5 Ways to Determine How Much Exercise You Need


By: Kyle Arsenault CSCS


When it comes to training (exercise), there definitely is a point of diminishing return. What I mean by this is that there is only so much training that can occur before results no longer progress, and in some cases begin to deteriorate. So what is this magic amount of training? 60 minutes per day? 30 minutes per day? Neither? Both?…

Like most everything else in life the answer to this question falls under the “it depends” category. This is a main reason that your training needs to be individualized. There are many factors that come into play when determining the right amount of training.

Below are a few factors you need to take into consideration to best determine how much training needs to take place in order for you to reach your goals and stay healthy, as well as an example training day.



1)      Training Goals: First and foremost are your goals. If you are simply looking to become healthier, place yourself in a better position to avoid injury and look a bit better in a bathing suit, you may not have to train quite as much as you thought. According to this REVIEW of a recent study, individuals who trained for 30 minutes a day compared to a group that trained for 60 minutes a day experienced the same results with regards to weight loss and other healthy markers. Although the study was based on an “aerobic conditioning” protocol, I have seen this work for resistance training as well. But if you are a competitive athlete, or looking to be the next Arnold, you will likely have to train a bit longer to reach your goals. Our athletes train for 45-75 minutes per session depending on…


2)      Time of Year: As mentioned above, our athletes typically train for 45-75 minutes per session depending on their goals and the time of year. For our in-season athletes, I like to keep the intense work to 30-45 minutes 2-3 days per week. Athletes in the off-season can generally handle a little more volume as they don’t have as many competing demands from their sport. In this case I like to have athletes train for 60-75 minutes 3-4 days per week. The same can go for a general population athlete. If it is the busy season at work, the kids schedule is absurd, the holidays are rocking your world or life is just flat out beating you down, it is wise to spend less time training as too much accumulated stress will be detrimental. If you have more time then you can take it. But in either case training should still take place, and be extremely efficient.



3)      Efficiency: Depending on how focused you are and how your program is designed will also play into how much time you need to spend training. At Momentum PT we key on focus, not only to keep our athletes on task, but also to limit injury and get the most from every exercise. We also like to perform non competing exercises together as this allows our athletes to get more done in less time…the definition of efficiency! For example, you could alternate a sprint technique drill with a core exercise without negatively affecting the results of either in order to maximize time. And we always make sure to conduct a movement specific warm as part of our individualized program for the best results in the least amount of time.

4)      Nutrition: Simply put, if your nutrition is up to par, you will not need to spend hour upon hour in the gym working off the Big Mac from Mickey D’s. It takes a lot less effort NOT to burn off the 700 plus calories you will consume from this infamous sandwich. Instead, establish healthy nutrition habits that promote health and fitness success, and abide by them 90% of the time (cheat 10% to maintain sanity…it is OK!). And if you are in the Milford MA area, definitely stop by Prezo Grille and Bar for the“Momentum PT Healthy Choice Special”…you will enjoy a great tasting meal that is also conducive to health and performance!


5)      Physical Activity: And just as with nutrition, the more physically active you are throughout the day the need for an extended training session decreases. Get up and move…period. You will utilize extra calorie and keep yourself from sustaining poor postures (sitting is killing us!). Our bodies were built to move!

For more information on how to maximize your entire day to achieve the body you want, click HERE.



Key Points:

-If you are a competitive athlete you will likely need to spend a little more time training than the average Joe or Jane. But really 30 to 75 minutes 3-6 days per week is the range for 95% of the population depending on…

– If you are in-season or life is crazy nuts, 30-45 minutes of training a few days a week is plenty as long as you are efficient. 2-3 days of more intense training interspersed with lighter/recovery days is optimal if it can be implemented. After a movement specific warm up, pair non-competing exercises for the best results and highest density.

– If you take care of your nutrition (eat real food first!!) and are physically active throughout the day (move around at work, go for walks, take the stairs, park the car further away, play with the kids or Todo, etc) the time spent training can be slashed. It all comes down to balance. Do some of each and you will have an easier time staying fit, healthy and looking good.

So to wrap this up, here is an example program that can be performed to help enhance strength and rev up the metabolism. It should take you no longer than 30 minutes to complete…perform with perfect form and repeat 3 days per week with 3 other days of recovery/conditioning days for the best results.


Soft Tissue Work (2-3 Minutes)

Foam Roll: Quads, IT Band, Adductors


Activation and Dynamic Warm Up (5 Minutes)

Leg Marches, Glute Bridge, Wallslide, Walking Lunge


Resistance Training (20 Minutes) ; Go back and forth between the paired exercises for a total of 3 rounds each before moving on to the next pair.


Pairing 1) Squats x 8-12 reps & Planks x 20-30s

Pairing 2) Split Squats x 8-10 reps / side & Side Planks x 20-30s / side

Pairing 3) Mountain Climbers or Push Ups x 30-45s seconds x2 (10s rest between) & 1 Arm Cable Row 8-12 reps / side


**Again, make sure form is perfect and you push yourself so that you are completing each set of the exercises with only a few reps left in the tank.



There you have it…a better understanding of how much training you actually need. And for any questions or clarification or to set up a training session just email me at Kyle@momentumpt.com or call Momentum PT at 508-422-0101.

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