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How often should I workout?

So far, I've been working out twice a week for 30 minutes, as the book says, but I feel like I'm not exercising at ALL and worried I might get fat/lose the muscle I built up. Can I go more often?

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The Best Answer

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If you're working out properly, your muscles should be sore afterwards and will need a couple of days to fully recover so you can lift more weight the next round. That's why you're only supposed to work out every few days. That being said, don't forget that you're still allowed to do activities that are considered 'physical recreation', e.g. stuff you do for fun like tennis, jogging, martial arts, rock climbing, etc...Maybe you outta do something like that on your 'off' days to burn off that extra energy.

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4 hours / month doesn't mean 4 hours of exercising like a girl, add more weight dude.

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Remember, muscle tissue heals more slowly than other parts of your body. According to biological data, the majority of people only need to work out ONCE a week, but you can work out up to 3 times per week. If you're following Occam's protocol, you should start by working out every 3 days for the first 2 weeks (that's 2-3x a week, e.g. Sun/Wed/Sat), and then every 4 days after that.

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What are your objectives?

  • KenMoorhead commented Nov 29th 2011:

    This is what I'm wondering. Tom, what's the purpose of your training? Are you trying to add muscle, lose fat? Different goals have different needs.

    Ditto'ing the responses that say "recreational" activity doesn't count toward your "training workouts"

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Help us by describing your workout routine.

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Well, if you are experiencing this feeling, you can:

1) increase intensity of the tranining

2) increase frequency

Inscreasing intensity would be Tim's recommendation, I guess. But as soon as you feel the muscles are ready for another work out, go for it.

  • VinceG commented Mar 26th 2011:
    I wouldn't go on feeling, it's notoriously inaccurate. Instead go by your last workout. If you find yourself being able to lift more, do so, If not, you're not resting enough.

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There is a great strength coach Jason Ferruggia (try googling) and he recommends 3 days a week for beginners. Any more is wasteful or just hard to commit to for a great length of time. 3 days gives your body a good chance to recover (eg try Mon/Thurs/Sat)

Good luck

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As soon as you don't feel sore anymore is what I usually do. If you never feel sore, then about every 4 days.

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Wow, I had the complete opposite effect. When I first started, it took me longer than 2 days between workouts for my muscles to fully recover. More like 3. I wasn't out of shape, but I did go buckwild at the gym during those first few workouts. If you push yourself until you're 'wasted', you shouldn't need more than twice a week. If not, add more weight!

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