How Many Days A Week Should You Workout?
How often you should work out is usually something that beginner bodybuilders want to know since those more experienced at fitness training learn to make adjustments according to what their body tells them. And, actually, how many days a week you workout depends on your experience level. Let’s take a look.
Beginner Bodybuilding Plan
When you first hit the gym to start weightlifting, you need to take it slow. The reason is that it takes a certain amount of time to build strength in both your muscles and joints. Therefore, you want to start out light and work your way up in weight so both your joints and muscles have adequate time to adjust.
Beginner bodybuilders should start with a plan that incorporates two to three days a week of full body workout exercises. It’s important to begin with a total body workout so that your entire musculoskeletal foundation is first strengthened and established before moving onto more isolated muscle exercises. This routine should be followed for approximately six months before moving onto the next level of strength training.
After around six months of following the beginner plan of 2-3 days a week of total body weight training, you should notice significant progress in your overall strength gains. At this point, you should move your weight training to the next level that will begin to target individual muscles.
Intermediate Bodybuilding Plan
The intermediate bodybuilding plan breaks training into three days a week. However, instead of doing full body workouts, you will exercise specific muscles and muscle groups on each of the three days.
For example, Monday you will work out legs and shoulders, Wednesday you will work out back and arms, and Friday you will work out chest and abs. You should rest a day in between workouts because you are at a stage of muscle growth where individual muscles are being hit hard and are still growing substantially and, therefore, require adequate recovery time.
You should maintain intermediate bodybuilding training for a period of 6-12 months before continuing onto the next level. During the intermediate phase of strength training, you will become more in tune with your body. When your muscles cease to respond to your weight training then it is time to move onto the advanced training phase as your muscles now require more stimulation.
Advanced Bodybuilding Plan
By the time you move on to advanced weight training, you will understand how your muscles respond to various stimuli, the mechanics of the specific exercises and how to adjust them and the amount of rest required for proper muscle recovery. It’s now time to really crank up the heat on your muscles.
During the advanced stage of bodybuilding, you should move your training to five days a week. However, you will hit each muscle group on a different day and rotate on a cycle of five or seven days depending on your recuperation time. Also, you want to alternate muscle groups so that those which also are worked out one day (chest) have sufficient recovery time before many of those same muscles are worked out again (arms).
For example, the first day you can hit the chest, the second day back, the third day legs, the fourth day shoulders and the fifth day arms. You should then rest one or two days before repeating the cycle. You can also incorporate abs into this plan 2-3 days a week (best on first, third and fifth day) so that you receive a total body workout each week.
Beware of Overtraining
The definition of overtraining is simply exercising your muscles while they are still sore from the previous workout. Muscle fiber is grown and repaired while you sleep so it is vitally important for proper muscle growth to get sufficient rest both during the night and in between workouts. If you don’t have problems sleeping 8 hours a night and catching an occasional nap then you will probably be able to work out more frequently than if you have problems sleeping.
The rule of thumb is that if you have a sore muscle then you should avoid working that same muscle out again until it has sufficiently healed. Soreness comes from muscle damage and working out a sore muscle will only deteriorate the fibers and cause more severe damage, the complete opposite of bodybuilding goals. Therefore, if you have a sore muscle, give it an extra day or two to recover before stressing it out again.
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Date Published : 2012-04-01 21:24:26
Written By : Rod White
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