One of the commonly asked questions that I get is how many times a week do I need to train for the training to work? I have the attitude that any training is better than nothing, but realistically you should be aiming to train a minimum of twice a week and actually you will benefit from training more than this (as long as you aren’t training so much that you can’t recover from it).
For beginners, I would suggest aiming to train three times a week and working your whole body in these sessions. Make sure these sessions aren’t on consecutive days. Whole body sessions are ideal for burning the maximum amount of calories possible in the time that you have (which is good for fat loss) and also for strengthening your muscles. As you get more used to the gym and you wish to progress, you can then add in a forth session – this can help you to get over a plateau later on and ensure that your training still continues to challenge you.
However, if you are struggling to find the time to train, then first and foremost you need to look at how many times a week you can realistically train consistently. It’s no good deciding that you are going to train six times a week when in reality you are only going to have the time to train twice. I recommend writing down all the things that you need to do in a week and working out when you can do them all. The have a look at what time you have left for training. Can you move some things around so that you make time for training? Or cut down on your TV time? Only plan exercise session that you will realistically have time for, then make sure that you are going to make sure that your whole body is being trained at least once in those sessions. To do this, you need to decide on your training split. This is going to be dictated in part by how many times a week you are going to be training. See my blog on the different training splits to decide which would be better for you, or drop me a question here if you need help with deciding.
Ultimately, you need to train the amount of time that you can stick to. When it comes to training, what you can do consistently is what is going to make the difference as you need to be in it for the long-haul so be realistic and be disciplined.