How often should you train?

How often should you train?

May 03, 2019

If you haven’t been running for a while, you probably wonder where to start.  Should you follow a specific plan or hire a trainer? How many sessions per week? Which running accessory is the right one for you? The best coaches compound scientific education and decades of experiences to adjust an extensive knowledge to a particular athlete.  There is no magical formula and each person should be considered absolutely unique. 

Since you do not have access to the best coaches, the two biggest pieces of advice are to listen to your body and beware motivation bursts that end up in injuries. 

What is important to focus on are: 

  • Your health condition – consult your doctor to get a baseline.  Without it, you are flying blind.
  • Fitness level – it’s not the same if you have taken a break for a couple of weeks, and if you’ve just started exercising after years of being inactive. Start slowly to prepare your body and listen to your body!
  • Free time – work obligations, family time, me time, the three main spheres. They need to co-exist in symbiosis and peace.  
  • Big life events – weddings, birthdays, moving house – all of these life events are a burden on the agenda. Don’t sweat it!  If you are thinking about moving across the country, take a break from exercising.  Moving can be a tiring and overwhelming process, so you may not be in the mood for training, too. On the other hand, exercising is known to be a good form of stress relief, so it can help you during stressful times.

How often should you train – a basic plan

Your first work-out of the week is the most important. The second and third help you progress. The 4th and 5th maximizes your potential.  A five-day workout plan is what you need to aim for to gain fitness.

If anything, spend your entire work-out doing cardio. Gradually add strength-based exercises and only do speed or maximal effort workloads when your body is sufficiently adaptable to such aggressive stimulations. A healthy and active lifestyle is not about forcing or overdoing it – your first goals are to have fun and get moving.

Cardio exercises

Cardio workouts should always be a part of your fitness routine.  They optimize the circulatory and pulmonary system and make your heart stronger.  When doing cardio, your heart rate determines the type of work you are submitting yourself to. You can calculate your target heart rate online and use it as a guideline for a good cardio workout.  

What can you do as a cardio exercise? Lots of options:

  • walking, jogging, running
  • elliptical trainers
  • skipping rope
  • stair climbing
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • rowing


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Strength workout

Strength workouts are designed to reinforce your musculoskeletal structure: your muscles, ligaments, tendon, joints, and bones. A strong structure means better protection against injuries and the ability to support enhanced workloads. The exercises you can do to improve your strength  are:

  • push-ups
  • goblet squats
  • dumbbell row
  • lifting weights
  • pull ups
  • crunches


Rest days are crucial to proper fitness. 

Exercising is amazing, but overdoing it always produces negative effects on your body. That’s why you need to include rest days in your workout routine. During rest days, your muscles recover and overcompensate from the exercise you’ve done. Rest days can include stretching, swimming or a bit of yoga. Rest days will have an amazing effect on your body so be sure to let it rest and recover.

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