Does Going to the Gym Twice a Week Make a Difference?

Having a full schedule can lead you to cut back on your workout time, and that in turn can make you wonder just how little you can get away with. Unfortunately, this question all depends on a few variables.

The duration and intensity of your workouts is what is most important. (Image: Mireya Acierto/DigitalVision/GettyImages)

The duration and intensity of your workout, even twice a week, can mean the difference between excellent fitness and very little change. Keep in mind that while gym workouts provide fitness equipment and specialized training equipment, you don't have to confine all of your physical fitness to your time at the gym. Having an active life plus regular workouts shows the greatest results.

Tip

Going to the gym twice a week is a great start. But keeping active the rest of the week too is the trick to increasing your fitness level.

Physical Activity Recommendations

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days of the week that focus on all major muscle groups.

While for overall health, you should focus on being active every day, you can meet these recommendations in two gym sessions. For your time at the gym, try to fit in an hour or so of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise and a variety of weight-lifting and resistance exercises. You should also try to spread out your gym days to allow for rest days and continuous improvement.

Get Your Blood Pumping

Aerobic exercises are comprised of almost any type of exercise that raises your heart rate. Swimming laps, jogging or running, bicycling, playing basketball and using the elliptical are all great ideas for aerobic workouts. You can do an entire hour on one machine or break up the hour into smaller sections to get some variety.

You may even want to consider taking a class at the gym to stay motivated and interested. Aerobics and dance classes are offered at many gyms as well as swimming and basketball teams. Ensure that you are getting in a solid hour where your heart rate is elevated to get the most benefit from your exercise.

Muscle-Strengthening Workouts

If you can only make it to the gym twice, ensure that you get in muscle-strengthening activities without overtiring muscles. Try to do a complete circuit of activities on both days, to ensure that you maximize your gym time. Mayo Clinic recommends completing muscle strengthening activities on two or more days of the week, so you could see significant results with just two workouts a week.

Supplementing Gym Days

Remember that while you may only be able to get into the gym two days a week, you can probably supplement your overall health by focusing on nutrition and getting in some physical fitness at home. Walk in your neighborhood and take the stairs as much as possible. Lift free weights at home and do circuits of pushups, sit-ups and other resistance exercises that don't require equipment.

Chores around the house and moving around during the day contribute to overall fitness, so look for ways to be active on a daily basis. In fact, according to Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-pound person can burn approximately 93 calories just cooking dinner and 167 washing the car or windows.

Don't neglect your diet either. Eat a balanced diet, focusing on fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates which will fuel your body and contribute to your fitness goals throughout the week.

Going to the gym even twice a week can make a significant difference in overall fitness and health if you follow these basic guidelines to get the most from your workouts. However, for even greater results, commit to building a healthy diet and active lifestyle overall.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.