It’s an age-old question and one we’d really like to answer for you. How many times should you workout each week? What’s the optimum number of gym sessions for the most ripped body?

We wish there was a simple answer. The truth is there’s no magic number to turn you into a gym god (or goddess). Even the ‘recommended’ amount of times is not necessarily going to be the right amount for you.

Exercise is just one part of being fit. You also need to eat well, sleep well, minimise stress and allow your body plenty of recovery time after workouts. So even if your schedule allows workouts 7 days a week (lucky you!), that’s definitely too much for your body.

Alternatively, don’t be fooled into thinking that because there’s a guy with an abundance of bulk who only visits the gym twice a week, that you need only go Mondays and Wednesdays too. People have very different responses to training, eat different food, have jobs ranging from very active to sedentary…or are just plain lucky with their genes!

If you’re desperate for a number of days, what you can do is look at your fitness goals. Do you want to:


 First, remember that diet is a huge part of this. So while you might do 5 workouts a week, if you’re still stuffing your cake-hole with food your fat will linger for longer. 

If you have a healthy diet, then exercising 4-5 times a week is a good number of gym sessions to aim for. Make these sessions a combination of weight-training and intense cardio such as HIIT. This is the best way to burn calories and reveal your finest physique.


If you want bigger muscles, then working out 2-3 times a week will build bulk, while 4 sessions will maximize your results. 

Don’t just stick to the same exercises - varying your routine helps build muscle. Try the cable machine, do bodyweight exercises or challenge yourself with the battle ropes!


If you just want to have enough energy to go for a run in the park, look good on the beach and know you’re boosting your heart health, then go for the standard 3 gym visits a week. Sure, you may eat more junk one week or do an extra run the following week, but overall thrice weekly is the number to tick all your general fitness boxes.

Finally, the one time to avoid the gym is when you’re unwell. Stay at home, keep your germs away from other gym-goers. Then back to your workouts when you’re ready. 

The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Claire H.
1 February 2017

Claire H.

I would like to lose weight but only go to the gym twice a week for a Zumba and yoga. I have been wondering if I should add in more intense exercise so I might try something more weights-based after reading this.

Charlie M.
24 January 2017

Charlie M.

every day really is a bit tough, but three times a week seems a realistic goal. I shall aim for that.

Helen P.
16 January 2017

Helen P.

I try and go 3 times a week, and I am just aiming to maintain fitness and not get as fat as I used to be! I would like to go every day but haven't got the time (or money!)

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