How often should I train?

I had this question recently: How often should I train?

The short answer is: It depends. It really depends on your goals, your fitness level, and your lifestyle.

But here are some scenarios

How often should I train – If I’m new to exercise.

You’re starting the process to into shape. You want to lose some weight, get fitter.

  • It’s sensible to start at the 2/3 times per week.
  • You will experience some soreness / tiredness / recovery.
  • 2 /3 times is enough to see start seeing improvements

How often should I train – if I’m a regular exerciser.

The question I often get is: Can I do more? And how much more?

There’s not a lot to do these days. Some people doing more and more sessions. So how many should we doing?

The short answer is 3-5 times a week, should be enough.

Remember, the process of training is:

  1. Stress / overload the system
  2. Break it down
  3. System goes and builds back stronger

This process of building back is what happens when you’re recovering.

If you don’t give you body enough time, it can’t do this and the risks are high:

  • Injury
  • Poor recovery
  • Sub optimal performance
  • Poor sleep
  • Lack of energy.
  • Lack of other general activity, NEAT
  • Excess stress hormones / cortisol = weight loss inhibitor


But surely Chris, if I’m exercising more, I’m burning more calories so I lose more weight.

Perhaps, in the short run. But in the longer term it won’t. It might even be holding you back. Over-training, high stress hormones, cortisol, poor sleep and all of the list above will hold you back from losing weight.

So what to do?

I love exercising: it’s good for my mental health. I can’t give it up!

I hear you and so here’s my tips for you:

  1. Mix it up: weights, walks, cycles, yoga or pilates. Make sure you’re not always doing high intensity and heavy weights.
  2. Build in recovery days / activity like pilates, easy jogs, or spins on the bike
  3. Build in a recovery week… Previously we’d have defacto easy weeks when things like half term, or holidays abroad or holidays came around… These days, every week is the same so you need to effectively plan your easy weeks in. in a recovery week you should knock your training right back, to just 1-3 sessions!

Makes sense?

Watch the video for a fuller explanation on How Often Should I Train?


Recent posts