Strength training is the best thing you can do for your body. Not only does it shed body fat fast, but it also makes you physically stronger, toned, and improves your posture and balance. Our trainers are commonly asked, “How much strength training is enough?” The answer: less than you probably think.
How Much Strength Training is Enough?
If you’re a runner, you probably run every day. But if you’re a weightlifter, should you lift every day? Unless you are an Olympic weightlifter, then you shouldn’t lift every day. In fact, lifting every day can cause more damage to your body than good. When you’re tired and sore, you are more prone to injuries, and that will only put a stop to your fitness goals.
There are some questions we need to ask first in order to understand how much strength training is enough.
What are the benefits of strength training?
There are many benefits to strength training, including:
- Body fat loss
- Increased physical performance
- Movement control
- Cognitive abilities
How often should I add strength training to my schedule?
To reap the health benefits of strength training, you should aim to add strength training to your schedule two to three times a week. One research study found that participants who strength trained two or three times a week gained 3.1 pounds of lean weight compared to those who only trained once a week.
By training two to three times a week, you give your body enough time to heal between sessions. If you train more than four times a week, the stress could be too much for your body. You would also need to focus on muscle group specific workouts, which can be confusing for those new to strength training.
Strength training two to three times a week allows you to train your whole body. During each session, you should aim to hit every major muscle group. Performing total-body strength workouts stresses each muscle group just enough to build strength, but not so much you need to take several days off to recover because you can’t walk down the stairs.
How should I strength train?
During each strength session, aim to do one ‘big’ lift per muscle group, like a squat or bench press, and one ‘smaller’ lift per muscle group, like lunges, biceps curls, and shoulder presses. Remember, if you are feeling overly sore and tired, it’s okay to skip a session.
Unless you are an Olympic weightlifter or professional body builder, we don’t recommend strength training every day. We recommend two to three times a week. Not sure where to start? Talk to our personal trainers today!