Lifting weights is an essential part of any fitness regimen; strength training helps you get stronger, sculpt lean muscle, and even lose weight. But to reap all of these amazing benefits, how many days a week should you be lifting weights?
Of course, the answer varies, depending on your goals. If you're a bodybuilder looking to put on muscle, you probably want to lift more than someone who is simply looking to lose body fat. In general, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines recommend that adults should strength train two to three times per week, with a 48-hour break in between, said personal trainer and registered dietitian Jim White, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios.
He recommends to start off by doing eight to 12 reps of eight to 10 different exercises in order to improve strength. To improve muscular endurance, increase the reps to 10 to 15. "The weight chosen should be one where you reach fatigue within the given repetition range," he said. If you can complete one or two reps more than the 10 to 15 range, increase your weight by two pounds.
Strength training is one of our favorite ways to get in shape. If you're intimidated by the weight room, start out small and work your way up until you feel fatigued. You'll be increasing your weights and seeing muscle definition in no time!