How Often Should I Train?

A question I often get asked is how often should I train? 

The answer, as always depends on the person, their individual circumstances, goals, training history and other family and work commitments. Despite these individualities I always recommend to be active in some way, every day. 


To get more specific, the Australian physical activity guidelines recommend a total of 2.5-5h per week of moderate intensity physical activity, or 1.25-2.5h of vigorous exercise per week. This equates to 30-60min of moderate exercise, or up to 30min vigorous exercise on 5-7 days per week. 


It is also recommended to include at least 2x strength training sessions per week targeting the major muscle groups such as squats, push-ups, bench press, pull ups, deadlifts, lunges. 


Moderate exercise is classed as a comfortable conversational pace, a 3/10 on the RPE scale- such as walking, hiking, golf, surfing or swimming.  


Vigorous exercise is higher intensity and will promote an elevation in heart rate and respiration and may range from 7-10/10 on the RPE scale which can be quite strenuous! Vigorous activities could include HIIT, circuit training, strength training, team sports, sprints, running or cycling.  


It is clear that a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training will promote optimal health and fitness. Practically, this could look like a weekly routine of 3-4x60min sessions of moderate exercise plus 2x30min strength sessions per week.


It is important to have a variety of exercises and space out strength training sessions by ~48hrs to allow adequate recovery between sessions. Due to the loads experienced in strength training and high intensity sessions, some delayed onset muscle soreness can be experienced and is a normal part of the adaptation process.

Ideally a strength or high intensity session can be followed by a lower intensity aerobic session the next day to allow for recovery and adaptation without overloading the musculoskeletal system.


Ultimately, your exercise routine will be specific to you and your lifestyle, goals, work and family commitments. A combination of moderate activities, high intensity training and strength training as explained above is ideal for optimal health and fitness. To find out what might be most suitable for you, have a chat to your coach for more specific advice. 


Our Speed class gives a great example of how to incorporating strength and aerobic training into the same session: Speed Class


Written By Aaron Ashdown, Exercise Physiologist & Trainer at Movement Innovation