As someone who’s just decided to embark on their fitness journey, knowing how often you should go to the gym is an important first step. Of course, your goal should be to make exercise a routine part of your daily life. However, as a beginner, that’s likely not the smartest idea.
In order to reach the ultimate goal of making exercise a daily part of your life, you must first ease into it in order to allow your body to adapt to the physical stressors of exercise and to progressively improve your overall capacity for fitness.
Too often, however, beginners that lack this knowledge tend to over-exert themselves too early in their fitness journey, ultimately resulting in burnout, or worse, injury. As you can see, while the intentions are honourable, this is not the best strategy for any new gym-goer.
Luckily, in this article, we’ll be sharing the basics regarding how often a beginner should go to the gym. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to intelligently start your fitness journey and progress to the next phase without fail.
So, if you’re eager to walk through the gym doors but don’t know where to start, keep reading!
Before You Begin
Before entering into a gym for the first time, there are a few housekeeping notes to attend to and consider.
First, depending on your current health status, it might be necessary to consult with your primary care physician to ensure that it’s safe to participate in an independent exercise regimen. If you’re obese or overweight with little to no experience in the weight room, for example, the doctor might recommend you work with a professional fitness trainer for supervision and guidance. In the same breath, if your health is compromised in any way, the gym may not be the right intervention, to begin with.
Second, for those who are new to the gym, it’s important to understand that you may not be familiar with how the equipment functions or what to do when you are there. This feeling is completely normal and should not deter you from pursuing your goals. While the gym is often thought of as an intimidating place, suitable for only the most elite of athletes, this couldn’t be further from the truth; the gym is suitable for all walks of life and should be a place of empowerment, not fear.
Finally, once you’ve decided to invest in a gym membership, congratulations, you’ve made the most important step! All that’s left to do now is commit to consistency and the rest will take care of itself.
How Often Should You Go to the Gym?
As discussed above, the answer to this question varies for everyone and largely depends on several factors; from your current fitness level and goals to your daily schedule, obligations, and more.
In other words, if you’re an elite athlete, the gym will likely be a part of your daily routine, sometimes even requiring a ‘two-a-day’. On the contrary, as a beginner, easing into it without overdoing it is your best bet.
In order to quantify this recommendation, let’s take a look at what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests…According to the CDC, adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise weekly. This could like like 50 minutes of activity three days per week or 30 minutes of activity five times per week.
To put this in the context of a recommendation on how often you should to go the gym as a beginner, 2-3 sessions per week is a great place to start.
Not only will this allow time for your body to adapt to new stimuli but it will also reduce the risk of injury, minimize the chances of burnout, and ultimately provide you as a beginner with a sustainable routine to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Health and fitness should always be thought of as a lifelong endeavour rather than a means to an end. As such, determining how often you should go to the gym shouldn’t be a difficult or stressful decision, especially as a beginner. In other words, the minute you begin to view exercise as an obligation, you set yourself up for failure.
As a beginner, it’s important not to look too far into the future, placing pressure on yourself to become an elite athlete and achieve your goals in record time. Instead, take it slow, introduce intensity over time, and if you take away nothing else from this article, remember that exercise is intended to be enjoyable and rewarding.
Before you know it, the gym will be your new favourite activity! Good luck!