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How Many Times a Week Should You Go to the Gym to Maximize Gains?

As a beginner in the fitness journey, it’s crucial to consider various training factors. One significant aspect is how often you visit the gym and the optimal workout time. The timing and frequency are vital in establishing an effective and sustainable training routine.

In this article, PVL gives you the best way to schedule your workout plan, including whether you should workout in the morning or night, which days are ideal for the gym, and a full workout schedule to create training success.

Are you ready?


The Best Times in the Day to Work Out

Generally, the time you workout is a matter of personal preference. While human bodies typically spike in cortisol at the beginning of the day and gradually go down throughout the day, that doesn’t mean mornings are necessarily better for training. The best time to work out is going to be the time you can hit the gym consistently. If your schedule is all over the place in the A.M., don’t try to fit three or four workouts in the morning during the week. 

The same goes for evenings when you have nightly obligations outside the gym. Find the most consistent gap in your current schedule, and have your workout plan adapt to what you’re already doing. We’re creatures of habit, so this will help with adherence and stringing together multiple successful training sessions.

In other words, the time you train won’t impact your results in the gym. The important thing is that you show up, to begin with. 

However, it’s worth noting that working out at night can impact your sleep since it’ll spike your cortisol and norepinephrine levels, making winding down more challenging for some people. If this is you, it may be best to not workout too late in the day. 

Morning Workout

The Best Days of the Week to Work Out

Every gym facility is different, but some days (and times) of the week are less busy, which means more efficient workouts (and not having to wait an eternity to use equipment). Monday is traditionally known as “chest day”; the benches will be filled, and plenty of people are looking to get their week started on the right foot. For you, this means biting the bullet and making your workout schedule start on Sundays instead. 

With Sunday as your starting point and roughly 48 hours of recovery time between training, that calculates to Tuesdays and Thursdays as your other two lifting days. If you want a fourth workout, think about switching up the stimulus – HIIT, Tabata, workout class, sports, etc. – so it doesn’t interfere with weightlifting and to focus on other fitness areas like cardio. You can do this fourth session any day, with Saturdays being the best bet for a relatively empty gym. 

Workout Frequency 

That said, it’s best to strength train three to four days a week. This volume is enough training frequency to build muscle and gives you ample time for recovery to spur muscle growth and prevent overtraining. 

The Ideal Workout Weekly Schedule

This quick guide on when to hit the gym should allow you to get in and out and train to the best of your ability. No waiting for equipment, no wondering if you’re hitting the best anabolic window. Here’s how you can schedule your workout plan on any given week:

  • Sunday: Gym, 10 a.m.

  • Monday: Off

  • Tuesday: Gym, 6 a.m. or 6 p.m.

  • Wednesday: Off

  • Thursday: Gym, 6 a.m. or 6 p.m.

  • Friday: Off

  • Saturday: Gym, 10 a.m. (optional alternative workout)

Determine your goals, determine how often you want to hit the gym and use this template to create your own sustainable workout routine.

Article by Terry Ramos

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