You’re hyped. You just PR’d your deadlift and you can’t wait to come back and lift again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. More workouts, more gains, more PRs, right?
Is it really a good idea to throw down with a barbell every day? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of lifting weights every day.
Benefits of lifting weights every day
The main benefit of frequent weight training is increased strength.
Stronger muscles: On today’s episode of “state the obvious,” we explain that more weightlifting equals more strength. In all seriousness, frequency might just be the variable you need to tweak in order to get stronger.
Healthier bones: Weight-bearing exercise is proven to improve bone density, which is a key factor in your ability to stay active as you age. In older people, lifting weights helps reduce the number of falls and fractures. In younger people, lifting weights is a preventative practice against osteoporosis.
Improved endurance: Improved muscular endurance, to specify. Lifting weights often in higher rep ranges (10-plus reps per set) improves the aerobic capacity of your muscles.
Better body composition: If you don’t currently lift weights every day (or at all), doing so could be the spark that ignites your metabolism. Weightlifting burns a lot of calories per session, induces post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), and builds muscle, all of which can help you achieve a leaner physique.
Pitfalls of lifting weights every day
You might find it hard to recover from workouts if you lift every day.
Inhibited recovery: Perhaps the biggest downfall to daily strength training is that your body doesn’t get a real chance to recover. This can lead to muscle overuse injuries or issues with muscle imbalances if you don’t carefully plan your workouts. Split workout routines can help skirt this problem, but the truth is, other forms of exercise — or a full-out rest day — can do your body a lot of good.
Persistent soreness: Lifting without allowing your body to recover in between workouts spells chronic DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) unless you carefully schedule your workouts and optimize muscle recovery.
Diminishing returns: Lifting weights every day can cause you to hit a plateau like a brick wall. If you aren’t manipulating variables in your workouts, such as load, volume or range of motion, you’ll quickly find yourself battling diminishing returns.
Boredom: If you’re reading this, you’re probably not the type to get bored of working out. But, hey, it can happen to even the most dedicated gym junkies, especially when they perform the same type of workout day-in and day-out.
Can you lift weights every day?
With a plan, you can do strength training every day.
If you implement some basic best practices, you can certainly hit the weights every day and see phenomenal strength, mass and overall fitness gains from your efforts. Just keep these few things in mind to avoid the potential perils described above:
- Change up your routine. If you must lift weights daily, don’t do a full-body lifting workout every day. That’s a recipe for muscular disaster. Instead, follow a split plan.
- Follow the principle of progressive overload. Frequency isn’t the only factor influencing your workout results. Your body requires a constant challenge to adapt, which means making your workouts harder is key to presenting plateaus.
- But,don’t go heavy every day. You don’t need to max out your deadlift, squat and bench every week. Allow yourself some lighter lifting days and you’ll be surprised at how strong you feel on heavy days.
- Prioritize sleep and recovery. All your hard work is for naught if you don’t get enough rest or optimize your nutrition.
Talk to a World Gym personal trainer to learn more about creating a safe and effective daily workout plan.
Links for More Information/References
- National Osteoporosis Foundation: What Is Osteoporosis?
- Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) | ACE Blog
- Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- Weekly Training Frequency Effects on Strength Gain: A Meta-Analysis
- Effect of Resistance Training Frequency on Gains in Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- How many times per week should a muscle be trained to maximize muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effects of resistance training frequency
- Resistance Training Frequencies of 3 and 6 Times Per Week Produce Similar Muscular Adaptations in Resistance-Trained Men
- Fatigue and underperformance in athletes: the overtraining syndrome
- Diagnosis and prevention of overtraining syndrome: an opinion on education strategies