December 15, 2020 – Best training frequency for most is 2x per week
The Dilemma – New Year’s Resolution
New year is around the corner, and people are preparing their yearly ritual again: New Year’s resolutions. One of the most popular topics as always is getting in shape, losing body fat and ultimately changing your life.
Crowds of new trainees rush into the gyms once they open after New Year, and most of them disappear again shortly after. Only 8% of Americans manage to pull their resolution through the whole year, and an astonishing 80% have already given up by February.
Now, there can be numerous reasons for giving up. But when it comes to working out, we estimate that most people fail because they are starting off wrong. Influencers, trainers, and Hollywood celebrities convinced them they need to work out at least 5x per week. In other words, ‘dedicate a big portion of your spare time to the gym or don’t even start’. Clearly, they must be right because they are famous and look good?
The facts – Every workout counts
Contrary to that opinion we have solid science saying that working out even once a week is already of tremendous benefit, summarized in this great article. Without a doubt, training 2x, 3x or 4x+ per week will lead to greater results, but there are diminishing effects to it. Concrete numbers are not available and hard to develop. Additionally, comparisons can only be made when training volume (sets/reps) is equated, which is often not the case.
Nevertheless, if we try to apply the 80/20 rule (pareto principle) one might say that 80% of your natural limit can be achieved with a training frequency of 2x per week. The remaining 20% are then reserved for the fully dedicated individuals who simply have the means to train more often. These numbers are of course just exemplary. But we just want to emphasize you can achieve very good results without a huge time investment. And that is what the studies mentioned in the article above fully support.
The Solution – Training frequency of 2x per week
Now, after you’ve learned that there is no need to start your workout routine guns blazing 5-6x per week; here are our tips on how to make sure your New Year’s resolution holds up:
- Set a realistic goal how many times you can work out per week and think long term (!); we suggest 2x per week using our beginner workout plan as a baseline
- Add 1-2 optional cardio days in between if you have the time; if not then just stick with the baseline (you have full flexibility)
- If you realize that you cannot workout 2x per week; ramp down to 1x per week of our beginner workout plan
Our key message here is: do not just quit your training completely if you realize you cannot commit to working out as initially planned. Instead you should ramp it down and stay with a lower training frequency as suggested. We are creatures of habit and you need to get into the habit of working out regularly. This is one of the most important aspects for your long term success.
Even working out 1x per week is vastly better than doing nothing. And with as little as 2x per week you can build a healthy and aesthetic physique that most people will envy you for. If you need to balance work, family and other social commitments in your life this training frequency could be the sweet spot for you and most other people. At least for us it is.
Enjoy your Christmas and New Year (despite COVID-19) and make sure to stay healthy.
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