How many times a week should you strength train? Fitness trainers answer the most Googled questions

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How often should we be weight training? Stylist Strong trainers answer the most Googled strength and fitness questions. 

Staying fit and healthy is important, but the messaging around when and how often we should be working out, pushing our bodies the limit and building on our fitness, is often unclear. 

Should we be traipsing to the gym every morning before work to blast out a 5k on the treadmill, or is a once-a-week visit to the weights room going to be enough? Equally, if our gym routine only involves lifting weights will that help increase overall fitness levels? 

It’s a tough balancing act, so we went to the experts to work out the truth of the matter.

Each week three trainers from Stylist Strong, Stylist’s fitness brand that runs strength training classes focused on incorporating weights into fitness, explain some of the most asked questions from women who want to get into lifting.

This week they are explaining how often you should be weight training, and the answers will pique your interest. 

Strength training advice from Stylist Strong trainers
Strength training advice from Stylist Strong trainers

How many times a week should I weight train?

Tess Glynne-Jones, trainer at Stylist Strong

“This is tricky because everyone is different. It depends on the intensity and the duration of your training, and it depends on where you’re at; if you’re a novice or if you’re advanced. Three times a week is a very good aim

“If the sessions last between 45 minutes to an hour then that’s perfect.”

Emma Obayuvana, trainer at Stylist Strong

“If you are somebody who hasn’t done any type of weight training exercise, let’s say someone whose only done Pilates, yoga or running, and you’re just starting out [strength training] I would say have one session a week to start with, using exercises that are functional and compound body exercises.

“I would never say to someone do a minimum of three times a week when they’ve never done weights before. They’d go and destroy their body. And then they’re not able to recover and will hate it. If you’re intermediate, then three times a week, but once a week is enough if you’ve never touched a dumbbell.

“If it’s someone who is not a stranger to weight training then I would say three times a week.”

Caroline Bragg, master trainer at Stylist Strong

“It really depends on your goals. If you’re just regularly training for a long life I would say three times a week strength training – it could be body weight training, lifting weights, TRX - there’s so many ways you can strength train. It doesn’t have to be about throwing bar bells and throwing weights around.

“So it’s just about what works well for you.

“If you’re trying to improve your endurance, for a marathon or something like that, do two cardio sessions as well. Or, if you’re not working on endurance, then maybe you might go for something like an extra yoga session.”

What type of weight lifting should I do?

Tess Glynne-Jones, trainer at Stylist Strong

“If you’re training between one to three times a week then it’s quite good to make it every session full-body because then you’re targeting all the muscle groups several times. 

“The best thing to do to get the most out of those sessions is to focus on compound lifts, where you’re working multiple muscle groups at a time. Focus training around squats, deadlifts, press ups, overhead press, pull ups or any kind of big movement.

“If you’re going four to six times a week you can do more of an upper/lower body split and you can start to bring in those more isolated movements to start getting the specific muscles. So, you could do pushing movements as your compound and then bring in an isolated movement like triceps dips or triceps extension overhead. So, I guess the more times you train per week the more flexibility you have with the exercises you can incorporate.

“Classes are great when they’re well programmed, like Stylist Strong. If you’re going to generic classes that use weights but are a bit more high intensity, that is more like cardio.”

Ready to start weight training?

Stylist Strong is a fitness brand specialising in strength training specifically tailored for women. Our classes are designed to build both physical and mental strength in a smart and informed way.

So, whether you’re a beginner or already have strength-training experience, Stylist Strong has a class to suit you. Come and try our strength-based classes at our own purpose-built studio at The AllBright Mayfair. 

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