Regardless of whether you’re a fitness fanatic or you’ve just recently registered to become a member at your local gym - there’s simply no denying that strength training is one of the most important types of exercise that you can do - especially when it comes to shaping and toning the physique!
But, how many exercises should you do per workout? This is the key question, and it depends on a variety of factors.
Besides needing to take into account your general fitness level, you will also need to think about what your fitness goals are, not to mention whether you’re wanting to lose weight or tone up.
Trying to figure out how many exercises you should be doing can seem a little complicated to get correct. Don’t panic, though, because if you’re currently in this predicament, then you’re in the right place!
Read on to discover how many exercises you should do per workout, in accordance with your fitness level and goals!
How Many Exercises Per Workout?
There’s no denying it - trying to figure out how many exercises you should do per workout can be pretty difficult - regardless of how much fitness experience you have.
Even though it might seem tempting to do, trying to cram as much as you can into all of your workouts might actually be more counterproductive than beneficial - so it’s important to make sure that you are striking the right balance.
As a general rule of thumb, the maximum amount of exercise that you should consider doing per workout will greatly depend on your fitness level, as well as your experience, too.
On top of all that, the number of exercises that you choose to do per workout will also greatly depend on your preferences - so there really aren’t any “set” rules to follow here.
You will also need to consider what type of workout you are going to be doing, as those who are carrying out a leg day workout might find themselves wanting to do fewer exercises, as opposed to someone who is focusing on their arms that day.
Nevertheless, if you are looking to get the very most out of your workouts without pushing your body too far, then we recommend that you consider movement patterns as opposed to the number of exercises that you decide to do per workout.
If you’re not overly familiar with movement patterns, they fall into six main categories (core, lunge, bend, push, pull, and squat) and will provide you with the opportunity to create a workout plan prior to actually doing it.
Believe it or not, it is widely believed that the most effective workouts are the ones that are the most simple, and this is why it’s important to what exercise patterns you would like to focus on prior to picking your exercises. This is where we come in to lend you a helping hand.
Below, we are going to be providing you with simple guidelines on how many exercises you should consider doing per workout in accordance with each muscle group and pattern. Check it out:
If You’re A Beginner
If you’re just getting started, then we don’t recommend pushing yourself too hard too quickly, as you will need to give your body time to adjust to regular exercises.
For this reason, as a general guideline, we recommend that you engage in full-body workouts that incorporate at least four of the six movements, with at least one exercise for each category.
This type of workout plan will ensure that you are able to enjoy a challenging workout that won’t put too much strain on your body.
As a side note, if you would like to incorporate some cardio alongside strength training, then we recommend that you do so after a rest day, as this will give your body some time to recover from any delayed onset muscle soreness you have from strength training.
If You’re An Intermediate
If you’re at an intermediate level or you’re wanting to graduate from beginner-friendly training workouts, then intermediate-level exercise is probably the best option for you!
As a general rule of thumb, in order to be considered an intermediate, you will need to have been consistently training for at least one year or longer - or alternatively been given training by a personal trainer or another fitness professional.
In contrast to beginner fitness training, if you’re at an intermediate level we recommend that you follow a fitness workout that consists of involving anywhere between 1-3 movement patterns for each workout, and incorporate around 3 exercises per category.
Even though it might seem like you’re doing less, training in this way will ensure that you are able to focus on particular muscle groups, which will help to ensure that you see real results.
Alongside that, placing a focus on certain muscle groups per workout will also ensure that your body has enough time in between workouts to repair.
As a side note, if you wish to do cardio, then we recommend that you alternate between strength training days and cardio/aerobic training days, as this will help to prevent you from putting too much pressure on your body.
If You’re Advanced
Last but certainly not least, if you’re at an advanced level (which means that you will have many years of training experience - whether as a professional or as a client) then you will benefit the most from focusing on just one exercise pattern at a time, but incorporating around 6 exercises into the particular pattern that you have chosen to focus on.
So, in other words, you will be engaging in specific workouts tailored to one muscles group, such as your legs, your core, or your arms.
As a side note, just like with the other training levels, if you are planning to do cardio, we recommend that you try and space it out throughout the week so that your body has time to rest and recover.