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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,460
4/6/14 6:59 A

I don't think there is a definitive answer to this.

The body continues to synthesise protein into muscle tissue for at least 72 hours.

By resting 72 hours, you get more out of each ST workout.

But you also get a benefit from more frequent ST workouts implied by more frequent workouts every 48 hours.

Either approach is reasonably well supported by research.

Incidentally, if you ST 3 times per week on a regular basis, you will get 2 rest periods of 48 hours and one of 72 hours, giving you the benefit of both approaches.


BERRY4 SparkPoints: (275,659)
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4/5/14 10:07 P

In an optimum work-out schedule, I enjoy a 2-day week followed by a 3-day week & back and forth...if time & life allows. Otherwise, if I hit it at least 1 day a week, I'm NOT losing muscle. {I know because like today, I'm lifting stronger (ie. more weight) than last week!}

I found that 3 days every week for this "older" body (over 50) did not allow enough recovery AND brought me to complete exhaustion after 6 weeks of an 8-wk program. I had to take a complete week off for rest and recovery (and afterwards lost 4 lbs.). -- I know muscles retain some water when actively working them, but it was too much for my body and rest was imperative.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
4/4/14 10:40 P

I have to disagree with the notion that you lose muscle if you don't work them for more than 3 days.

I lift for each muscle group once every 7 days, and I am getting stronger, and increasing muscle easily. You are in greater danger of not developing your muscles by exercising too much, than by not working out a muscle for 4 days.

I think there are a lot of variables here. If you work out with high intensity, you will still be sore days later, and need longer to let the muscles repair themselves. This varies per individual based on genetics, as well as how much they broke down the muscle. If I do 630 lb. leg presses on Monday, I won't lose muscle if I don't do it again till Saturday.

I have freaky calves, and used to do 600 lb. calf raises for sets of 50 X 4-5 sets. I have a heart problem, so I don't lift as heavy, not to mention that I didn't lift at all for years, While many body parts became flabby, my calves, and triceps remained good. Even at 360 lbs, I had veins in my calves. Even after years of not working out, I had better calves than anyone I know. That is genetics. So how long one should wait between body parts varies by the body part. How long it takes for you to lose muscle does too.

That is why you need to listen to your body, and not some rule made up by someone else. My feeling is that the OP is talking about a general total body workout, and for that, a simple 2-3 day gap will be enough, but that should be determined by how you feel, not by the calendar.

DAN208 SparkPoints: (54)
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4/4/14 6:25 P

I lift twice a week (full body) because that's when my schedule allows me to get to the gym. I love lifting weights and would like to make it three times a week, but I just can't right now. Do a Google search and you'll find tons of info for both two and three day a week routines.

GZELLEFRO SparkPoints: (88,974)
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4/4/14 5:10 P

The days in between are days for rest, recovery and reknitting of those muscles you worked out. It's important to also get aerobic exercises. This will help with weight loss. I think it's flexible. However, you don't want to go more than 3 days before you exercise those muscles again. If you do, your muscles will lose what you've gained. emoticon

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (201,343)
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4/4/14 12:41 P

There are differences of opinion when it comes to strength training. As I tell my clients, I can put you into a room with 15 trainers. If you tell them to design a program for you that would help you be a bit fitter, you're going to get 15 different programs.

What a person does for strength training depends a lot on what their personal fitness goals are. So, the person training for a 26.2 mile marathon is going to have different ST needs than someone preparing for a figure competition or a person who just wants to be a bit fitter.

In general, the fitness experts say that (depending on goals), a person should strength train 1-3 times per week. Is this set in stone ? nope. nothing is set in stone. Could you do some type of strength training, every day ? Yes, there are body builders who do split routines. Do you need to do a split ? You could, but you don't have to.

For workout efficiency, a full body workout is recommended 1-3 times per week. You get the most bang for your buck out of a full body workout.

My question to Lissa is this,"What are your specific goals ?" What is it that you want to get out of your workouts ? Because what you want to do will determine the frequency of the workouts.

As I tell my clients, be specific. what is it that you want ? Do you want arms like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. Do you want legs like Tina Turner. Do you want shoulders like Cameron Diaz. These are just examples. Having a clearly defined goal will help you decide whether or not you want to workout 1-3 times per week.

Also, how many times a week we workout is going to depend on our schedules. How many times a week can you devote to strength training ?

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
4/4/14 12:27 P

It depends on whether you do a whole body workout, or if you do different body parts on different days.

If you do the whole body workout, I would let your body be the guide. If you can barely walk on Wednesday, wait till Thursday ( 3 days ). If you feel good, do another workout. I recently got a gym membership, and started working out on Wed. and Sun., and was sore for 3 days after my first few workouts. Now I have added Fridays, so 3 workouts in 1 week W,F,Su.

You could just do it every 3 days, and ignore the days of the week. Do 10 workouts in 30 days. If the day you work out doesn't matter, who cares if it is Monday, Thursday, Sunday, and then Wednesday, Saturday. Some weeks would be 3 workouts, others 2.

I find that I can work a muscle harder if I limit my workout to a few body parts each workout, and hit them once a week. So I will do Chest/shoulders, and biceps, on Wednesday, and not do them again for a week. Friday I will do Back, triceps, and calves, and Sunday Quadriceps, hamstrings, and biceps again. I find triceps, biceps, and calves recover quickly, so I can work them out more often, but my calves, and triceps are huge, while my bideps are not, which is why I choose to do them twice.

There is no exact science to this. Just pay attention to your body, and if you start to feel sore, or run down, add an extra day between your workout. This may only happen every so often, but don't ignore it. Chance of injury increases when you are just going through the motions. Better to wait 24 hours, and feel great, so you can do a more intense workout. Then rest till you feel good again.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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4/3/14 12:04 P

The guidelines I've seen have generally been to keep 48-72 hours between strength sessions on a particular muscle group. So if you do a full body strength session Monday morning, the next earliest session would be sometime Wednesday. This irrespective of weight because each session you should be working your muscles to failure no matter what weight that occurs at.

Edited by: LEC358 at: 4/3/2014 (12:05)
FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
4/3/14 11:20 A

I've seen some conflicting information about strength training. Some plans say to do it three days a week (say Monday, Wednesday, Friday) with a day of rest from weights in between.

However, I've also heard different advice that says you should have at least 2 days between strength sessions, So, if you do a full-body workout on Monday, you don't do another until Thursday.

Which is it? I suppose the weights you are lifting is important. Doing body weight workouts, I'm looking at around 185 pounds, but my heaviest dumbbells are only 5 pounds.

On non strength days, I am doing a lot of walking and Leslie Sansone DVDs. If I strength train three days a week, then at least once a week (Saturday) my strength training will likely be at the gym doing the 30 minute circuit. For strength, I've been focusing on Leslie Sansone's Firm 30, but I also have a couple of Jillian Michael's DVDs.

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