Many people have asked, “How often should I train?” Now, this can be a hard question to answer as it is very dependent on your current fitness level, lifestyle and long-term fitness goals. That being said there are a few basic guidelines that can help you get started.
Once a week
Intense exercise at least once a week can help you maintain your current fitness level and set a foundation for increased fitness in the future. If it has been ten years since the last time you really exercised, adding just one session of exercise to your weekly schedule is often more than enough to get things moving.
Two to three times a week
To see consistent progress in your health and fitness you will need to exercise at least two to three times a week. Training less will make it hard to develop proficiency in technical movements, and if you have been paying attention in class you know it is all technical. Even seemingly simple movements such as the Push-Up, Squat, Punch or Tenkan (an evasive technique taught in Aikido) can be constantly tweaked and refined.
Four or more times a week
If you want results and you want them fast then you need to work for them. To see drastic changes in body composition in a short time (three to six months) you will need to participate in intense exercise at least four or more times a week. However exercising at this level can increase the risk of overuse injuries, so it is very important that you are complimenting your exercise regimen with good nutrition, sleep and a well-thought-out recovery program.
There are many ways to aid your recovery after exercise. Some of the most important are: nutrition, sleep, stretching, and mindful relaxation.