Are you OVERTRAINING? Here’s how to structure your workout plan and how often you should be working out to build muscle WITHOUT overtraining.
Some people tell you to only workout 3 days a week to build muscle while others tell you to work out as much as possible and do something active every day.
So what is the right answer?
In today’s article I intend to fully explain how to structure your workout schedule and how often you should be working out to build muscle without overtraining.
There are a couple things that influence how many days you should be working out every week.
For example: your goals, your age, your level of fitness, and how much time you’re willing to dedicate consistently to working out all play a critical role in selecting your weekly workout schedule.
Let’s start first by talking about goals because your goals highly determine how often you should be working out for optimal muscle growth.
If you’re trying to grow muscle and build some size training more is not necessarily better. This is a huge mistake that I made many times.
We automatically assume that if we do more, if we work out for longer and more often we’ll get to the destination faster. With building muscle that’s definitely not true.
To build muscle you have to be in a caloric surplus, which means that you’re taking in more calories then you’re burning.
If you’re working out all the time then you’re going to be burning a lot of calories that could have been used to help your muscles grow.
Rest and Recovery is also critical, not only for your muscles to repair themselves and grow but also to allow your nervous system to fully recover.
This will allow you to come back into the gym stronger and lift heavier weights than before. By lifting heavier weights you’ll build more muscle.
When strictly trying to build muscle you really don’t need more than 3 or 4 days of heavy weight training. On the flip side if you’re trying to burn fat it’s a little different.
To strictly burn body fat, it sometimes makes more sense to work out more days per week.
When trying to burn body fat you want to continue doing your weight training for those 3 or 4 days and then add on some cardio days in between.
When I say cardio days I don’t mean that you have to go running or get on an elliptical, there’s plenty of ways to do cardio with body weight training and hit style workouts.
You would want to do more days when strictly trying to burn body fat because the more calories you can burn off overall the more of the calorie deficit you will create which is the prerequisite to burn fat.
Keep in mind this doesn’t always hold true. A lot of this depends on how you structure your workout.
For example: People that do cardio after their weight training or earlier in the day and come back in to weight train later, will burn just as many or even more calories than people that spread it out throughout the week.
So this shows us that you can workout less by increasing the intensity levels on the days that you are working out.
The intensity of your workouts will determine how many days a week you have to work out to achieve the same result.
For fat burning if you come in and do an incredibly intense workout you can burn more calories than you would burn in two days of doing lower intensity training like jogging.
Your age, your level of fitness, and the speed at which you recover will all be very important factors to consider when planning how many days per week you’re going to work out.
If you’re older you’re not going to recover quite as fast as somebody that’s younger so you may want to take more days off.
The same is true for if you have a low level of Fitness versus somebody with a high level of Fitness.
Obviously the person with the low level will probably need more time off to recover and not feel as sore.
Recovery in general many times depends on your individual genetics.
Some people recover faster than others so if your recovery is slow then you may need to take more days off, if it’s fast then you could probably squeeze in more workouts throughout the week.
So as you can see this is a highly individual thing and it’s going to require you to do some trial and error and feel out what works best for you.
Something that most people don’t even consider is that even if you do decide to workout six to seven days a week, you may burn out and stop working out entirely. The truth is you would have been way better off just consistently working out 3 days a week.
Consistency is key for you to achieve your goals so when picking how many days you’re going to work out make sure it’s a number you’re actually going to stick to.
Everyone has different lives and preferences, some people don’t want to workout a lot. That’s ok ,you can get away with three days a week of working out and still look like you’re in great great shape.
I personally like to get some form of workout in everyday because it gets my day going right.
I feel really good and it gives me more room to make mistakes in my diet.
Remember, just because working out everyday works for me doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you.
A final tip that I want to leave you with is that you should definitely make sure no matter what that you’re not hitting the same muscle group with weights two days in a row.
You want at least a day off before breaking down that same muscle again.
On your day off, you can work on a different muscle group or do some cardio.
In all honesty this is not a topic that I can give a direct answer to, it’s something that you’re going to have to play around with and you’re going to have to see exactly what works best for you because everyone’s a little different.
One of the biggest mistakes most guys make is choosing the wrong exercise selection to get the most out of their workout.
You’re being robbed of the results you deserve because virtually every muscle building program is far too BASIC.
Are you aware that there are certain muscle groups you have to train first in order to maximize performance and achieve the physique YOU want?
One study showed that training muscles in a specific order produced a greater anabolic hormonal response relative to a reversed sequence in men?