How Often Should I Work Out With Resistance Bands

I have met so many people struggling with the idea of building muscle mass with resistance bands alone.  That is the reason, people often ask how often should I train with resistance bands weekly.

Here I have not only recommended on how many times you should train with resistance bands but also provided the actual reasons why I recommend it.

[ Further, I have pointed out some key concepts to keep in mind while altering the resistance bands training plan as per your goals. So, you will not be at the mercy of me or any PT to instruct you. ]

So, how often should I train with resistance bands? The resistance bands training is similar to the strength training inside the gym. You can do resistance band training from 3 times per week to 6 times per week depending upon your fitness goals. However, you would need to fill in the balance days with active recovery routines.

That said, now, there must be some questions popping up in your mind as under

1.

Will doing only resistance bands training be enough for my fitness goals?

2.

How do I decide the resistance training frequency between 3 times per week to 6 times per week?

3.

What I will do on balance days of the weekly resistance bands training plan?

4.

Best takeaways for planning resistance bands training schedule

5.

How do I ensure that I get the maximum results from resistance bands training?

6.

Final Words

Here I am Ravi, your companion to assist you in finding answers to these queries and empower you to take your own decision.


Will doing only resistance bands training be enough for my fitness goals?

This question is regularly asked by the beginners who are taking their first shot at resistance bands training.

Firing muscles to work harder is not the proprietary of gyms and fitness clubs.

No matter where you live, what you do, as long as you are burdening the muscles adequately with a supportive diet, nothing can stop you. Resistance bands are not exceptions to that.

» Check this amazing resource I created recently to know the potential of resistance bands –  Do resistance bands really work – ultimate visual guide.

Do resistance bands really work - Ultimate Visual Guide

However, you may need to quickly go through the following checklist before I go deep into the resistance training frequency –

1. Do you have the right resistance band type and accessories? – Working out with a single resistance band type such as a mini loop band for all muscle groups in your weekly workout plan will take you nowhere.

Choose at least three different types of resistance band sets to get some real results to boast about later.

Do read this detailed resource  – How to choose resistance bands  – detailed visual guide.

2. What is your fitness goal?– There can be several kinds of goals depending upon your current fitness level. You may be looking for weight loss or maybe looking for general toning of muscles. You may also be aggressively aiming at bulking up the muscle mass.

3. How many days you can work out per week – This is your personal decision depending upon your lifestyle. However, maximum allowable days are six days per week with one weekly rest in general.


How do I decide the resistance training between 3 times per week to 6 times per week?

Here are some of the key variables which are inherent to any weekly workout schedules.

1. Volume per week per muscle group.
2. Training frequency
3. Number of repetitions per set
4. Intensity of workout routines.

Training frequency is one out of the above which requires some serious attention while planning for the weekly schedule of resistance bands training workout.

Before I divulge into the implications of training frequency per week, I would provide you with the resistance bands training weekly plan that I follow personally.

You will be able to get a glimpse of how I have incorporated resistance bands training frequency in my weekly workout routine.

» NOTE:

Here I won’t provide you with ready to follow multiple workout plans for individual cases. However, I will let you understand the simple guidelines and factors to consider so that you shall be able to modify the same plan to meet your individual needs.

Don’t worry if all the details mentioned here looks overwhelming to you, my purpose here is not to confuse you.

My weekly resistance bands training schedule –

Without much Ado, I come directly to the resistance bands workout plan I follow which can be good for beginners and intermediate athletes.

I would explain the reasons I follow this routine and also the tips to modify this plan later according to your needs.

WEEK 1

Days  Activity Duration
Monday Chest, Back and Arms  45 Min
Tuesday  HIIT + abs   20 Min (HIIT) + Abs (15 Min)
Wednesday Shoulder and Legs 45 Min
Thursday Outdoor Steady State cardio 30 Min
Friday Chest Back And Arms 45 Min
Saturday Sprint/HIIT + abs 20 Min +15 Min
Sunday Yoga/Stretching -50 min (Optional) 50 min (Optional)

WEEK 2

Days  Activity Duration
Monday Shoulder and Legs  45 Min
Tuesday  HIIT + abs   20 Min (HIIT) + Abs (15 Min)
Wednesday Chest, Back and Arms 45 Min
Thursday Outdoor Steady State cardio 30 Min
Friday Shoulder and Legs 45 Min
Saturday Sprint/HIIT + abs 20 Min +15 Min
Sunday Yoga/Stretching -50 min (Optional) 50 min (Optional)

WEEK 3 = WEEK 1

WEEK 4 = WEEK 2

Here are some of the key features of my workout plan

1. Strength training is 3 days per week
2. HIIT workout is 2 days per week
3. Outdoor cardio is one day per week
4. Optional yoga/stretching is once per
week

Now let us come directly to our main query of choosing the training frequency between 3 times per week to 6 times per week.

Let me first start with the reason I have chosen resistance training of three times per week.

Previously I used to do resistance training 6 times a week doing one muscle group/body part per day per week. There used to come the time when I would miss one or two days once in a month at least.

As all of six days’ workouts were crucial for strength training, so, such breaks would hamper my workout flow and create anxiety.

By reducing the resistance training frequency to only 3 days per week, I have not missed my key strength workouts for the last two years. I can find out 3 days in a week no matter, how busy I am.

Now, you would be wondering if 3 days per week is sufficient!

It is perfectly ok to workout 3 times to 6 times per week as long as you are keeping the volume of workout per muscle group per week the same. Further, each muscle group needs to taxed every  4th day for the best results.

Reducing the resistance training frequency to 2 times per week is not beneficial and increases the risk of injury.

Altering the resistance training frequency is entirely up to you and your ability to recover from the fatigue. As long as the weekly volume of workout for each muscle group is the same, it doesn’t matter whether we workout 3 times per week or 6 times per week.

There is some scientific evidence I am quoting among numerous other findings in relation to training frequency.

As per the research published by NCBI (National Center For Biotechnology Information) 

“there is strong evidence that resistance training frequency does not significantly or meaningfully impact muscle hypertrophy when the volume is equated. Thus, for a given training volume, individuals can choose a weekly frequency per muscle group based on personal preference.”

In nutshell, It is up to your gut feeling. If your muscles take 7 days to fully recover after a workout or your resistance bands workout is of very high intensity with reps less than 7 per set for each exercise, train each muscle group once per week. There is no hard and fast rule.

If you are a thin person aiming at bulking up muscles, you may go for 5  to 6 times per week for resistance bands training.

However, if you aim to lose fat and achieve lean body mass, working out 3 times per week may be enough. However, include cardio and HIIT workouts on balance days for faster fat loss.

For Resistance bands exercises, I found a useful android app – Resistance Bands By Fitify. You can also download the app through the Android play store and IOS as well.

» NOTE

You won’t lose weight by just doing the recommended workout routine. Diet plays a huge role here. TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) has a huge role to play in the weight loss program.

I highly recommend you to go through this article – Do I really understand total daily energy expenditure to understand the complete science behind weight loss.


What I will do on balance days of the weekly resistance bands training plan?

Now, you might have a rough idea of choosing between the resistance training days between 3 to 6 days per week depending upon your lifestyle.

Now let us decide what you can do on balance days when you are not doing resistance training.

Please don’t panic, if you can’t afford to commit the balance days to other physical activities. It is completely optional.

However, it is always advisable to do something you love doing on alternate days to keep you excited and energized for the next resistance training session.

Before I introduce you to the activities recommended for balance days.

let me first explain to you the activities that I do and why I prefer them to do

Please refer to the weekly workout schedule mentioned earlier while going through these points

1. HIIT workout

HIIT refers to high-intensity interval training where you perform interval training for 20 minutes at maximum.  I do a proper warm-up of 10 to 15 minutes before HIIT to prevent injuries.

HIIT workout saves me a lot of time due to the shorter duration of high-intensity intervals. So, I can perform additional abs workout for 15 minutes duration after HIIT. Doing abs before HIIT will leave you with less energy for high-intensity training

HIIT workout is known to release growth harmonies and elevates the heart rate for an extended period.

I don’t mind missing out on HIIT workouts if I have some other assignments to do.

2.  Steady-State Cardio once per week

This is the way I cherish nature and spice up the boring indoor routine. I do casual running for 30 minutes without any specific goal in mind. A warm-up of five minutes followed by active stretching for another 5 minutes is a must before any running activity as in case of resistance training.

3. Yoga/stretching once per week

This activity is the most enjoyable part of the week which I love to do on SUNDAYS. After taxing my body for 6 days, this is the time, I massage my muscles with the foam roller and do some flexibility exercises for 50 minutes. Flexibility is known to reduce injuries.

Resistance bands can help you with deep stretches without the need of the partner. I make use of therapy style bands and yoga strap for some of my nice deep stretches.

Let us modify each of the above variables customized to your needs–

HIIT Workout

I always like doing HIIT workout on alternate days as it trains the fast-twitch fibers and fills you with energy for all day.

If you have not developed enough muscles to do HIIT, you may also do “low impact HIIT”. There is an abundance of resources available on youtube to do low impact workouts.

Here is a video from Team Body Project  (I personally follow) showcasing low impact HIIT workout –

Further, you may also do high-intensity interval training while walking, swimming, cycling. The activity is not that important but switching between aerobic and anaerobic zones of the heart rapidly is way more beneficial.

Alternatively, you can do any recreational activity you are fond of.

Always try to include one HIIT workout per week to employ fast-twitch fibers and develop a balanced physique.

» NOTE

Never combine HIIT with resistance bands training, as resistance band training is also taxing your muscles. Doing HIIT will greatly affect the effectiveness of resistance training.

Steady-State Cardio 

Steady-state cardio refers to jogging or running at a very low pace where your heart rate remains in the lowest zone of 60 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate. It trains the slow-twitch fibers and utilizes fat for burning calories.

Check out this highly informational article – what do you mean by anaerobic metabolism

In nutshell, always include an outdoor activity once a week which keeps you refreshing and prevents boredom.

Yoga/ stretching

You can do yoga/stretching along with resistance training on the same days, as both are complementary to each other.

However, stretching the muscles once a week is always recommended to prevent injuries. Always do stretching exercises after the resistance training.

Here is a video by Sydney Cummings from www.royalchange.fit showcasing deep stretching with resistance bands


Best takeaways for planning resistance bands training schedule

  1. Do resistance training at least thrice a week.
  2. Train all muscle groups at least once per week.
  3. Include a high-intensity workout at least once per week.
  4. Do one stretching session each week.
  5. Take one-day mandatory rest or simply replace it with a stretching routine.
  6. Do include one outdoor routine per week which may be any recreational activity.

How do I get the best out of resistance bands workouts?

Here are a few of the tips you should follow to get the best results from your resistance training.

  1. Always prefer to do compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, pull-ups, etc with power loop resistance bands, where more than one joint is involved.
  2. If you are just a beginner, start with 12 -15 repetitions per set. For advanced athletes, reduce the number of repetitions to less than 8 per set for hypotrophy.
  3. Workout in all the planes of motion including vertical, horizontal and transverse planes to strengthen muscles from all angles.
  4. Follow all the safety guidelines while doing resistance bands exercises. Here is an amazing guide we made to cover all the safety aspects of resistance bands – Are resistance bands safe?

Don’t miss this article to avoid the mishappenings which are quite common with resistance bands.


FINAL WORDS-

Resistance bands training is an awesome alternative to the traditional methods of workout in gyms and fitness clubs.

Several studies have proven the effectiveness of resistance bands to be at least equivalent to the free weights and gym machines.

Making use of the right resistance band kit and following a balanced workout routine is the key. An all-round resistance band workout plan should include all aspects of fitness such as weight training, cardio, and flexibility for the all-round and well-balanced physique.

In last, never force yourself to the workouts. Plan the kind of resistance bands training which sounds comfortable to you in the first place.

Consistency of workout routine is way more important than the volume and kind of workouts.


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