Beginner FAQs – #1: How often should I train?
Welcome to ‘Beginner FAQs’ – the questions we get asked most often by those new to training or to Black Flag Barbell Club.
Issue #1 – How often should you train?
The simple answer up front – we consider 2x a week training to be the minimum effective dose, with 3x a week being ideal for getting started (for most people).
The longer version starts with a question – what is your current level of activity, and what are your goals?
If you’re coming to the gym and have for a long time done very little to no physical activity – starting small and building up is not just recommended, but encouraged. Two or three training sessions a week, with some walking on the other days will see you a) make progress and b) acclimate to training with minimal soreness.
If your goal is to run a marathon, then strength training 4x a week like many of our powerlifting members would be an inefficient use of your time. Two strength training sessions a week would compliment your running/roadwork training just fine, while still allowing for plenty of time to dedicate to the running training itself.
Sometimes, you just miss the boys and wanna hang out and have a cuddle… ya know?
Now then, you may be asking why do you see people training four, five, six days per week?
The simply answer is usually time. The slightly more complex answer is usually ‘volume’.
You can, if you so desire, cram four days worth of training into two days. It will take a significant amount of time to get through that amount of work in one day/session. You will also be pretty damn fatigued halfway through, let alone at the end.
So, when someone gets to a point in their training where they need to do more work (volume) in order to progress – there comes a point where you are better off adding an extra day of training versus cramming it in to an already fatiguing session. This is the primary force driving programs that are four or more days per week.
I hope this helped you understand training frequency a little better! Stay tuned for the next issue of Beginner FAQs 😀