How many times should you workout per month?
The title of this blog post is a question that fitness trainers typically get asked at least once per week. This question has come up more often now as there are more things to do as the pandemic has begun to subside. It’s even more important than ever to consider balancing our fitness training with other life activities. The best answer would be that the number of training sessions depends on your individual training goals and recovery practices you have put in place. However, over the years this is what we’ve found at Graviton.
In general, the magic number for training sessions to complete on a monthly basis is between 12 to 15 training sessions. Another way to look at that is between 3 to 4 training sessions per week. We define a training session at Graviton as a coach-guided session with a dynamic warm up, followed by one or two a skill or strength-biased workouts. Our sessions run between 50-55 min. This is what we have found works best over the years through anecdotal feedback, how members feel, and also by looking at biometric data, such as improve skeletal muscle mass and reduction in body fat mass.
Prioritizing Recover. You might be thinking to yourself, “I thought that the more sessions I complete and the harder I push each time, that I’ll see better results.” In fact, that mindset typically will not lead to the best results. Most of our members that see the best results over the months and years prioritize their recovery. What are all of the things that you are doing when you are not spending 1 hour in the gym that might improve your overall health and fitness? Here are some important things to consider:
Sleep – Are you sleeping at least 7 hours per night? Sleep is vital to recovery.
Hydration – Are you drinking enough water? Best practice would be 2 L or half your body weight in ounces.
Nutrition – Are you eating balanced meals that are providing you with enough energy to get through the day and nutrients to help you refuel and build your body after training? Are you staying the course and eating whole, nutrient dense foods at least 80% of the time?
Prioritizing Consistency. As humans, we should move every single day. Whether that’s going for a walk or riding a bike to the grocery store. We need to just move. But, that does not mean we need an intense workout every day to see results. More is not better. Better is better. Consistency is the key to success. Blocking out non-negotiable time on your calendar to fit in your 3-4 training sessions per week, in advance, is key. Our most consistent members over the years plan their workouts a week in advance. They reserve their spot in classes a week in advance and fitness becomes as automatic to them as brushing their teeth.
How to avoid overtraining. Overtraining may occur when someone exceeds their body’s ability to fully recover from training. Typically, this is something to really consider as you might be approaching 16-20+ completed training sessions in a month. Typically, we would not recommend anyone training more than 5 days per week. Once you reach a state of overtraining you will begin to experience a decrease in your performance and will likely plateau or regress in your results and goals. Symptoms to watch out for might include, extended muscle soreness, halted progress in training, decreased motivation, insomnia, increased injury, and insatiable thirst.
We’re not suggesting that you avoid tough workouts or intensity and volume in your training. Instead, we’re recommending that you approach training in a thoughtful and balanced way. We recommend giving your central nervous system the best chance to recover so you can continue your steady and consistent progress month over month.
Interested in learning more about our training program at Graviton? Whether you’re an experienced athlete or looking to jumpstart your fitness, Book your free intro session today.