Many people spend hours each week training hard, but they’re going about it all wrong. If you’re trying to get in shape, you need to know how much exercise is right for you. Too much exercise can cause fatigue, injury, and a decrease in your motivation, and too little just won’t be enough for you to get in shape properly.
Determine Exercise Duration According to Your Fitness Goal
What is your ultimate goal in exercising? Are you trying to lose weight, or do you just want to keep your body in good shape? Is your goal to bulk up, or to increase your strength?
The amount of time you spend exercising is determined by what your goal is, so consider what you want to achieve through your exercise to figure out how much time you need to spend training each day.
Strength and Power
Those training for strength and power will do exercises in the 4 to 6 repetition range, using very heavy weights. Their goal is to train their muscles to store more energy in the white fast twitch fibers, which are very strong but have very little energy. The growth of these muscle fibers lead to visible growth in the muscles, so those working on strength and power are the ones that get bulked up very quickly.
You should spend no more than 45 to 60 minutes per day working on your muscles, with an additional 15 to 20 minutes working on your cardio. You want to split your workouts into three days, each day focusing on a pair of muscles:
- Back and Chest
- Shoulders and Arms
- Legs and Traps
With this split, you can pay attention to each muscle set – with the ultimate goal of getting ripped!
Stamina and General Fitness
For those who are trying to increase their stamina or just stay in shape, no more than 60 minutes of exercise is needed per day. Roughly half of the exercise should focus on building muscle, with the other half focused on stretching and doing cardio.
Your workouts should be split into two-day routines, each day focusing on different muscles:
- Back, Chest, Shoulders, and Arms
- Hamstrings, Glutes, Quads, Calves, and Traps
With this two-day split, you can work each muscle out three days a week – yielding excellent growth in the red fast twitch muscle fibers. These fibers are good at storing both energy and power, and working in the 12 to 15 rep range will really push them to their limits.
Endurance and Fat Loss
If your goal is to shed those extra pounds of fat, you want to do low intensity exercise for a long time. Your workout should run between 45 and 90 minutes – depending on the day. All of your muscle-building exercises will be in the 20 to 25 repetition range, which focuses on building red slow twitch muscle fibers – the ones that give you endurance.
Your workouts should be split into two days:
- Circuit Workout (4 to 5 circuits of Push, Pull, and Leg workouts)
- Cardio/Aerobics Day
Your circuit workout should hit all of the muscles in your body, ensuring that they all are activating the fat surrounding them. The high repetition exercises ensures that more fatty acids are burned for energy than glucose, so you mobilize the fat in order to burn it.
On your cardio day, make sure that you get a good abs workout in there as well. Shredding your abs won’t be enough to burn all of your fat, but adding a good core/abs workout into the mix will activate the fat around your belly. It will make fat burning around your belly just that much easier!