The Answer To “How Many Exercises Should I Do Per Workout?”

How many exercises should I do per workout? This question bothers almost every beginner when they decide to start working out. Well, the answer to this question varies depending upon several aspects. But the most important aspect is your goal. The number of exercises per workout session depends greatly on your goals.

What Are your Goals?

Dumbbells in the gym

Everyone has their own fixed goals before starting to workout. While some workout to achieve bigger goals, others mostly do it just to keep themselves fit and improve their physique. Different goals require a different set of exercises and focused muscle groups. A single exercise for a particular muscle group is enough if you’re just working to keep yourself fit. But that won’t be enough if you are aiming for heavy muscle gains. Similarly, low-intensity exercises and freehand exercises require more repetitions while high-intensity ones don’t.

Based on different workout goals here’s the answer to the question that bothers every beginner, How many exercises should I do per workout?

How many exercises should I do per workout for staying fit?

Men jogging

Most people usually workout just to stay fit. They don’t have enough time to spend hours at the gym or home working out. It’s the simplest yet the most complex goal to achieve. The most important thing about working out just to keep yourself is finding the right balance between strength exercises and cardio. An ideal answer to your query, how many exercises should I do per workout here is as follows.

  • One option is that you can go for any cardio exercise like casual walk, jogging, or using the treadmill 4 days a week. Then, you can focus on a full-body strength workout session with 5-10 low intensity or freehand exercises for one or two days. The number of strength exercises should more as you need to work on your whole body and also make up for the whole week.
  • If you have enough time to spare, then you can mix cardio and strength exercises for 3-4 times a week. In this case, you can reduce the number of strength exercises to 4 or 5 exercises every workout session. You can focus on different body parts on different days too.

How many exercises should I do per workout for losing weight?


When aiming for weight loss, your prime aim is to burn more calories. Experts say 200 minutes of workout per week is ideal for effective weight loss. But for beginners, we recommend starting with 50-100 minutes a week initially to later reach 200 or even exceed if possible. Aerobic exercises are the best when it comes to burning calories. Though strength exercises help too, they don’t help much in weight loss.

If you are aiming for 20-30 minutes of daily workout sessions, you should go for an aerobic exercise for the major part of your session and then add 2-3 low-intensity strength exercises. So, 3-4 exercises per workout are the answer if you’re wondering “how many exercises I should do per workout for losing weight.”

If you want some motivation to start with weight loss journey, here’s an article on how a young man lost 12 kilograms weight without going to a gym.

How many exercises should I do per workout for gaining weight?

Man lifting dumbbells

The healthiest way to gain weight is by building muscles rather than gaining more unwanted fats. Your diet plays an important role in gaining weight. Adding good workout sessions to it makes the weight gaining process even more effective.

6-8 is the ideal number of exercises for weight gain. Choosing the best exercises is very much important here. You have to go for the compound exercises and focus on as many muscle groups you can. In case of weight gain, the question that needs to be asked is ” How many reps should I do per workout?” rather than ” How many exercises I should do per workout?”

How many exercises should I do per workout for heavy muscle gains?

Men lifiting weights

For heavy muscle gains, you have to overload the muscles by an increased number of reps. A well-planned set of 3-4 exercises focusing on a definite muscle group which what you need for heavy muscle gains. Overloading the muscles increases the swelling in muscles, thus giving you maximum gains.

Sometimes professionals also go for more than 10 reps of a given exercise. But in such cases, there’s only one exercise per workout.

Here’s a video to help you figure out the right balance between sets of exercises per workout.

To help you with the weights you need to lift for heavy muscle gains, check our article on how much weight you should lift to reach your goal.

Consult The Experts

A physician

This is an overall guide. The suitable number of exercises per workout may vary widely for different individuals, ages, and activeness being some factors. People above the age of 35 should consult their physicians before starting with any exercise. This is because the pre-existing health issues can lead to several complications while working out.

We hope this article was helpful to you. If you think we missed out on some points, please let us know in the comments below.

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