When your fitness goal consists of building muscle, nothing quite compares to the notable improvements you can achieve by weightlifting. For progress to happen, you will need to train intensively. But how much is too much? Should you do this type of strength training daily? In this article, we will discuss whether or not weightlifting is sustainable for the average fitness buff.
How Often Should You Lift Weights?
The popularity of weightlifting is increasing nowadays, with both professional athletes and regular gym goers engaging in it. Besides training at a specialized studio, more and more people favor pursuing the activity in the comfort of their own home with the help of one-stop shop workout stations like the Marcy Diamond Elite Smith.
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Nevertheless, the question still remains: why do so many fitness enthusiasts nowadays resort to lifting weights as their go-to exercise routine?
The appeal behind weightlifting lies in its versatility as the workout allows you to target a wide variety of muscle groups. Working every single fiber in your body is essential when you want to lose weight or get ripped. With the right regimen, you can bulk up your arms and legs, strengthen the core, shape your torso, and achieve better endurance overall.
With so many benefits, taking up a regimen based on weightlifting seems awfully tempting. But should you be doing your exercises every single day? The short answer is ‘no’. Professional bodybuilders and trainers generally adopt an intensive schedule, but that doesn’t mean that you should do it too.
In fact, lifting weights daily is a bit excessive for the average fitness enthusiast. According to James M. Smoliga, Ph.D., when you go too hard in one session, your muscle tissue has a hard time adapting to the excessive effort. This ends up being detrimental to your fitness goal, as the results you achieve won’t be as impressive as what you could accomplish normally.
In addition, pushing yourself over the edge can lead to muscle fatigue and ruptures. In the medical community, this is known as overtraining syndrome, and it usually affects unreasonably diligent gym goers. Allowing your body to rest and bulk up naturally is essential. Therefore, you need to assign yourself a few recovery days every week.
Strength Training Without Weights
There are two main types of physical recovery you can tap during rest days, namely passive and active. Obviously, the former refers to taking some time off entirely and not engaging in any exercise at all. At least one day should be reserved for this, and most people prefer Sundays. Spend yours with family and friends and have fun.
However, active recovery is just as important. When it comes to bodybuilding, you should substitute the dumbbells, barbells, and other paraphernalia you are using for a simple workout. Your body weight can be used as resistance training tool as well, so performing a few mild body-weight exercises during your active recovery days is highly recommended.
There are several moves you can incorporate into your routine, such as lateral step-ups, split squats, pistol squats, pull-ups, and push-ups. Performing 5 to 10 reps of each during a 20-minute workout is more than enough to maintain a coherent fitness level and promote natural muscle growth.
Ideally, you should have three recovery days per week. As previously mentioned, Sundays are reserved for passive healing. The other two should follow two days of weightlifting and consist of a routine based on the mild exercises mentioned above.
If you are a beginner, performing pull-ups and push-ups on your active recovery days can be a bit of a stretch. So, if you prefer something a bit more relaxing and easier on the body, try Pilates, tai chi, walking, or swimming. These light activities are perfect to keep you going without adding onto the already existing amount of muscle fatigue.
The Bottom Line
Weightlifting every day is simply not a sustainable objective for the average fitness enthusiast. If that is your case, you should allow your body three recovery days per week, with one consisting of mandatory passive healing. For the other two, a tailored routine of simple body-weight exercises is the ideal way to stay in shape and promote organic muscle growth.