Thursday, August 13, 2020

How Many Days a Week to Workout & Train


Depends on your fitness goals.  Those of us who are just concerned in training to be active can perform two choices:

  • Total body workout
  • Upper and lower body workouts

Total body workouts can be done 2-3 days per week with minimum one day of rest between workouts.  You perform one exercise, 3-4 sets per muscle group, three days a week with one day of rest in between workout days. People on limited schedules can do Bite Sized workouts – 2 sets per exercise, which is enough to maintain muscular fitness. According to the American College of Sports Medicine- two strength training sessions per week are the minimum number required to produce positive physiological adaptations. With 30-60 seconds of rest in between sets, you can complete your workout w/n 30 minutes.

Weight Exercise List

Machine Chest PressLat Pulldown
Bench PressMachine Row
Dumbbell PressBent Over Row (w/barbell)
Machine Pec Fly (Pec Deck)Dumbbell Rows
Dumbbell FlyChins or Pullups
Cable Crossovers
AbsLower Back
Floor CrunchesHyperextensions
Reverse CrunchesLow Back Machine
Machine CrunchesGood Mornings
Spider CrunchesDeadlifts
Seated Cable Crunches
Squats (barbell or machine)Leg Curls (lying, seated, or standing)
Leg PressesStiff Legged Deadlift
Lunges (stationary or walking)Hyperextensions (pad placed thigh high,
Leg Extension Machine   keep knees locked, squeeze butt
   at top)
Shoulder Presses (dumbell,Dumbbell Curls
   barbell, machine)Machine Curls
Laterals (front, side, rear,Barbell Curls
   dumbbell or machine)Cable Curls
Cable ExtensionsStanding Calf Raise
DipsSeated Calf Raise
Close-Grip Bench PressDonkey Calf Raise
Lying Barbell Extension (nosebreakers)Calf Presses on Leg Press Machine

Example of total body workout for MWF. All exercises are 3×10 (3 sets of 10 reps):

  • Abs – Crunch machine
  • Lower back – Hyperextensions
  • Quads – Leg press
  • Hamstrings – Lying leg curl
  • Calves – Standing calf raise
  • Chest – Incline dumbbell press
  • Back – Seated row
  • Shoulders – Dumbbell side lateral
  • Biceps – Cable curl
  • Triceps – Dips or dip machine

Upper/lower body workouts can be done on 3 or 4 days per week.   The idea here is to work total body over two days.  Rest third day.  Repeat two days again, with following two days off.

Example – 

  •   Monday –upper body                 
  •   Tuesday –lower body                   
  •   Wednesday –rest                    
  •   Thursday –upper body                 
  •   Friday –lower body                                        
  •   Saturday & Sunday – rest


  • Monday – upper body
  • Tuesday – rest                   
  • Wednesday – lower body
  • Thursday – rest
  • Friday – upper body   
  • Saturday & Sunday – rest
  • Then the following week –
  • Mon – lower body
  • Tue – rest
  • Wed – upper body
  • Thur – rest
  • Fri – lower body
  • Sat & Sun – rest

For this routine, perform two exercises per body part.

Here’s an example of a workout schedule:

Upper Body

  • Chest – machine press, incline dumbbell press
  • Back – front pulldowns, seated machine row
  • Shoulders – shoulder press, upright row
  • Biceps – dumbbell curls, machine preacher curls
  • Triceps – cable extensions, dip machine

Lower Body

  • Quads – squats, leg presses
  • Hamstrings – lying leg curls, hyperextensions (pad positioned thigh-high, knees locked, lock upper body, squeeze butt at top) 
  • Calves – standing calf raise, seated calf raise
  • Abs – floor crunches, reverse crunches
  • Lower back – low back extension machine

My name is Bella and I am a weight loss retreat leader who runs retreats around the world. Often working alongside well-known retreat leader Sophie Jones. I lost 30 pounds and have kept it off by adopting a whole food, plant-based diet. My blog posts are about how I did it. Please note I am not a medical doctor and my advice is what has worked for me and my retreat clients, try it out, maybe it will work for you too! Contact me on:

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