How often to train

Regardless of your training goals and methods, if your training frequency is not planned with the same precision as other parts of your workout routine, you may be wasting your time and energy. With a little knowledge of the variants that can affect the optimal timing of your training sessions, you may make more progress than you thought possible.

Calculating how long your body needs for recovery, before training the same body part again, can be difficult math, but the following information should help you to make an informed decision on how to structure your week in the gym.

It’s more than likely that you will observe your fellow gym goers, beating themselves down in to the ground, on a regular basis: squatting until they can no longer walk; benching until they struggle to lift a pen; deadlifting until it even hurts to sit down. Now, although this may work for some (just a small percentage of people, may I add), it’s certainly not the best approach, in Science’s point of view, to be fully abusing each muscle group once a week. Read on…

Post training, the rate of protein synthesis is elevated for a 36-48 hour period, before returning back to its normal level of production. Those with more sessions under their belt will experience this rise and fall in a much shorter time frame, as their bodies have become conditioned into recovering quicker but for the average Joe this, unfortunately, is not the case. For them, training in this way will only cause muscular damage and elongated recovery periods, and certainly won’t play a part in extending the phase of increase in protein synthesis, which is essential in the rebuilding/repair of muscular tissues.

Our muscles are frequently being repaired, without us even knowing. The term microtrauma, small bodily injuries, refers to micro tears and/or stress to the muscle fibres, tendons, muscular sheath, skin and bones etc. Although weight training can be the cause of these minor tears and stress injuries, it also encourages the repair of muscular tissues via protein synthesis, as previously mentioned, enabling our body to adapt and overcompensate during the same movement; this reduces the likelihood of further injury and therefore an increase in strength after microtrauma recovery is inevitable.

For this reason, it is essential that you understand that your rest time and volume of training, is of equal importance to your frequency and intensity of your workouts. You should live by one of two phrases: ‘train little and often’ or ‘train hard and go home’. In summary, you can either: attend the gym on a daily basis, splitting up your body parts/training types equally throughout your week, executing with a moderate level of intensity; or you can complete a fewer number of sessions in a more intense manner.

Check out our 12-Week Training Plans and Top Tips For Training for more ideas and structured examples; or for a more personalised program, perfectly tailored to you, please contact us at: and we will endeavor to connect you with one of our trainers that specialises in your area of need.

Leave a comment