First, the bad news.
Summer is drawing to a close, the days are slowly getting shorter, and it’ll be months before beach weather finally makes its comeback.
Now, for the good news!
Bulking season is officially here, and these next few months are crucial if you want to pack on some serious mass for next summer.
You’d be in the gym hitting the weights every day if you could….but should you?
Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
- Let’s Start by Defining “Muscle Growth”
- The Risk of Overtraining
- What Matters More Than Hitting the Gym Daily
- How Long Should a Weight Lifting Workout Last?
- If I Lift Weights Every Day, When Will I See Results?
- 3 Tips for Seeing Gains When Lifting Weights Daily
- Should I Lift Weights Every Day to Build Muscle?
Let’s Start by Defining “Muscle Growth”
When your muscles work against both the weight of a barbell and the force of gravity, the nearby muscles are put under more stress than usual.
Short-term, this heavy workload produces microtears in these muscles.
But thanks to the release of hormones like testosterone and the presence of the cell-repairing macronutrient known as protein, your muscles will slowly begin the recovery process.
This happens during rest.
As the muscles work to repair themselves, the fibers in your muscle will fuse together, grow back thicker, and even multiply.
The result is greater muscle mass.
More muscle mass can do wonders for your physique, improve your posture, and speed up your metabolism.
The Risk of Overtraining
We know that more isn’t always better in the world of fitness. For example, losing ten pounds in a week might help you get to your goal weight quicker, but it’s not necessarily “safe.”
But what about lifting weights every day?
Are there dangers or downsides that come with that?
Regardless of your level of experience in the gym, working out too frequently and not giving your muscles enough rest time could put you at risk for overtraining.
Your muscles might not be at 100% by the next time you go to the gym.
You might feel sore for longer.
You might even feel under the weather.
So if you start lifting weights every day of the week and suddenly notice you feel weak or your performance has decreased, it might be a good idea to squeeze in a rest day or two.
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What Matters More Than Hitting the Gym Daily
Nearly any amount of stress on your muscles will yield the minor tears and damage needed for growth. But noticeable muscle growth won’t come from curling 5-pound dumbbells for 40 reps.
Especially if your 1RM is 50 pounds.
You need to focus on concepts like reps, rest, intensity, and overload to see true growth.
Here are some tips for maximizing muscle growth during your workouts:
- Stick to sets of 6-12 reps
- Work at 65-85% of your 1RM
- Allow for at least 60 seconds of rest between sets
- Utilize multiple sets for each muscle group
- Increase the intensity between workouts—bump up the sets, weight, or reps
These recommendations go for individual workouts. Frequency—or how often you target each muscle group per week—can also make or break your goals of gains.
Here’s what you need to know.
You should try to rest between 48 and 72 hours before targeting the same muscle group again.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can only hit the gym every two or three days. Rather, if you hit your quads on Monday, you shouldn’t work them again until at least Wednesday or Thursday.
Not giving your muscles enough time to recover can hinder muscle growth greatly.
So this is important to factor in if you’re planning to go to the gym every day.
How Long Should a Weight Lifting Workout Last?
Let’s say you’re going to the gym three to four days per week.
On this type of schedule, you’ll condense your weekly volume for each muscle group into one or two workouts. These workouts typically involve more sets, rest periods, and exercises.
In this case, your workouts will be within a 45-60 minute time frame.
Now, let’s say you’re going to the gym every day.
Hitting each muscle group more often during the week means you can divide the weekly volume across more workouts. Each workout will consist of fewer sets, rest periods, and exercises.
In this scenario, your workouts will be closer to that 30-minute mark.
If I Lift Weights Every Day, When Will I See Results?
We’re going to assume you’re on a 3 or 4-day split that you’re cycling through twice a week—and you’re likely skipping the rest days.
A 7-day split is just silly and no way to ensure gains, right?
So long as you’re hitting each muscle group twice a week (this can produce 48% greater growth), giving each muscle group time to recover, and using an ideal amount of volume….
Six to twelve weeks.
These results will happen quite quickly and oftentimes surprisingly. But noob gains will eventually slow as you near the six-month or year mark, so don’t expect massive gains forever.
Here’s some more advice from Gravity Transformation on training 3 days per week versus 7 days per week.
3 Tips for Seeing Gains When Lifting Weights Daily
Do you want to see some serious gains while lifting weights on a daily basis? Then follow these tips to take your gains to the next level.
Emphasize Progressive Overload
Muscle gains won’t happen if you use the same weight, sets, and reps every workout.
Once you hit your rep goal for every set for a particular exercise for two consecutive workouts, increase the load by 5-10 pounds next time.
Remember, growth only occurs when you put your muscles under more stress.
Get the Right Gear
No gym gear will magically improve your performance or add 50 pounds to your deadlift. But certain gear can help you keep good form, maximize power output, and improve your grip.
Weightlifting belts are a great start when you eventually need gear to keep your core tight.
With the combination of greater core support, the ability to lift heavier weights, and more stress on your muscles, further muscle growth is even more likely.
Refueling Your Body
Those daily lifting sessions won’t mean jack if you’re not giving your body what it needs to repair your damaged muscles.
Adequate protein intake is crucial.
You should be working to consume 1.2-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight throughout the day—prioritize lean protein and healthy protein shakes, when possible.
Should I Lift Weights Every Day to Build Muscle?
You can lift weights every day to build muscle, but it’s not necessary.
Working out every day will eat up a good portion of your time, and not giving your muscles enough time to recover between workouts puts you at risk for overtraining.
Adding one or two rest days per week won’t slow your gains.
To see serious mass, look to hit each muscle group twice per week, aim for 65-85% of your 1RM for 6-12 reps, and eat 1.2-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day.
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Getting in shape isn't easy. But this program gives you a real-life approach to building a leaner, more muscular body without obsessing over fitness 24/7.