How Often You Should Work Out If You Want To Gain Muscle

Maybe the gym for you is how Cheers was for Norm: "Where everybody knows your name." You work hard and you're ready to see gains, but if the process is taking longer than you have the patience for, perhaps you need to rethink your routine. According to Healthline, to start making progress in the gains department, it's crucial to find the right blend of cardio and strength training because (believe it or not) overtraining may cause more damage than undertraining.

A minimum of two to three days per week of strength training for gains, working each muscle group multiple times, will be effective (via Self). Strength and conditioning specialist Noam Tamir tells Self that compound movements (one exercise targeting multiple muscles) will be most beneficial, focusing on different areas of the body each day. He suggests staying with the same program for four to six weeks, with sessions between 40-60 minutes of exercises such as squats, lunges, rows, and chest presses.

Does cardio help with muscle gain?

According to Medium, low intensity cardio won't help you gain muscle, but research shows high-intensity cardio can assist in increasing muscle mass. The experts at Aaptive suggest two to three times per week of 10 to 20 minutes of HIIT is all you need. Practicing a cycle of four weeks on and four weeks off of high-intensity cardio may also be beneficial to muscle growth, but patience and consistency are necessary (via Offering another position is exercise physiologist Heather Milton who says there is no perfect time spent at the gym "because there are so many other variables" (via PopSugar).

It's important to remember, regardless of your fitness routine, building muscle is a slow process affected by multiple factors such as sleep habits, calorie intake, and even how much protein you eat (via Cnet). A program focusing on strength training and HIIT, two to three days a week, seems to be a good start, but it's important to know your mileage may vary (via Healthline).