This video discusses
- the ideal frequency of strength training (the amount of strength training sessions per week) for the desired outcome. Depending on whether you train for size / hypertrophy, strength development and / or maximum strength, power or strength endurance.
- The right amount of strength training sessions for athletes depending on their sport, goal and additional responsibilities (family, study or work).
Many people often ask how often should you do strength training. I have taken my time to do justice to the topic so that you can reach your desired goal, whether it is size, strength endurance, general health or wellbeing.
How often should you do strength training depends on your training goal
One of the commonest questions a lot of people ask us is how often should you do strength training. The answer I usually give to this question is that it depends on a number of factors, because there is no one-size fits-all. I normally ask what your goal is and from there we walk backwards. For instance, if you’re interested in increasing the size of your muscle, the training frequency, that is the amount of sessions a week might a bit higher than if you were working on becoming stronger. The important thing is to know your goal as that will help us determine the frequency per week.
How often should you do strength training depends on your other responsibilities
Whenever people ask how often should you do strength training, to be able to answer that question, we also take their other responsibilities into consideration. My experience with athletes is that they seldom need a strength training. The reason is because they have the sport specific training which often is more important than the strength training because that is where they need to compete. They also have an education, sometimes, a family or work to do. So we factor your other responsibilities after determining what your goals are for us to design a training program.
How often should you do strength training depends on your sport and demands of your sport
To answer the question how often should you do strength training or how many sessions a week per month to reach your desired goal? Working with athletes, I have to consider other things. Depending on the type of sport, the influence of strength training on improving sports performance might be higher or lower. At the moment, I am working with B.M.X and Track Cycling, and the influence of the physical capacities is much higher than in other sports. I have also worked with equestrian and what I can say is that strength training is important, but there are many things that are much more important than that.
How often should you do strength training depends on where you are in your season
Another thing we have to consider is the importance of sport training in sporting performance. If we look a little deeply into the season, we can see that there is a preparatory period; the Off-Season. There is also an in-season. Many times, in the Off-Season, the physical development is a priority which requires a higher amount of strength training. Once the in-season begins, competition becomes a priority as well as the sport specific training. This leads to a lesser influence on and the amount of strength training.
To be more specific on how often should you do strength training, you are well off with two to three sessions a week. The essence of strength training is to improve strength and this has an effect on the nervous system, and the recovery of the nervous system takes some time. If you’re working on size to grow bigger, a higher frequency is recommended; maybe three to five times a week, it is important that you schedule it correctly.
Whether you are working on strength, size, or strength endurance, the loading pattern over the week is very important which means you can’t go full out, and you also need to have some unloading periods. If we are working on maximum strength, the frequency per week should be a bit lower, maybe two to three times weekly. For muscular hypertrophy or size, the frequency should increase a bit to three to five times weekly. The frequency for strength and endurance tends to be a bit lower, maybe two to three times a week.
Concluding How often should you do strength training
The answer to the question how often you should do strength training is not a ‘one size fits all answer’ and depends on factors such as
- Training goal
- Responsibilities next to your strength
- Demands of your sport and importance of strength training to improve performance in your sport
- Where you are in your season, if you are an athlete