How Often Should I Workout to Build Muscle

How Often Should I Workout to Build Muscle: A Research-Backed Answer

How Often Should I Workout to Build Muscle

How often should I workout to build muscle? The key idea is finding a balance between overtraining and undertraining, which can be detrimental to muscle growth. So what is the right workout frequency? Read on and explore what the latest research says.

What Does Science Say About Building Muscle?

Building muscle is a complex process that involves a combination of factors, including diet, exercise, and genetics.

However, one of the most important factors for building muscle is resistance training.

Resistance training involves using weights or other forms of resistance to challenge your muscles and stimulate muscle growth.

When you engage in resistance training, your muscles undergo a process called muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

MPS is the process by which your body builds new muscle tissue in response to the stress of resistance training.

Resistance training can increase MPS by up to 50%.

To maximize muscle growth, therefore, it is important to engage in resistance training regularly.

According to the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of both, as well as strengthening exercises that work for all major muscle groups at least twice a week.

Performing 8-12 repetitions of each exercise and 2-3 sets of repetitions is a good starting point for building muscle.

However, if you have bigger goals for building muscle, aim to train at least three to four days a week.

Regularly training your muscles is the best way to build muscle, as it allows your body to adapt to the stress of resistance training and stimulate muscle growth.

In summary, building muscle requires a combination of resistance training, proper nutrition, and adequate rest.

Resistance training stimulates muscle growth through muscle protein synthesis, and it is important to engage in resistance training regularly to maximize muscle growth.

So How Often Should I Workout to Build Muscle?

According to a scientific analysis, you should hit every muscle group twice (at least) to maximize muscle growth. In other words, a workout routine that trains each muscle twice per week is the best weekly workout routine for building muscle.

According to a review paper by Brad J Schoenfeld, that analysed 10 different studies comparing results from training a muscle 1 time a week vs training 2-3 times a week.

What they found out is that training each muscle 2 or 3 times per week results in 3.1% greater muscle growth than training each muscle just once per week. 

So based on the available data, we can comfortably conclude that training each muscle at least 2 times a week can maximise muscle growth. But one question you must be having now is whether More Training = More Growth.

A Randomized Controlled Trial put this to the test by comparing training each muscle group 2 days per week versus 4 days per week.

The study revealed that within a short 6-week period, the group that trained twice a week exhibited more significant improvements in their upper body strength and muscle development compared to the group that trained four times a week.

We can therefore agree that working out each muscle at least twice a week works.

Remember, building muscle depends on various factors, such as your fitness level, workout intensity, and recovery time. Generally, beginners may need to work out less frequently than advanced lifters, who can handle more training volume.

If you’re just starting, it’s recommended to work out each muscle group once or twice a week, with at least one day of rest in between.

As you progress, you can increase the frequency and volume of your workouts to challenge your muscles and promote muscle growth.

It’s also important to keep in mind that building muscle is not just about working out. Proper nutrition, sleep, and recovery are equally important for muscle gain.

Make sure to eat enough protein and carbohydrates to fuel your workouts support muscle growth, and get enough rest and recovery time to allow your muscles to repair and grow.

In summary, the best workout frequency for building muscle is to train each muscle group at least twice per week, but the optimal frequency may vary depending on your individual needs and goals.

Remember to prioritize proper nutrition, rest, and recovery to support muscle growth and overall health.

What Individual Factors Can Impact How Frequent You Should Train?

As mentioned above, the frequency of your workout routine can depend on various factors such as your age, gender, fitness level, health status, and personal preferences.

Here are some individual factors that can impact how frequently you should train:

Age

As you age, your body’s ability to recover from workouts decreases. Therefore, older adults may need more time to recover between workouts than younger individuals.

Gender

Gender can also influence how often you should train. Men typically have higher levels of testosterone, which can aid in muscle growth and recovery.

However, women can still build muscle effectively with proper training and nutrition.

Fitness Level

Your fitness level can impact how often you should train. If you are new to working out, you may need more time to recover between workouts than someone who has been training for years. As you become more fit, you may be able to increase the frequency of your workouts.

Health Status

Your health status can also impact how often you should train. If you have a chronic health condition or injury, you may need to modify your workout routine and decrease the frequency of your workouts. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new workout program if you have any health concerns.

Personal Preferences

Ultimately, how often you should train depends on your personal preferences and goals. Some people prefer to train each muscle group once a week, while others prefer to train each muscle group multiple times a week. Experiment with different frequencies and listen to your body to determine what works best for you.

In summary, several individual factors can impact how frequently you should train. Age, gender, fitness level, health status, and personal preferences should all be taken into consideration when determining your workout frequency.

Which Workout Programs Hit Every Muscle at Least 2 Times a Week?

We have established beyond reasonable doubt that for optimal muscle growth and recovery, you must hit each muscle group at least twice a week to stimulate muscle growth. So which workout programs can help you achieve this goal?

Upper/Lower Body Splits

Upper/lower body splits are a popular workout program that hits every muscle group at least twice a week. This type of program involves working the upper body one day and the lower body the next day. You can do this program three to four times a week, depending on your fitness level and goals.

PHUL Workouts

PHUL workouts are another great option for hitting every muscle group at least twice a week. This program involves working out four days a week, with two upper body days and two lower body days. On the upper body days, you’ll do both heavy compound lifts and isolation exercises. On the lower body days, you’ll focus on squats, deadlifts, and other leg exercises.

PHAT Workouts

PHAT workouts are similar to PHUL workouts, but they involve more high-intensity training. This program involves working out five days a week, with two power days, two hypertrophy days, and one rest day. The power days focus on heavy compound lifts, while the hypertrophy days focus on lighter weights and higher reps.

Full Body Workouts

Full-body workouts are another option for hitting every muscle group at least twice a week. This type of program involves working out three times a week, with each workout targeting all major muscle groups. You’ll do compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, as well as isolation exercises for each muscle group.

Overall, many workout programs can help you hit every muscle group at least twice a week. The key is to find a program that works for your fitness level and goals and to stick with it consistently.

Overtraining and Recovery

When it comes to building muscle, it’s easy to assume that the more you work out, the better. However, overtraining can be counterproductive to your goals.

Overtraining occurs when you don’t allow your muscles enough time to recover between workouts and can lead to a decrease in muscle growth and even injury.

The amount of time you need to recover between workouts can vary depending on several factors, such as your age, fitness level, and the intensity of your workouts.

Generally, it’s recommended to give each muscle group at least 48 hours of rest before working it again. This allows your muscles time to repair and grow stronger.

In addition to rest, proper nutrition and hydration are also important for muscle recovery. Make sure you’re eating enough protein to support muscle growth, and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Overall, finding the right balance between workout frequency and recovery time is key to building muscle effectively and avoiding injury. By giving your muscles the time they need to recover, you can ensure that you’re making progress towards your goals safely and sustainably.

What Has Worked For Me?

For me, I have found that working out 4 times per week has been the most effective for building muscle. This allows me to give each muscle group enough time to recover while still providing enough stimulus for growth.

In terms of the type of workouts, I have found that a combination of compound exercises and isolation exercises works best for me. Compound exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, work multiple muscle groups at once and are great for building overall strength.

Isolation exercises, such as bicep curls and tricep extensions, target specific muscle groups and can help to bring up weaker areas.

When it comes to reps and sets, I have found that a combination of heavy lifting with progressive overload and 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps works best.

Finally, maintaining proper nutrition plays a crucial role in my muscle growth. I consume an adequate amount of calories and ensure I get enough nutrients from my macros to support my workouts effectively.

Overall, finding what works for you may take some trial and error. But by following these general guidelines, you can create a workout routine that helps you build muscle and reach your fitness goals.

In a Nutshell: How Often Should I Workout to Build Muscle?

In conclusion, a workout routine that hits every muscle group at least 2 times a week is the best bet. This ensures optimum muscle growth without hindering recovery.

However, it’s important to note that working out too much can hinder muscle growth. Your muscles need time to recover and repair after each workout, and overtraining can lead to injury and burnout.

So, it’s important to find the right balance between working out enough to stimulate muscle growth and allowing enough time for recovery.

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