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Is Working Out Twice a Week Enough? Let’s Put It to the Test
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Is Working Out Twice a Week Enough? Let’s Put It to the Test

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 6, 2022
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5 min

Working out 2 days a week can be the new norm, especially if you want to incorporate exercise into your busy schedule, lose weight, and build muscle.

is working out 2 days a week enough
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We all want to be fit, strong, and healthy. The question is, how many days per week should I exercise to be considered healthy, and is working out twice a week enough? Living fast-paced lives with incredibly busy schedules, finding time to exercise is sometimes a headache.

One of the most significant benefits of regular exercise is gaining confidence. To find out more about how you can keep in shape and feel more confident by working out just twice a week, keep reading and find out below.

Is Working Out 2 Days a Week Enough?

Yes, working out twice a week is definitely enough. As long as you are exercising correctly and at the right intensity, you can reap all the health benefits from your workouts. Health experts strongly recommend aerobic exercises as little as 2 times per week for optimal health. When you exercise, it is very important to have a goal in mind.

This is where training to become healthier comes into play. Any physical exercise is better than no exercise at all. Starting with going to the gym over your weekend due to your busy schedule is a great start to becoming healthier. Exercising just two days per week decreases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and death rates overall compared to those who didn’t work out. 

The exercise experts recommend that all healthy adults ranging from ages 18 to 65 should take part in moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. This includes going to the gym 2 times out of the 7 days of the week and exercising your entire body. This works out to only be 1.5% out of your entire week dedicated to staying active!

Do I Still Need Rest Days?

Yes, as rest days allow your muscles to have time to repair themselves after your vigorous to moderate intensity gym sessions. A performance study on rest days found that to reduce the rate of fatigue and injury, rest days are important in the long run. 

When you only do exercises for a short time, your body does not experience the repetitive stress and trauma that physical activity does. The study compares a 2-week training routine to a 6-week program; people who exercise for a longer period of time, such as 6 weeks, suffer from fatigue and injury if rest days are not included.

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Doing different exercises regularly will prevent the overuse of specific muscles and provide you with better all-around results on your physique. When doing your exercises, maintaining good form through your different workouts is vital to prevent injury. It will ensure you activate the correct muscles when performing a particular movement.

How Many Full-Body Workouts per Week Are Enough?

150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week is enough to stay fit and healthy. It is recommended that you spread out the time throughout the week, for example, over 2 days. 

Moderate aerobic exercises include biking, brisk walking, swimming, or even mowing the lawn. You can do some of your household duties and still get a workout.

Vigorous activities are faster-paced and raise your heart rate higher. These exercises include running, aerobic dancing, and even heavy yard work.

Can You Lose Weight by Working Out 2 Days a Week?

Doing exercises over 2 days assists with weight loss and can even assist with maintaining the weight loss! To lose weight, it is recommended to exercise at least 300 minutes a week. This accumulates to only 3% of your entire week.

Incorporating two gym sessions is a great idea to start with. Another idea is to limit the time you are sitting throughout your day. The longer you sit, the higher your risk of metabolic problems.

Is Working Out Twice a Week Enough to Build Muscle?

When you do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week, you can build muscle. Many fitness experts categorize muscles into 6 groups, such as the chest, back, arms, abdominals, legs, and shoulder. This is key to knowing each muscle group so that you exercise and target the correct muscles for gaining muscle. 

When doing your exercises, it is important to keep in mind how many reps and sets to do. Try to aim to do a single set of each exercise using weight or resistance, just enough to make your muscles tired after 12 to 15 repetitions in your body workout.

Going to the gym is an easy way to incorporate resistance training, as all the equipment is already there. You can use the weight of machines, your own body weight, heavy bags, resistance tubing, using paddles to row on the water, or for a slightly more adrenaline-inducing activity such as rock climbing.

It is possible to build muscle while training, such as lifting weights just twice a week. The best way to do this is to incorporate all your muscle groups into your daily training schedule/program. Always remember to keep the correct form when performing all exercises.

How Long Should Workouts Be?

The general recommendation for a workout is to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. 

Exercising for 150 minutes might seem like a lot at first, but you can break this down into 2 days a week, or if you would like to exercise for a shorter period of time, it is suggested that 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for 3 days a week can also be beneficial to maximize muscle growth.

With all of this being said, you should still try to add time to your busy schedule to do training at least twice a week.

Moderate-intensity physical activity increases your heart rate to 50–70% of its maximum rate. To measure if you are doing a vigorous physical body workout, your heart rate should be about 70–85% of the maximum rate. Your ideal heart rate changes as you age, so it is important to keep that in mind.

In order to calculate your maximum heart rate, there is a quick and easy equation for that, 220 minus your age. So, for example, if somebody is 30 years old, the maximum heart rate would be 220 – 30, which equals 190bpm.

A Word From a Physiotherapist

Studies have shown that exercising two times a week is effective and efficient if done correctly.

When going to the gym, you should do complete body workouts and always incorporate weight lifting exercises. Lifting weights can be scary at first, but if you target the correct muscles and start with low weights, you will increase muscle mass, lose weight, and prevent injury. By being active, you improve your overall health and cardiovascular fitness.

It doesn’t matter if you are doing the same exercises and the same amount of repetitions every session as long as you are exercising all your muscle groups and enjoying yourself.

It is easier to motivate yourself if you have a strength training program to lift weights. Enjoying yourself while working out is vital to keeping yourself motivated and interested; otherwise, your workouts can become boring and monotonous. Once your fitness level has improved, you can begin adding more weight to your exercises and start to see yourself succeeding and feeling that sense of reward.

Once you reach your fitness goal, working out twice a week will be worth it. All it takes is just two workouts per week to start a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Conclusion

Exercising requires commitment, dedication, and focus. However, working out twice a week can be very beneficial for your physical and mental health.

Working out twice a week requires full-body workouts that are at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. The workouts include between 12 to 15 repetitions of strength exercises. Losing weight and keeping the weight off requires 300 minutes of training per week, which is a small percentage of your entire week. 

In the end, working out twice a week is attainable in a busy schedule and has great results if done correctly.

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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