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Should You Work Out Every Day?

Should you work out every day? Many people wonder about the answer to this question. And it’s a very good question if you are interested in fitness and taking good care of yourself. It’s really something that everyone should have an interest in, as nothing is more important than your personal health. The first thing to be clarified, is what is meant by working out? And working out can mean different things to different people. So for the sake of this article, working out is synonymous with exercising. So the short is yes, you should work out every day.

The reason? When you do some form of working out or exercise on a daily basis, it becomes part of your routine. Part of your daily structure. It becomes like eating, breathing, and getting dressed for your day.

And the opposite is true as well. If you set a schedule where two or three days a week are your workout days, then over time you’ll find reasons (excuses) to miss those workouts. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just human nature. We all live by a schedule with priorities, and if it’s only on certain days, other items will nudge themselves first in the pecking order on that day.

Make Working Out Part of Your Daily Schedule

However, if you make it part of your daily routine, it becomes a habit after a few weeks. It becomes automated, and it’s one of the very best automations that you can build into your life! Should you work out every day” no longer needs to be a nagging question, or guilty thought. You build it into your schedule, like waking up or eating breakfast.

Now to clarify the type of workout, you don’t want to lift in the gym every day unless you’re training for Mr. Olympia. But for most people living an active work life, a nice and simple rule of thumb is cardio 5 days a week, and resistance training 2 days a week. And the cardio sessions don’t all need to be intense. 

Example of a Daily Workout Schedule

Again, the key is to build the habit. So, if you’re a working dad who is 40 years old, maybe a simple and sustainable workout schedule looks something like this:

  • Monday – Treadmill Jog – 20 minutes
  • Tuesday – Neighborhood Fast Walk – 30 minutes
  • Wednesday – Neighborhood Jog – 25 minutes
  • Thursday – HIIT Training on the Gym Treadmill
  • Friday – Weightlifting (Resistance Training) – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Saturday – Weightlifting (Resistance Training) – Back, Biceps, Abs
  • Sunday – Bike Ride with the Family

And notice the weightlifting (resistance training) is more on the weekends, which are more likely to be cheat days for most people. So you want to stack your workouts around your higher calorie days, which is beneficial to fuel your workouts, and also burn some extra calories.

Contrary to popular belief, you only need two resistance training days a week to build a lean, muscular frame. A simple way to do this, is on your A-day work chest, shoulders, and triceps. On your B-day work your back, biceps, and abs. Two to three sets per muscle group, and 6-12 reps per set. Keep it simple, and it can be sustainable. Complicate the process, and it will likely fall by the wayside over time. A Lean Life has a strong focus on simple 2-day workouts, with an A-day and a B-day.

The Workout Intensity Can Vary Greatly

So every day is not a hardcore workout, but yet every day is some type of exercise, activity, or workout to stay in motion and keep your body in shape. And if you only burn 300 calories a day in your workouts, that’s a whopping 109,500 calories over the course of a year, which is 31 pounds of fat. So it’s kind of like compounding interest if you can get in the habit of working out every day.

So should you work out every day? Absolutely! And once it becomes part of your schedule, it becomes a lot easier to do it over the long haul. And the benefits of daily exercise are immense, ranging from weight control to a much healthier you!


David Williams is the founder of aleanlife.com. His aim is to provide a blueprint to help you build a lean, muscular physique. David graduated from West Point in 1990, where he was in the top 5% of his class for physical fitness. He spent 5 years active duty in the U.S. Army Infantry, and was also an Airborne Ranger. During his time in the Army, he performed in the top 1% on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) each year of active duty, which consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run. He is a student of fitness, nutrition, and wellness.