Fitness Basics : How often to exercise

As with everything there are differing opinions on what works best.  Here we will try and cover what works with frequency of exercise.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommend 30 minutes 5 times per week.  But how often we need to exercise really depends on the results we are looking for, age and  training experience.  A 20 year old triathlete would certainly be looking to do more than a 65 year old retiree.

When we exercise we overload the body, making it become fitter or stronger in the following hours of recovery.  This time differs, but recovery time is generally considered to be 36 to 48 hours which ties in nicely with the general approach of training 3-4 times per week.

The all important factor is intensity (see other articles).  Harder sessions will overload the body more and require more recovery. Our work and personal lives often dictate exercise frequency as well.  The outine however is fairly clear…

Want serious results?  Train 4 or even 5 times a week!

Struggling for time and energy? Not that serious?  Exercise twice a week is clearly better than none at all and you will realize some results.

Simon Lesser works as a Personal Trainer in  Bournemouth and Poole, Dorset.  See more info at