How Exercising Only 1 to 2 Days a Week Can Help You Lose Weight

  • According to a new study, working out twice or once a week could lead to weight loss.
  • According to the study, those who reduce their exercise program to just one or two sessions a week can achieve similar weight loss as those who exercise more frequently.
  • Experts claim that people who exercise once or twice per week have more recovery time and can train more intensely.

How often should you exercise to achieve your weight loss goal? New research suggests that the answer is less than you might think.

In a study published in Obesity, a trusted source found that weight loss can be achieved by exercising regularly one to two days a week.

Researchers found that weekend warriors (individuals who do 150 minutes of physical activity, with at least 50% of it occurring in one or two sessions) can lose weight just as effectively as those who exercise regularly.

It’s important to note that “weekend warriors” who meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) recommendation of 150 minutes a week lose weight.

This study confirms that any physical activity is better than none at all, according to Dr. Beverly Tchang, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, said in a press release. “The main takeaway is that people should be as active as they can to suit their lifestyle.”

Losing weight by exercising twice a week

Tejal Patel, a personal trainer, isn’t shocked by the results of the study. She said that it is important to remember that the study does not indicate differences in weight loss for regular exercise compared with weekend warriors.

The study compares weekend warriors with inactive individuals to prove that any activity is better than none. Patel stated that there was no way to tell which group, weekend warriors or regular exercisers, had the highest percentage of weight loss.

Although there is no evidence that exercising just one or two times per week is as beneficial as exercising more frequently, the results still look promising.

For many reasons, exercising once or twice per week can help you lose weight.

Exercise can burn calories and contribute to mass, which can lead to weight loss.

Weekend warriors are also giving their bodies a chance to rest more. This could allow them to train harder when they do work out.

Patel said that weekend exercisers may be more rested than those who exercise regularly.

She added that “even if you exercise more frequently, intensity is a key factor in determining energy consumption and, consequently, fat loss.”

Challenges and Limitations for Weekend Warriors

Patel would not say that exercising just one or two times per week is better than a weekly routine.

She said that if weekend warriors save all their activities for the weekends, they are at risk of losing motivation and momentum.

Patel added that weight loss is more than just how much you exercise.

She explained that nutrition is the main factor in fat loss. Regular training optimizes your shape and encourages fat loss over weight loss.

Get the most from exercising 1 to 2 days per week.

You might be wondering how hard and long you should train if you only have one or two sessions a week.

Anne Iarchy, a personal trainer and weight-loss coach, said that it depends on the type of exercise and fitness level you have.

If you are a beginner, start with shorter workouts. You can build up your intensity over time. She noted that the same goes for the intensity of training.

Anarchy says that if you only have time to do one or two workouts per week, it is best to focus on Strength Training and mix in some Cardio.

Patel agrees and suggests that you adapt your approach depending on whether you are working out two days straight or if there is a rest day in between.

She advised: “If you are doing two days that are not consecutive, complete two full body strength sessions, covering all major and accessory muscles.” Spend no more than an hour working on this part of your workout. Make sure you use strong technique and get as close to failure as possible on your reps before finishing with steady-state cardio.

Patel suggests that if you are training back-to-back on two consecutive days, you should split your training into upper and lower body exercises, so each day, you prepare a different body part.

This will allow for each muscle to be fatigued without affecting subsequent training days. This means that your training intensity will remain high,” explained she.

Iarchy suggests that a second way to train two days a week is to divide each workout into push-pull exercises to target different muscles. You can avoid injury by doing this and allowing yourself enough recovery time.

It’s important to start slowly and build new habits gradually, especially if this is your first time.

Iarchy recommended that you warm up with five to ten minutes of cardio prior to starting split strength training. If you are unsure what to do, sign up for some sessions with a trainer to help you find a program suited to your fitness and strength levels.


You may have thought that if you wanted to lose weight, you would need to go to the gym every day.

A new study challenges this assumption, showing that even a small increase in activity can help you lose weight.

Anarchy says it is important to keep in mind that weight loss doesn’t happen immediately as a result of what you do.


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