recommend repeating each exercise eight to 12 times. Your body needs at least 48 hours for recovery and repairs between strength training sessions.

Studies show you should perform 2-3 sessions of weight training a week with 24-48 hours in between sessions that work the same muscles. For example if you do an upper body workout on Monday do not perform another upper body workout again until at least Wednesday. Most health experts recommend performing workouts that focus on all major body parts each session to ensure you develop the entire body equally.

Aim for a minimum of three 10-minute sessions per week. You may want to devote a larger percentage of your workout to strength training as you get older.

Continue Learning about Strength Training & Exercise

Is Weight Lifting a Natural Appetite Suppressant?
Is Weight Lifting a Natural Appetite Suppressant?
Sure, strength training and aerobic exercise can help you work off those extra calories. But it might also help you say no to them in the first place....
Read More
How much resistance should I use in my strength training program?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
The amount of sets you should perform per workout for your resistance training exercises depends on ...
More Answers
Easy At-Work Exercises for Nurses
Easy At-Work Exercises for NursesEasy At-Work Exercises for NursesEasy At-Work Exercises for NursesEasy At-Work Exercises for Nurses
No time for the gym? Tone trouble spots during your shift with these moves.
Start Slideshow
Total Body Training vs. Split Routines for Strength-Training Workouts
Total Body Training vs. Split Routines for Strength-Training Workouts

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.