How Long You Should Work Out Based on Your Fitness Goals

Working out should be fun but you should give the right amount of time and intensity for you to achieve your fitness goals. The amount of time that you'll be working out depends on your goals according to Joseph Foley, founder of Pedal House. It varies on your needs and here are some training specifics that you should follow to help you reach your fitness goals.

The "weight loss" goal

If your goal is to lose weight according to Shayna Schmidt of Livekick, you should burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than what you consume every day. That is around a total of 3 hours per week or six 30 mins sessions of rigorous training. You can also do it for 1 hour each day (good for 3 days) depending on your schedule.

You can do one or two sessions of strength training for your workout per week. Strength training develops your muscles and that makes you burn calories even while resting. Strength training may not burn as much during the activity but it raises your metabolic rate and also improves your physique.

Of course, cardio is a must if you really want to lose weight. Cardio doesn't mean running for hours on a treadmill or elliptical. Activities like boxing, swimming, rowing, and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) are more effective than the usual steady-paced cardio. It also eliminates the long and dreadful hours that you spend on a cardio machine.

All those activities that contribute to your cardio will not only make you lose weight but also develop your stamina, endurance, and coordination as well. Replenish your calories with a healthy amount of food even if it's lesser than what you consume. Keep a fair amount of protein intake to maintain your muscle mass because it tends to burn out if you do a lot of cardio.

Remember that losing weight means burning and lowering your body fat levels and not burning your hard-earned muscles.

The goal is "gaining strength"

Gaining strength means lifting weights and that should be heavy. You should lift weights five days a week allotting 30 mins. to an hour each session. Lifting weights needs a lot of energy during the activity and also a lot more during recovery. Sleep and proper nutrition will help heal the micro-tears from a grueling workout session.

You can still do cardio during this phase but you should keep it to a minimum because doing too much will diminish your gains. Too much cardio will consume the nutrients that you need to pack that muscle. Keep cardio to a minimum, preferably short but intense just like sprinting and HIIT. Short and intense cardio will help you in terms of conditioning because you also need a lot of heart in lifting heavy weights.

Increase your calorie intake if you want to get stronger. That way it can replenish what you have burned and can help you repair your muscle for growth. Also, have plenty of rest because the muscle needs it to grow and to become stronger on your next workout. Increase your protein intake and consume quality carbs from whole foods.

Another important factor in terms of strength is improving your flexibility. It helps a lot in terms of improving your range of motion plus mobility. Flexibility will also help in avoiding injuries because you'd be able to move freely and properly while keeping a proper form during your workout. That's why it is important to incorporate some yoga or mobility sessions to help you and your muscles relax and become flexible.

Lastly, get plenty of sleep and rest if you need to. That will help you together with proper nutrition to ensure muscle growth and quality workout performance.

The goal of maintaining just a "healthy weight"

Our jobs and daily routine may get us tired that we turn ourselves into couch potatoes every time we are done with it. A sedentary lifestyle welcomes diseases that will impact our health in the long run. Keeping yourself active is the key to keeping a healthy weight, improving your performance at work, and preventing diseases.

To keep a healthy weight, you can work out for at least 30 mins for 5 days a week or an hour for 3 days a week. You can incorporate doing half an hour of cardio and another half for lifting weights (for a 1-hour session) or you can alter days of lifting weights and cardio on the following day (for a 30-minute session).

The best-suggested workout for strength training is doing a full body workout per session instead of focusing on one muscle group per session. That way you can distribute the load and effort to the rest of your body and you'll have a shorter recovery time for your muscles. You can also cross-train with low-intensity, low-impact cardio exercises such as Yoga or Taiichi,

Maintaining a healthy weight is not as challenging as strength training goals or losing weight but it needs a lot of variety to get your body moving. The variety of training will help your body not get used to specific exercises that will later on plateau your goals and make you gain weight again.

Keep in mind that health maintenance also means keeping healthy nutrition or eating healthy. It's okay to sway away at some point but always remember that it's hard to lose weight if you continuously get out of your healthy routine.


Keeping a healthy lifestyle should be the main goal of each individual. Regardless of those three goals, eating healthy, staying active, and getting enough rest is the key to healthy well-being. After that, if you have assessed yourself, and you want to achieve one of those goals, follow the guidelines and the training duration.

Remember to keep yourself hydrated at all times and get plenty of rest right after your workout. Fuel your body with healthy food choices and track your calorie intake if you really want to achieve your goal. The journey will not be easy but it is all worth it!

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