Is It Bad to Workout the Same Muscles Every Day? (Here’s What To Know)

Is it bad to work out the same muscles every day?

In general, you should not train the same muscle groups every day. Doing so can result in unnecessary fatigue, muscle soreness, and muscular strain.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise every day. It just depends on the intensity of your workout.

Keep reading to learn more.

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What Happens if You Work Out the Same Muscles Every Day?

Working out the same muscle groups every day with moderate to high intensity can lead to:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle soreness
  • Muscular strain
  • Decreased performance
  • Injury

These are all common signs of overtraining, which can occur when you don’t give your body enough time to recover between workouts.

However, it is possible to train the same muscle groups daily if the workout is low intensity.

Can I Workout The Same Muscle Two Days In A Row?

Yes, it is possible to train the same muscle group on two consecutive days. The key is to use a different training intensity or a different exercise on the second day.

For example, you could do a heavy squat on day one and then switch to lunges with some light dumbbells on the next day.

Do not expect peak performance on the second day, as your muscles will likely be fatigued from the day before.

If you are a beginner, I do not recommend training the same body part two days in a row.

How Often Should You Workout The Same Muscle Group?

Muscles need approximately 48 hours to recover from a workout. In other words, you can train the same muscle group every other day.

A good rule of thumb is to try and train each of the major muscle groups two times per week.

How Much Rest Should You Have Between Workouts?

Ideally, you should rest 24 to 72 hours between workouts depending on your fitness level and workout intensity.

You’ll probably need more recovery time than someone who has a higher fitness level if you’re a beginner.

Also, the higher the intensity of your workout program, the more rest you’ll need.

I typically recommend a 3 or 4 times per week workout schedule with moderate intensity for most people.

Example 3-Day Routine:

  • Monday: Workout
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Example 4-Day Routine:

  • Monday: Workout
  • Tuesday: Workout (Different muscle groups)
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Workout
  • Friday: Workout (Different muscle groups from Thursday)
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

It is important that you listen to your body and give yourself enough time to rest between workouts. You’ll find the perfect balance for your individual needs with a little trial and error.

Check out my full-body workouts for a routine you can do in just 30 minutes per day.

Is 24 Hours Enough Rest For Muscles?

24 hours is not enough rest for a muscle in most people. If you are a beginner, it is best to err on the side of caution and give your muscles more time to recover.

However, 24 hours of rest may be sufficient between workouts where you are training different muscle groups.

For example, you can train your upper body on Monday and your lower body on Tuesday.

Do Muscles Grow On Rest Days?

Yes, muscles grow on rest days between workouts because exercise is a catabolic process.

During your workouts, you are causing small tears in your muscle fibers. For your muscles to grow in size (hypertrophy) and increase strength, they need time to repair and rebuild those muscle fibers.

That is why recovery is just as important as the workout itself.

Can You Build Muscle Without Rest Days?

Yes, it is possible to build muscle without rest days; however, it is not optimal for long-term growth sustainability.

Working out every day can lead to overtraining if you do not plan your workouts carefully and execute your recovery flawlessly.

With that said, intensity is always the name of the game.

If you strategically plan to include two or three low-intensity or light workouts per week, you can make excellent progress without taking any formal rest days.

These light workouts serve as an active recovery day and help promote blood flow to your muscles.

Does Working Out Every Day Mean Faster Results?

If your goal is weight-loss, and your workout involves a mix of cardio, resistance, and low-intensity metabolic exercises, then working out every day can deliver faster results.

Working out every day likely won’t lead to faster results for building muscle and gaining strength.

Can your body get used to the same exercise?

Yes, your body is amazing at adapting to the stimulus that you give it. If you do the same exercise with the same intensity repeatedly, you will stop making progress.

That’s why it’s essential to use progressive overload to change the stimulus throughout each training session.

Also, it is beneficial to change the exercise variations that you do every 8-12 weeks.

By introducing small changes to your fitness routine throughout the year, you can avoid plateaus and continue making strength gains over the long haul.

How Often Should You Change Your Workout Routine?

You can consider switching up your entire routine every 8-12 weeks. While there are many benefits to varying your workouts, there are also some pitfalls with constantly changing your plan.

Changing your routine too frequently can lead to mediocre progress. You must give your body time to learn and adapt to the exercises you are doing.

With that said, your routine doesn’t have to stay exactly the same for 12 weeks.

You can modify your routine by using different elements of progressive overload.

You can increase the weight you are lifting, change the number of sets or reps, or increase the tempo of each repetition.

Are There Muscles You Can Train Every day?

If you truly want to work out every day, there are some smaller muscle groups that you might be able to target on multiple consecutive days.

They include:

  • Calves
  • Biceps
  • Forearms
  • Traps
  • Rear deltoids

Do not train the major compound exercises (bench press, squat, deadlift, barbell row, overhead press) every day.

What’s Next?

Now that you know more about training frequency, check out this article on creating the perfect workout routine for your goals.

Creating a workout routine is only the first step on your fitness journey. Execution and consistency are vital for seeing results.

Now I want to hear from you.

How often have you trained the same muscle group before?

Did it work for you?

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Alex Robles, MD, CPT / Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Alex & Brittany Robles are physicians, NASM Certified Personal Trainers, and founders of The White Coat Trainer: a resource dedicated to improving the health and fitness of busy professionals using time-efficient strategies. Their advice has been featured in My Fitness Pal, Prevention, Livestrong, Reader’s Digest, Bustle, The Active Times, and more. Learn more about them here.

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