How Often Should You Work Out At The Gym – Exercise And Recovery Truths
Listen to your body, first and foremost. Every other day (on/off) is great starting place. Though, what really matters, is how you train and how intensively you train!
For some men, 4 days a week with an hour workout is ideal. Others are better suited for 6 days a week for 1.5 hours.
Ultimately, there’s no universal answer; however, you can always start and discover it with hard work!
Socrates once said, “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
In today’s modern times, the vast majority of gentlemen today do not get enough exercise. They could care less about mastering their own body.
Not only do they have a terrible diet, but they do not lift weights or do cardio conditioning. Some guys want to know how often they should work out in order to maximize muscle gains and strength. However, that’s not something that can answered easily nor perfectly right off the bat, as there are so many factors to consider.
Let’s face it, lifting is the best way to build a strong and desirable body. No guy wants to have small arms or legs, or worse, be overweight and obese with years cut off from his life. Regardless of your goals, you need to be smart with your weight training and recovery program. With the right dedication, you can build a great body that both you and women admire.
Before I go any further here, I’d like to show you what a solid workout routine for men looks like. Because it’s one thing to go to the gym and sweat, and another to actually workout with a purpose and goal in mind.
1. Building Muscle
The process of building muscle is easier than many people realize.
Progressive overload refers to pushing the body in order to lift more weight over time in the various lifts. As a lifter, you need to keep track of how much weight you lift for each set and repetitions. The more you track your numbers, the easier it will be to make changes to your routine and to track progress.
Building muscle starts with lifting weights to damage the muscles. Once you do that, you need to eat the right diet in order to optimize muscle gains. As a general rule, you should be eating one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight when lifting weights.
Some guys prefer to eat even more protein than this. In addition, your protein sources should come from things like whey protein.
2. Upper Body Program
Every guy who lifts weights wants to build a strong upper body. The best exercise for building a strong upper body is the bench press. However, this is not the only exercise to perform for the chest and shoulders.
Some guys tend to neglect their upper chest. This can be improved by performing the incline bench press. This is an exercise where the seat is tilted upwards. The exercise isolates the upper chest and really makes the overall upper body look better.
You can generally train the upper body more often than the lower body. It is much easier to perform the bench press through muscle soreness than it is to perform something like the deadlift with sore legs.
If you want to build a great chest, you need to optimize your workout routine. Make sure to rotate between different exercises in order to build a symmetrical upper chest. Some guys only perform the bench press and end up with strong looking bodies.
3. Lower Body Routine
The lower body has more muscle groups than the upper body. Both the squat and deadlift work the legs and back. These exercises should be an essential part of any lifting routine. If you do not have experience with these lifts, they are going to take some time to get used to.
When starting a workout plan, you will notice that your legs are extremely sore when you first work them. You can work your lower body every other day in order to optimize muscular gains.
However, for most people, this is too much in the beginning. When starting out, plan on working your lower body much less than every other day.
4. Lifting Schedule
As a general rule, lifting weights every other day is best in order to optimize muscular growth and strength. However, there are some guys who love lifting weights and want to be in the gym every day.
If you want to lift weights as much as possible, you need to rotate the muscle groups that are used in each exercise. It is almost impossible to work the upper or lower body several days in a row. If you want to lift weights more often, rotate between working the upper body and the lower body.
In addition, you can increase the number of cardio sessions that you have each week. Some guys wrongly assume that cardio is a waste of time. However, you need to train your body so that you can push yourself harder in the gym.
Several cardio sessions per week can actually help optimize your muscle gains. Not only will they improve endurance, but they will also improve your overall quality of life.
5. Building Strength versus Muscle
Some new lifters wrongly assume that working out to build strength and muscle are the same things. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Before starting any lifting program, you need to define your goals and then build a plan around those goals.
If you want to build muscle, there are three mechanisms of hypertrophy.
- Muscular Damage
- Mechanical Tension
- Metabolic Stress
In order to optimize muscle growth, you need to hit as many of these mechanisms as possible. This is why weight lifters will typically rotate their workouts.
If you are just wanting to increase your strength levels without adding any size, you should concentrate on increasing mechanical tension. This refers to making the body adapt to higher weight over time.
This is how powerlifters train to build strength. They may only do a few repetitions per set with extremely heavy weight.
6. New Gains
If you are a new lifter, you will experience extremely high gains in the first few months of lifting. These gains are from your body getting adapted to lifting weights for the first time. You should not expect to continue gaining both muscle and strength at this rate throughout your entire lifting career.
There are ways that you can maximize gains even more during this time. Your diet and sleep are critical to building muscle. If you have a poor diet, it is going to be difficult for your body to recover optimally.
One of the most overlooked aspects of building a great body is sleep.
Most guys want to spend all of their time and energy in the gym lifting weights. However, lifting heavy in the gym is just one aspect of building a great physique. Some people like to think of lifting weights as digging a hole. The recovery aspect is filling the hole back in.
Without a proper recovery program, you run the risk of getting burned out both mentally and physically.
Sleep is one of the most important elements of an exercise program to optimize. If you are not accustomed to following a lifting routine, you may notice that you are more tired in the first few weeks. This is perfectly normal, and you should listen to your body when it comes to sleep.
Some guys think that sleeping many hours per night is for people who are not tough. However, sleep is essential to optimizing any workout plan.
9. Tips for Better Sleep
If you have trouble sleeping every night, there are several things that you can do in order to improve your sleep.
First of all, it is critical to start turning off electronic devices several hours before you go to sleep. A lot of people spend time looking at their phone or computer right before bed. This is sending a signal to your body that you are staying awake.
You should also sleep in a dark room. By changing just a few things about your sleep routine, you can start to sleep great again. You will notice an increase in performance after improving your sleep regimen.