Daily workout schedules for women – How much is too much?

March 21st, 2009

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I get this question all the time, “How often should I workout?”. This is not an easy question to answer!  Everyone has different body types and endurance levels, so optimal daily workout schedules vary.   All I can give is my personal opinion.  I’ve tried 6 workout days on and 1 off, but my favorite workout schedule is to workout 3 days, and then take a day off.   This amounts to 5-6 workouts a week (ie.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday).  The next week will only be 5 workout days.

It is important that your workout schedule allows your body plenty of time for recovery.   Your muscles actually don’t grow while you are working out, but rather on your off days.   Now, you might be thinking, “Grow?!…I don’t want big he-man muscles“!    I understand your fear.   But, your fear is unfounded.   You will never look like Iris Kyle, or even a smaller version.   Trust me on this.   If for some reason you start to think that your muscles are getting big, then scale it down and they will shrink…poof! You can actually “grow muscle” and get smaller.  Your fat will be essentially replaced with something a little firmer and smaller, and that is what I am referring to here when I say “grow muscle”.   We’ll talk about that later.

Some research studies suggest that you should allow 4 days of rest per body part (ie. legs, back, biceps, ect).   So, it’s good to split your workouts by body part, rather than work your entire body each time.   Another word for this “split routine”.   This doesn’t mean that the day after a good leg workout that you should sit on your butt the next day!  You can still do cardio,  just don’t work your legs directly.  You get the idea.

I personally like to keep my workouts to 1 hour (or less!)  and I will write about why in a later article.   My personal daily workout schedule is often a rotation of four 30-60 minute workouts, 3 days on with 1 day off:

Monday: Cardio

Tuesday: Weightlifing for legs

Wednesday: Weightlifing for back and biceps (pull day)

Thursday: OFF

Friday: Weightlifting for chest, triceps and shoulders (push day)

(start repeating rotation)

Saturday: Cardio

Sunday:  Weightlifing for legs

Monday: OFF

….and so on. I change this up alot though.  It’s good to keep your body guessing what’s next because it gets used to exercise schedules.

If you are new to working out,  you might want to try just 3 days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) and work yourself up to this more rigorous routine.  Slow and steady wins the race!

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2 Responses to “Daily workout schedules for women – How much is too much?”

  1. ST says:

    Hey, great blog that you have going here. It is tough to find a legitimate health-related blog that isn’t full of inaccuracies. Keep up the good work…I will definitely be bookmarking your site.

  2. Arlie Allegood says:

    Protein is a must have that most don’t take in enough of when trying to pack on the mass. Thank you for a great article

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